Milk thistle extract may protect the cells of the liver by blocking the entrance of harmful toxins and helping remove these toxins from the liver cells. As with other bioflavonoids, silymarin is a powerful antioxidant. Milk thistle also regenerates injured liver cells according to Sonnenbichler J, Zetl I, in their article "Stimulating influence of a flavonolignan dirivative on proliferation, RNA synthesis and protein synthesis in liver cells". Published in Assessment and Management of Hepatobiliary Disease by Springer-Verlag.
As already stated, silymarin not only protects the liver cells (hepatocytes) against toxic damage it also regenerates them. It has been found in clinical studies to increase the rate of synthesis of RNA through stimulation of nucleorlar polymerase 1. This reinforces protein synthesis and accelerates cell-regeneration processes. Thus, silymarin is a useful remedy for chronic hepatitis, toxic fatty deposits in the liver and cirrhosis.