A compound found in milk thistle, a natural remedy used in traditional healing practices for more than 2,000 years, may offer a new way to prevent skin cancer and heal damage that develops from two types of ultraviolent radiation from sunlight or other sources.
Two University of Colorado Cancer Center studies published this month found that the milk thistle extract, silibinin, kills skin cells mutated by UVA radiation and also protects against damage by UVB radiation.
"When you have a cell affected by UV radiation, you either want to repair it or kill it so that it cannot go on to cause cancer,” said researcher Rajesh Agarwal, a cancer prevention specialist at the CU Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “We show that silibinin does both."
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