01- Jul-2021

What does Silymarin Milk Thistle do for Liver?

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Dt. Kamna Desai
Dietitian. Kamna Desai
- Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics & Hospital Food Service.
- Certified Diabetes Educator.

The active ingredient in Milk Thistle is called Silymarin. Silymarin is a mixture of flavonolignans from the species Silybum Marianum which is an annual or biennial plant of the family Asteraceae. It is mainly used for treating liver disorders. Even if you do not have liver damage or disease, Silymarinis a potent aid in liver cleanse. It may help improve liver function by aiding removal of toxins from the body, i.e., Liver cleanse. Silymarin is strongly recommended as supportive treatment in various liver diseases.

The active ingredient in Milk Thistle is called Silymarin. Silymarin is a mixture of flavonolignans from the species Silybum Marianum which is an annual or biennial plant of the family Asteraceae. It is mainly used for treating liver disorders. Even if you do not have liver damage or disease, Silymarinis a potent aid in liver cleanse. It may help improve liver function by aiding removal of toxins from the body, i.e., Liver cleanse. Silymarin is strongly recommended as supportive treatment in various liver diseases.

Silymarin reduces the oxidative damage produced by alcohol metabolism. Itis a powerful antioxidant that protects the liver. It acts as a free radical scavenger and modulates enzymes associated with the development of cellular damage, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. These hepatoprotective effects of Silymarin were observed in clinical studies in patients with alcoholic or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), including patients with cirrhosis.

Studies show that silymarin may help ease inflammation and promote cell repair. This may help ease symptoms from liver diseases like jaundice, cirrhosis, liver cancer and fatty liver disease.

Milk Thistle is also commonly used by HIV patients for the management of antiretroviral-induced hepatotoxicity or liver disease caused by co-infection with hepatitis B or C.

Also, there is early promising research suggesting that a combination of milk thistle along with phosphatidylcholine and vitamin E consumed orally for 12 months could possibly improve liver function tests in people with liver disease that is not caused by alcoholism.

Effect of milk thistle on various liver damage due to chemicals needs more research. While taking silymarin does improve liver function test (LFT) in individuals exposed to chemicals toluene or xylene but the same may not help in case of other chemical poisoning.

No wonder silymarin is the most used natural compound for the treatment of hepatic disease world over. Some sources recommend milk thistle extract containing 200 – 400 mg/day of silymarin as an effective dose for various liver ailments. It is available in supplemental form either as Milk thistle capsules , tablets, tincture, and intravenous solution. Apart from the liver protecting properties, it is also used to treat or manage various types of disorders such as inflammation, type 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cholesterol, cancer, etc. Milk thistle is also taken by mouth for loss of appetite, dyspepsia, enlarged prostate (BPH), gallbladder & uterine complaints, etc. Allergy and infertility treatments give better results in conjunction with milk thistle supplements. We need more evidence-based research to prove the benefits of milk thistle for hangover, depression, and menstrual problems.

Though milk thistle capsules are generally regarded as safe. It is imperative to talk to your healthcare provider or dietitian if you are already taking any medication for the liver.

You can buy BestSource Nutrition’s Milk thistle extract capsules which is standardized to 80% Silymarin, available online.

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