Milk thistle is a herbal remedy derived from the milk thistle plant, known as Silybum marianum. Milk thistle is composed of four flavonoid compounds - silibinin, isosilybin, silymarin, and silybin. The active ingredient in milk thistle is known as silymarin.

Does Milk Thistle Work for Liver diseases?

Some studies show that milk thistle offers possible benefits for people with liver problems such as reducing liver inflammation and liver damage.

It is regularly used as a complementary therapy by people who have liver damage due to conditions like alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and even liver cancer. (1)

Table of Contents

List of Top 4 Milk Thistle Supplements For Liver Repair

1 - Milk Thistle Pills 1000mg by Nature's Bounty

Nature's Bounty Milk Thistle supplements have been traditionally used for liver health. The exceptional benefits of this concentrated herb are due to powerful antioxidant properties, which help to support health and well-being.

It is made with the finest quality herbs and spices. Each is screened and finely milled for quick release.

Pros
  • Beneficial antioxidant
  • Effective for liver health
  • Contributes overall health and well-being
  • GMP certified
Cons
  • Contains soy ingredients
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2 - Milk Thistle 250mg by Nutricost

Nutricost Milk Thistle 250mg contains 80% Silymarin Flavonoids. It has been used as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments.

 

Nutricost
Pros
  • Supply of 250mg high-quality Milk Thistle
  • Premium Grade, 80% Silymarin Flavonoids
  • Non-GMO & gluten-free
  • Vegan
Cons
  • Contains rice flour as filler
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3 - Milk Thistle by Jarrow Formulas

Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle Silymarin (Silybum marianum) 30:1 extract is standardized to contain 80% total Milk Thistle seed flavonoids, including the important Silymarin fractions isosilybinins A and B, silybinins A and B, silychristin and silydianin.

This particular group of flavonoids, collectively known as Silymarin, supports liver function by helping to maintain protective glutathione levels.

Jarrow Formulas Product
Pros
  • It helps to normalize high ALT/AST.
  • Milk thistle boosts your health and makes you feel better.
  • Effectively minimizes and reverses liver toxins.
  • Eliminates pain caused by Primary Biliary Cirrhosis.
  • Notice weight loss from using this product.
  • Great for the prevention of hormonal acne.
Cons
  • Milk thistle gave some users bad acid reflux.
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4 - Milk Thistle by Nature's Way

Nature's Way Milk Thistle is standardized to ensure consistent levels of silymarin.

Milk Thistle has been used for over 2,000 years. There's a specific substance in Milk Thistle called silymarin that has been shown to support liver function.

Our Standardized Milk Thistle extract is carefully tested and produced to superior quality standards.

Natures Way
Pros
  • Supports liver function
  • Vegetarian, Non-GMO, Gluten-free
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Cons
  • May cause nausea
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How Milk Thistle is Beneficial For Your Liver?

Milk Thistle plant

Milk thistle extract may help protect the liver against damage caused by disease or poisoning. Milk thistle has shown often promoted for its liver-protecting effects. Milk thistle is sometimes used as a natural treatment for liver problems. Milk thistle may aid people with alcohol-related liver disease and show improvement in liver function.

The active ingredient in milk thistle, silymarin, acts as an antioxidant by reducing free radical production. This creates a detoxifying effect, that's why milk thistle may be beneficial for liver problems.

One study also found that it may extend, a little, the life expectancy of people with cirrhosis of the liver due to alcoholic liver disease. (2)

Studies have shown that people with liver diseases, taking milk thistle supplements has improvements in liver function. It could help reduce liver inflammation and liver damage. (3)

What are Other Health Benefits of Milk Thistle?

a woman holding her knee

Protect Your Bones

Milk thistle may be essential in supporting bone health. In a study, it is found that milk thistle helped to prevent bone loss. This study looked specifically at a bone loss caused by a deficiency in estrogen.

One of the studies also suggests that milk thistle may be a useful therapy for preventing or delaying bone loss in postmenopausal women. (4)

Improve Cancer Treatment

Milk thistle may help to stop the spread of certain types of cancer. A review found that milk thistle extract inhibited the growth of cancerous cells in colorectal cancer. It may also make chemotherapy work more effectively against certain cancers.

It has been suggested that the antioxidant effects of silymarin (the active ingredient in milk thistle) may have some anticancer effects, which could be helpful in the improvement of cancer treatment. (5)

Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Milk thistle may be useful as a complementary therapy to manage type 2 diabetes. It has been discovered that one of the compounds in milk thistle may work similarly like some diabetic medications by helping improve insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar. (6)

Treat Skin Problems

Because of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, milk thistle may be a useful supplement for treating acne problems and may help to promote healthy skin. Milk thistle was also found to have anti-aging effects on human skin cells.

Quick FAQs

Where milk thistle plant grow?

Milk thistle is a hardy plant that grows well in all different environments, although it prefers high temperatures and dry conditions. The soil also needs to be well-drained.

What is the recommended Dosage for milk thistle supplement?

There are no specific guidelines directing the appropriate use of milk thistle. But generally, Doses range from 175 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams.

What are the possible side effects of milk thistle?

Milk thistle may trigger some common side effects, including headache, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, and gas. People with allergies to ragweed, daisies, artichokes, kiwi, or plants in the aster family may also be allergic to milk thistle.

What to look for while buying milk thistle supplement?

To ensure quality and safety, choose the supplements that have undergone testing and certification by an independent certifying body like the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), ConsumerLab, and NSF International.

What's the difference between silymarin and silybin?

Silymarin is the whole medicinal extract of the milk thistle plant. It is made up of three key bioflavonoids, including silybin (also called silibinin), silydianin, and silychristin. Silybin normally makes up about 50% of silymarin. Silybin has been shown in clinical studies to be the most beneficial constituent of the milk thistle extract.

Is Milk Thistle Safe?

Milk thistle has a range of potential health benefits due to its active ingredient, silymarin, which is an antioxidant. In my opinion, it has a lot more health benefits for body immunity and it is a healthful supplement that may be worth trying alongside conventional treatments.

But it is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional before consuming milk thistle or any other supplement, because it may interact with other medications depending on your health conditions.

 

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