Milk thistle benefits your liver

Milk thistle benefits are drawn from an herb which grows naturally in the Mediterranean region of Europe but is cultivated in areas of California and some eastern states as well. It is a tall herb with thorny leaves and reddish-purple flowers. Milk thistle produces a milky sap but gets its name because it stimulates milk production in women. The parts of the milk thistle used for medicinal purposes are the achenes, which are small, hard fruits that resemble seeds. The active ingredient produced by the achenes is known as silymarin, which is an antioxidant that helps prevent free radical damage. It has been used for more than 2,000 years primarily to help with liver problems because it has the ability to prevent and offset damage to the liver caused by various toxins such as alcohol or medications.

Milk thistle Benefits

  • Protects the liver
  • Helps heal damaged liver cells
  • Reduces liver and bile cholesterol
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Limits liver damage resulting from decreased oxygen supply

Evidence for Milk thistle Benefits have been found in various studies. In a laboratory rat study, silymarin has been shown to decrease lipid peroxidation in the liver which is caused by toxic drug poisons and heavy metals.

In another study involving rats, it was shown that silymarin accelerated the production of new, healthy liver cells to replace damaged liver cells.

A study involving rabbits with liver damage showed that those supplemented with milk thistle had an increased survival rate than those not taking milk thistle.

Human studies have been conducted with the same results as the animal studies. However, individuals with less severe liver damage have experienced more milk thistle benefits.

Milk thistle has been shown to be virtually free of any side effects. However, no long-term studies have been conducted using milk thistle. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take milk thistle without a doctor’s permission.

Recommended doses of milk thistle are usually around 175 mg of 80% silymarin extract, taken 1-3 times daily. Clinical studies have shown that individuals taking milk thistle should experience improvement within eight to twelve weeks.

Our personal suggestion for a health supplement combining milk thistle benefits with other nutrients.


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