Silymarin and S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe): Two promising pharmacological agents in case of chronic alcoholic hepathopathy. A review and a point of view

G. Testino, S. Leone, F. Ansaldi, P. Borro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is the leading cause of death from liver failure in Italy and worldwide. Ethanol abstention, a healthy diet, and a significant improvement of life-style are the mainstay of treatment for this disease. Currently, we do not have effective therapeutic options are at our disposal to restore and maintain an improved clinical status. Silymarin is a complementary and alternative medicine often prescribed and self-prescribed; it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic, and metabolic properties. It improves the laboratoristic values and the ultrasonographic grading of liver disease in case of steatosis/steatohepatitis. S-adenosyl-L-methiohine (SAMe) is the principal biological methyl donor, and it is also a precursor of glutathione (GSH), essential for the anti-oxidant pathways. SAMe is particularly important for opposing the toxicity of free radicals generated by various toxins, including alcohol. An association between Silymarin and SAMe (labelled as a dietary supplement) has been recently brought to market, and seems to be promising. It could be beneficial in such cases of alcoholic hepathopathies. New therapeutic options are needed by hepatologists to successfully overcome a constantly growing disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-356
Number of pages16
JournalMinerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica
Volume59
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Alcoholic
  • Liver disease
  • S-adenosylmethionine
  • Silymarin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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