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Review

Presence of Mycotoxins in Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Food Supplements: A Review

1
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Hradec Kralove, Rokitanskeho 62, CZ-50003 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
2
Center for Health, National Institute of Public Health in Prague, Nutrition and Food in Brno, Palackeho 3a, CZ-61242 Brno, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2020, 12(12), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12120782
Received: 26 November 2020 / Revised: 4 December 2020 / Accepted: 6 December 2020 / Published: 8 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence and Risk Assessment of Mycotoxins)
The consumption of herbal-based supplements, which are believed to have beneficial effects on human health with no side effects, has become popular around the world and this trend is still increasing. Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn, commonly known as milk thistle (MT), is the most commonly studied herb associated with the treatment of liver diseases. The hepatoprotective effects of active substances in silymarin, with silybin being the main compound, have been demonstrated in many studies. However, MT can be affected by toxigenic micro-fungi and contaminated by mycotoxins with adverse effects. The beneficial effect of silymarin can thus be reduced or totally antagonized by mycotoxins. MT has proven to be affected by micro-fungi of the Fusarium and Alternaria genera, in particular, and their mycotoxins. Alternariol-methyl-ether (AME), alternariol (AOH), beauvericin (BEA), deoxynivalenol (DON), enniatin A (ENNA), enniatin A1 (ENNA1), enniatin B (ENNB), enniatin B1 (ENNB1), HT-2 toxin (HT-2), T-2 toxin (T-2), tentoxin (TEN), and zearalenone (ZEA) seem to be most significant in MT-based dietary supplements. This review focuses on summarizing cases of mycotoxins in MT to emphasize the need for strict monitoring and regulation, as mycotoxins in relation with MT-based dietary supplements are not covered by European Union legislation. View Full-Text
Keywords: milk thistle; food supplements; liver diseases; silymarin; mycotoxins milk thistle; food supplements; liver diseases; silymarin; mycotoxins
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pickova, D.; Ostry, V.; Toman, J.; Malir, F. Presence of Mycotoxins in Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Food Supplements: A Review. Toxins 2020, 12, 782. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12120782

AMA Style

Pickova D, Ostry V, Toman J, Malir F. Presence of Mycotoxins in Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Food Supplements: A Review. Toxins. 2020; 12(12):782. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12120782

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pickova, Darina, Vladimir Ostry, Jakub Toman, and Frantisek Malir. 2020. "Presence of Mycotoxins in Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Food Supplements: A Review" Toxins 12, no. 12: 782. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12120782

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