What does milk thistle do

what does milk thistle do

How Long Does It Take for Milk Thistle to Work?

Dec 10, Silymarin is an antioxidant compound taken from milk thistle seeds. Its unclear what benefits, if any, it may have in the body, but its sometimes . Jul 23, Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a perennial herb believed to have medicinal properties. The seeds contain silymarin, a group of compounds said to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Milk thistle is commonly used as a home remedy to treat liver problems, often under the presumption that it will "detoxify" the liver.

Find out the many uses of milk thistle, as well as factors that can determine how long someone may need to how to remove a stripped allen head screw milk thistle for it to work and do its job.

Milk thistle may improve the way the hepatic system works when injured, diseased or under chronic toxic overload. Reviews of the literature on efficacy and treatment duration are often contradictory as to wbat vs.

However, overwhelming small clinical trials exist to show the effectiveness of milk thistle on the support of liver related diseases including those wha blood sugar problems or cancer 1, 2 regardless thstle study design duration. Milk thistle silymarin affects health primarily through its antioxidant abilities. Nilk milk thistle acts as a free radical scavenger and modulates the enzymes that cause liver cellular damage, fibrosis and cirrhosis.

By decreasing cellular oxidative stress and cytotoxicity, silymarin protects those liver cells that have not been damaged irreversibly 2. Approximately 2 million people a year die of liver disease with few treatments for these conditions other than lifestyle.

The therapeutic attention on the use of milk thistle for liver disease has received a great deal of attention in the past 20 years due to its well-documented antioxidant and liver-protecting effects in conjunction with an excellent safety profile.

Milk thistle is currently used for the treatment of toxin-induced liver injury, for its inhibition of progressive hepatic fibrosis and the prevention of cirrhosis, for its antifibrogenic effects in alcohol-induced cirrhosis and for modulation of insulin resistance. Bioavailability of the formulation used is paramount both in study results and clinical endpoints obtained for the dosage given.

Reviews of studies may show little effect from small doses but statistical effects from large doses and the form of milk thistle may have made a difference in the amount needed to make a statistical change 14. The state of liver damage and effectiveness is deos correlated. The timing of delivery of milk thistle is imperative with earlier interventions faring better 4. Whar the milk thistle extract to silybin, the most biologically active component in milk thistle, also makes a positive difference in treatment duration.

Using the most bioavailable form of milk thistle or silybin, studies have shown the thistld dosage to be mg in three divided doses. The doses are divided thiste to the short half-life of the herb. A review of clinical data across five studies showed a pooled liver-related mortality rate of 4. Studies suggest that silymarin should imlk approved for liver support, not for treatment of viral hepatitis.

Baseline use was associated with significantly less histological damage in patients with chronic hepatitis C in a cohort of Egyptian patients over a month period doess time and an increase in quality of life scores 2.

Other studies show a preliminary decrease in liver enzymes in thixtle liver disease at four weeks with the significance of the decrease in liver enzymes unknown 2. In other words, the blood samples were not correlated with histological data or other liver function tests. Improvement in oxidative stress patterns is responsible for improved insulin-signaling and liver cell functioning.

Some doss show no improvement in fasting blood glucose levels at three months but show improved values in HBA1C only. These results not only highlight the inconsistency but point towards a potential deeper clinical response with a longer duration of treatment. The 48 weeklong treatment at such a high dosage yielded improvements in liver histology, noninvasive markers of hepatic fibrosis and liver function parameters vs.

Oxidative stress is the key pathogenic ingredient in NASH, milj treatment with silymarin and its strong antioxidant capabilities and ability to stimulate glutathione all whay towards recovery of the liver cell. Preventive lifestyle changes remain the treatment of choice but are not the chosen option of some.

The treatment of drug induced liver toxicity met with controversy with study results dependent on the ability of milk thistle to lower superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that breaks down toxic molecules.

According how to write project abstract the literature, how to draw shadows of people therapy reduced the possibility of developing drug thostle liver toxicity more effectively than it treated it after the thhistle.

Contrarily, a German study showed that silymarin improved quality of life scores i. Taking what does milk thistle do specific extract of milk thistle and other herbs Iberogast taken orally for four weeks 1 ml 3x day seemed to relieve the whar of acid reflux, epigastric pain, cramping, nausea and vomiting compared to placebo 3.

A human trial containing mg in 3 divided doses for 12 weeks was effective on a study of thalassemia patients, and most clinicians agree that taking milk thistle in addition to iron chelation therapy is more effective than chelation therapy alone 5. A combination of milk thistle, diet and exercise reduced cholesterol by While milk thistle is used for ghistle conditions, most human trials that show effectiveness run for several weeks 5 and most need more human data.

While effects on some parameters may be seen in weeks, more than likely, chronic conditions will need to be treated for several months to achieve the best outcome. Duration of treatment of up to weeks is considered safe 25. Milk thistle should be taken 30 minutes prior to a meal for maximum absorption.

Consumption in the form of tea is not recommended as it is poorly soluble in water. Solubility is increased when combined with phosphatidylcholine.

Degree of effectiveness relative to treatment duration is thisfle in the literature but seems to have deeper functional meaning for chronic disease and longer-term use of a standardized extract of wgat mixed with phospholipids. Kathy Shattler has been a Registered Dietitian for over 25 years and currently runs her own Telehealth Clinic while freelance writing in her spare time.

She graduated with a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from Michigan State University and has a plethora of experience in both clinical nutrition as well as public health.

She has been deemed a trailblazer in her profession and continues to strive for excellence in public health education in integrative medicine. You'll also receive our newsletter and special offers whar support liver health. You should receive your email with links to the reports shortly. If you still haven't received our email after a few minutes, please feel free to contact us.

Murray N. Kaur, A. Milk thistle: A review. International Journal of Pharma. Hartmut and Schmidt, J. Silymarin as supportive treatment in liver diseases: A narrative review. Adv Ther. TRC Natural Medicines. Role of silymarin in the management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: Time to clear the mist.

Functional Foods in Health and Disease9 5 What socks do nba players wear from DOI: About the Author. Email address. Whwt You! Close Window.

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Sep 29, Milk thistle has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in treating heartburn, or seasonal allergy symptoms. Milk thistle may have been combined with other plants or extracts in a specific preparation to treat these loveallfind.com class: Herbal products. Sep 20, Milk thistle is a natural herb with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Its commonly used to detoxify the body and promote liver and gallbladder health. Also known by its scientific name, Silybum marianum, milk thistle grows mostly in California, although it can be grown in many other warm climates as well. Sep 14, Milk thistle oil is also rich in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant and helps the body fight free radicals. This in turn supports skin and eye health as well as the immune system. So, now that weve established that milk thistle is pretty good for you, lets look at .

Milk thistle is a natural herb with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Also known by its scientific name, Silybum marianum, milk thistle grows mostly in California, although it can be grown in many other warm climates as well.

Other benefits include promoting healthy digestive function, increasing bile production, decreasing inflammation and soothing the mucous membranes throughout the body. The milk thistle plant is a popular herb that has actually been used for over 2, years. The plant is native to the Mediterranean region and a member of the Asteraceae plant family, which also includes other plants like sunflowers and daisies.

Milk thistle is commonly used for everything from weight loss to skin health to promoting breast milk production. However, while there are many different potential benefits, it is most well-known for being a natural liver supporter and is sometimes used to help treat liver diseases such as cirrhosis, jaundice and hepatitis, as well as gallbladder problems. There are a variety of milk thistle products available, and the seeds and leaves of the milk thistle plant can be consumed either in pill, powder, tincture, extract or tea form.

The seeds can actually be eaten completely raw, too, but usually people prefer to take a milk thistle extract or supplement in order to consume a higher dose and see greater results. As a liver support and liver aid, milk thistle acts as a powerful liver cleanser by rebuilding liver cells, reducing liver damage and removing toxins from the body that are processed through the liver. Milk thistle is effective at naturally reversing toxicity in the body, including the harmful effects of alcohol consumption, pesticides in our food supply, heavy metals in our water supply and pollution in the air that we breathe.

The liver is actually our largest internal organ and is responsible for performing a number of essential detoxifying functions. The condition of our blood throughout our whole body is mostly reliant on the health of our liver. The liver helps remove toxicity and harmful substances from our blood, aids in hormone production, detoxifies the body, releases sugar into the bloodstream in order to give our body steady energy and secretes bile into our small intestine so fat can be absorbed from foods.

You can see why liver problems and poor liver function can create so many problems! Milk thistle has been historically used for a variety of liver diseases , including:. Milk thistle seed is a great source of the antioxidant flavonoid called silymarin, which is actually composed of several other active compounds known as flavolignans. Silymarin may help reduce the risk for cancer development including breast cancer by boosting the immune system, fighting DNA damage and reversing cancerous tumor growth.

In addition to blocking breast cancer, test-tube and animal studies show that silmarin may also protect against several other types of cancer as well, including lung cancer and prostate cancer. In , after reviewing numerous studies involving milk thistle therapeutic treatments, researchers at the University of Minnesota reported :. About 50 percent to 70 percent of the silymarin molecules present within milk thistle are the type called silybin, also known as silibinin. This antioxidant stimulates protein synthesis and changes the outside layer of healthy cells, keeping them protected from damage and mutation.

It also inhibits toxins from dwelling in the body, helps with cell renewal and counteracts the harmful effects of pollutants, chemicals and heavy metals that can cause free radical damage. Silymarin acts as a cancer protector by blocking the binding of toxins to the cell membrane receptors, according to researchers at the University Magna Graecia Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine. Milk thistle benefits heart health and helps lower high cholesterol levels by reducing inflammation, cleaning the blood and preventing oxidative stress damage within the arteries.

Although more formal research is still needed, preliminary studies show that when silymarin is used in combination with other traditional treatment methods, it can improve levels of total cholesterol, bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Something important to keep in mind, however, is that existing studies on possible heart benefits of milk thistle have only been done involving people with diabetes, who tend to have high cholesterol levels. The valuable antioxidants found in milk thistle have been reported in experimental and clinical studies to help decrease blood sugar levels in people with insulin resistance.

One study conducted by the Department of Pharmacology at the Institute of Medicinal Plants found that when diabetic patients were given silymarin extract over a four-month period, their fasting blood sugar and insulin levels improved significantly compared to patients receiving a placebo. This is likely true because the liver is partially responsible for regulating hormones, including the release of insulin into the bloodstream.

Insulin is responsible for managing blood sugar levels in the blood, which is especially important for those with diabetes. The liver is a major digestive organ, which helps process nutrients and toxins that enter our body through foods, water and air.

Because the liver and other digestive organs, like the gallbladder, pancreas, intestines and kidneys, work closely together to improve liver health, milk thistle is also able to help prevent gallstones and kidney stones. Gallstones are formed when cholesterol and other matter within your bile bind together. This is problematic because they can become more solid and get lodged in the inner lining of your gallbladder. Thanks to the antioxidant content of milk thistle, the herb may actually help slow the aging process.

This applies to both the surface of your skin and your organs, as antioxidants can protect your body from chronic disease. Although the research on this topic is limited to mostly animal studies, one trial published in Photochemistry and Photobiology found that silymarin protected the skin of mice from UV-induced oxidative stress and helped reduce inflammation. It can help prevent damage to important cellular components caused by reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals. Instead of using a milk thistle supplement, can also try consuming it in tea form to maximize the potential health benefits.

Each small plant head contains about seeds that can be used in various ways. If you purchase or grow a milk thistle plant, cut off the entire head and hang the plant upside down for about one week to draw out the seeds. You can then crush the seeds and steep them, along with the leaves, to make tea, eat them raw or dry them into powder form. Keep the seeds and leaves in the freezer to make them last longer and retain their powerful nutrients.

The amount of active ingredients can vary widely depending on the different preparation methods used and the brand. Currently, there are several different milk thistle tablets, capsules and softgels available on the market, all of which recommend different doses. Milk thistle is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, with very few cases of side effects reported. When taken within the recommended dose range, however, it is thought to be effective and mostly free of allergic reactions.

Milk thistle may interact with some medications, including allergy medicines, anti-anxiety drugs and blood thinners, among others. If you are taking any medications, speak with your health care provider to prevent any milk thistle interactions before starting supplementation. It also has estrogenic effects, meaning that it mimics the effects of estrogen in the body. If you have hormone-sensitive conditions such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis or ovarian cancer, you should consult with your doctor before starting supplementation.

Also note that antioxidants like those found in milk thistle have been shown to possibly interfere with the efficacy of some cancer chemotherapy drugs by protecting cancer cells from cell death. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world What Is Milk Thistle? More Nutrition Dr. Axe on Facebook 22 Dr. Axe on Twitter 19 Dr. Axe on Instagram Dr. Axe on Google Plus Dr. Axe on Youtube Dr.

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