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08- May-2017

How to choose Best Milk Thistle Supplement?*

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Dt.Chhavi_Goel_Manglik
Dt. Pooja Maheshwari
Research Dietician, CDE, N.D.D.Y.

Milk Thistle seeds or silymarin provide a number of benefits for liver health. This article will guide you about how to pick best Milk Thistle supplement.

The liver is the most dynamic organ of the body and is responsible for hundreds of biological actions that the body needs to survive. The liver protects the body from toxins (coming from food, drugs & drink) by detoxification. The liver can get toxic due to the following reasons:

  • Daily exposure to high levels of toxins as water contaminants, food preservatives, chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals and electromagnetic radiation, all are which are present in our food, air, water and home products.
  • Consumption of alcohol can damage the liver. Alcohol can lead to inflammation and destruction of liver cells due to excess dehydration.
  • Continuous intake of medications or antibiotics, people who are suffering with various diseases.
  • Gym goers routinely consume protein powders and steroids for muscle mass gain, which ultimately put burden on the liver for generating more toxic waste than normal.

A toxic liver needs detoxification

Best action is to list your routine sources of toxins to remove their sources,accompanied with lifestyle changes for a natural liver cleanse. Milk Thistle seeds are a blessing from nature to liver. Milk Thistle seeds are an herbal supplement that detoxify and protect liver functions and health. Milk thistle plant, also known as the Holy thistle or Silybum marianum, has an active ingredient called silymarin. Milk Thistle seeds work by leaching out toxins from the body that can cause a range of symptoms and diseases including alcohol abuse, liver degeneration, liver cancer, skin damage and much more. Studies show that silymarin exhibits several anti-inflammatory effects, Kupffer cell inhibition, increase hepatocyte protein synthesis, thereby offering the benefits of promoting hepatic tissue regeneration.

With ample benefits,Milk Thistle seed extract is very popular among the health conscious. Choosing a supplement and making the right choice can often be tough due to the variety of products available. As a dietician, I can easily identify the silymarin supplement offering best benefits that may confuse a layperson. In this article, I offer guidelines for how to choose the best Milk Thistle extract supplement.

Product description– Milk thistle is nature’s miracle for the liver.For daily supplementation,it is vital to know about the product. So detailed information by the manufacturer should provide product ingredients, certification, and license name & number. A reliable brand always offers a quality product and I personally trust Milk Thistle extract from BestSource Nutrition.

Active ingredient–According to the Alternative medicine review, Milk thistle has been used as an herbal medicine for treating liver disease. It shows hepatic protective effects due to its Silymarin content. This active ingredient’s benefits have several mechanisms including acting as an antioxidant, inhibiting lipid peroxidation, and enhancing liver detoxification. Checking the quantity of silymarin, the active component of milk thistle seeds, in supplements is very important. It should ideally be mentioned on the product packing.

Dosage – A Research Review has specified that for getting complete benefits, any product with Milk Thistle seeds or Silybum marianum should be standardized to 70-80% silymarin extract in an encapsulated form, per 100-300 mg. That is why I always recommend Milk Thistle Extract capsule from BestSource Nutrition, which is standardized to 80% silymarin, with a 175 mg veg capsule suggested for a dosage of 2-3 times per day.

Other details– Other details indicate supplement variety (vegetarian / non-vegetarian), manufacturing & expiry dates, and form of the supplement (liquid/capsule). For deriving maximum benefits, one should ensure that the supplement does not contain any fillers or artificial substances.

Side effect narration-A write up about the potential side effects or warnings is very important. It should compulsorily be mentioned on the Milk Thistle supplement pack or be provided in a leaflet inside the pack. Similar to all other supplements, Milk Thistle seeds carry the risk of a few side effects such as allergy with ragweed and cautions for use by pregnant or nursing women, as well as for patients suffering from some medical conditions.

The liver is a vital detoxification organ. To prevent it from becoming overloaded with toxins, select and use the right Milk Thistle Extract supplement to achieve overall health benefits of silymarin.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this section is for informational purposes only. Any views or opinions or claims represented in this content are personal, belong solely to the writer and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the writer may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Bestsourcenutrition.com makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this article.

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Dt. Maithili Pashtekar, Registered Dietician ,P.G.Dip Clinical Nutrition
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