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Effect of silymarin on allergic rhinitis.

Bakhshaee M, Jabbari F, Hoseini S et al. 2011. Effect of silymarin in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngol 145:6;904-9.

Allergic rhinitis is the most common allergic disease in the Western world. The pathophysiology of allergic rhinitis has been linked to oxidative stress and antioxidant therapy has been shown to improve symptoms. Silymarin (extracted from Silybum marianum) has been shown to have a protective effect against oxidative stress in different organs and may play a role in the management of allergic rhinitis.

The aim of this randomised placebo control trial was to assess the effect of silymarin on reducing the prevalence of allergic rhinitis. The inclusion criteria for this study included having the clinical signs/symptoms of allergic rhinitis plus a positive allergy skin test for at least one of the tested allergens (in total 18 common regional allergens). The patients' signs and symptoms, eosinophil percentage on nasal smear, serum IgE and interleukin (IL-4, IL-5, interferon-[gamma]) levels were recorded at baseline and at the end of the treatment period.

Ninety-four patients exhibiting signs and symptoms of allergic rhinitis and a positive skin prick test were selected and randomly divided into 2 groups. The clinical and laboratory findings of the 94 participants were recorded before and after treatment with silymarin, where the final statistical analysis was performed on 60 patients who completed the trial (30 patients in each group). No significant difference in age and sex was seen between the 2 groups: 12 (40%) patients and 11 (36.7%) controls were men, where 18 (60%) and 19 (63.3%) were women respectively. Mean (SD) age of the study and control groups was 29.03 (10.17) years and 28.4 (8.41) years respectively.

Mean clinical symptom severity based on SNOT-20 (Sino-Nasal Outcome Test 20) before and after treatment showed a statistically significant decrease following treatment in the silymarin group (p < 0.001). A statistically significant difference in mean IgE was also observed (p = 0.003), which unexpectedly showed a meaningful rise in IgE after treatment with silymarin. Cytokines did not show a significant difference.

After one month of treatment with silymarin, combined with other routine treatments, patients showed a significant improvement in the severity of clinical symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

This study presents a novel treatment approach for patients presenting with allergic rhinitis and warrants further investigation.

Kathleen Murphy MNHAA

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Article Details
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Author:Murphy, Kathleen
Publication:Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine
Article Type:Abstract
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jun 1, 2012
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