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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5147468, 10 pages
Review Article

Silymarin in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Nephrology Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Gr. T. Popa”, 700503 Iasi, Romania

Received 24 February 2016; Accepted 27 March 2016

Academic Editor: Konstantinos Papatheodorou

Copyright © 2016 Luminita Voroneanu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and nephropathy—now the leading cause of end-stage renal disease and dialysis in Europe and the United States. Inflammation and oxidative stress play a pivotal role in the development of diabetic complications. Silymarin, an herbal drug with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, may improve glycemic control and prevent the progression of the complications. In a systematic review and meta-analysis including five randomized controlled trials and 270 patients, routine silymarin administration determines a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose levels (−26.86 mg/dL; 95% CI −35.42–18.30) and HbA1c levels (−1.07; 95% CI −1.73–0.40) and has no effect on lipid profile. Benefits for silymarin on proteinuria and CKD progressions are reported in only one small study and are uncertain. However, being aware of the low quality of the available evidence and elevated heterogeneity of these studies, no recommendation can be made and further studies are needed.