Loisel, F., Quesnel, H. and Farmer, C. 2013. Short Communication: Effect of silymarin (Silybum marianum) treatment on prolactin concentrations in cyclic sows. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 93: 227-230. An extract (silymarin) from the plant Silybum marianum (milk thistle) was shown to increase circulating concentrations of prolactin in cycling rats. A dose-response study was undertaken to determine if silymarin does have hyperprolactinemic properties in cycling swine. Forty-four weaned sows were allotted to four groups receiving 0, 1, 2 or 4 g d-1 of silymarin over a period of 8 d. Blood samples were obtained on days 1 (first day of treatment starting 24 to 48 h after the onset of the standing estrus), 2, 3, and 9. Prolactin, progesterone, estradiol-17β and leptin concentrations were determined. Silymarin did not increase prolactin concentrations at any of the doses studied, nor did it affect concentrations of the other hormones (P>0.1).
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