Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 77–84 | Cite as

Metabolic and vascular effects of silybin in hypertensive patients with high 1-h post-load plasma glucose

  • Angela SciacquaEmail author
  • Maria Perticone
  • Giovanni Tripepi
  • Desire Addesi
  • Velia Cassano
  • Raffaele Maio
  • Giorgio Sesti
  • Francesco Perticone


Hypertensive patients with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) but 1-h post-load plasma glucose ≥ 155 mg/dl (1-h high), during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), show higher insulin resistance and multiple target organ damages. Experimental and clinical studies demonstrate that silybin presents anti-inflammatory and metabolic effects, improving insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction. This study aims to evaluate the effects of the complex silybin–vitamin E and phospholipids on inflammatory, metabolic and vascular parameters in NGT 1-h high hypertensive patients. This is a pilot, single arm, interventional, longitudinal study enrolling 50 Caucasian NGT 1-h high hypertensive outpatients, 27 men and 23 women, age range 42–60 years (mean + SD = 52 ± 7). After 6 months of silybin intake, there is a significant improvement in metabolic profile. The glucose response during OGTT significantly improves (AUCglucose0–120 309.6 ± 63.4 at baseline vs 254.6 ± 35.5 at the follow-up, ∆ = − 55, 95% CI from − 67 to − 43, p < 0.0001), so as insulin response (AUCinsulin0–120 238.2 ± 99.1 vs 159.3 ± 44.9, ∆ = − 78.9, 95% CI from − 100.0 to − 57.8, p < 0.0001), in accordance with the increase of insulin sensitivity index Matsuda. Silybin intake is associated with a significant reduction of both clinical and central systolic blood pressure, with betterment in clinical and central pulse pressure and reduction of arterial stiffness parameters. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that silybin may improve the metabolic aspect and vascular damage in NGT 1-h high hypertensive patients who are at higher metabolic and cardiovascular risk. Thus, in these patients, silybin might strengthen the effect of antihypertensive drugs giving further cardiovascular protection.


Silybin Essential hypertension Insulin resistance Vascular damage 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statements on human and animal rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Medicina Interna 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical and Surgical SciencesUniversity Magna Græcia of CatanzaroCatanzaroItaly
  2. 2.Department of Experimental and Clinical MedicineUniversity Magna Græcia of CatanzaroCatanzaroItaly
  3. 3.CNR-IFC, Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica, Clinical Epidemiology and Physiopathology of Renal Diseases and HypertensionReggio CalabriaItaly
  4. 4.Internal Medicine UnitPugliese-Ciaccio HospitalCatanzaroItaly

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