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Milk Thistle Reprise and a Shocker
Aug 8, 2009

I have an identical twin (male) we're hemophilliacs and got HIV through blood products when we were boys at the same time. Both got advanced AIDS, then HAART saved us, we also have the same genotype of HepC (2b) I always took milkthistle, my brother never did, I smoke, he didn't. He died of liver failure 2 mos. ago. My liver is fine. Milk thistle was the only thing we did different. I'm still taking mine.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for your post.

I'm happy to hear that you're doing well; sad to hear about the loss of your brother.

Before concluding that milk thistle was the agent responsible for your liver health, remember that it's not a good idea to draw public health (or pharmacologic) conclusions on the basis of individual cases. Associations drawn in single cases aren't always validated in larger, controlled analyses. Further, while you and your brother were genetic clones, your lifestyles are not identical, nor are all HIVs nor hepatitis Cs are identical.

I remain concerned about the lack of well designed clinical trials that demonstrate milk thistle benefit and worried about well documented cases of significant drug-drug interactions with HIV medications.

Conclude what you'd like about your milk thistle. I happen to respectfully and conservatively disagree.

Be well, BY



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