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The Importance of Milk Thistle Supplements

What is Milk Thistle?

Milk thistle is a natural herbal treatment, originally made from a particular flower in the ragweed family. Other terms for milk thistle include Mary thistle, holy thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle, and Marian thistle. Scientifically it is silymarin.  

Initially, from the Mediterranean countries, milk thistle spread all over the world, because some studies prove its benefits in treating some medical conditions, such as gallbladder, jaundice, Hepatitis, heart disease, and type II diabetes.

It contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances.

How does Milk Thistle work?

Many people everyday claim that milk thistle helps them overcome the symptoms of some medical problems, and it improves their lifestyle as well.

It may support weight loss; bone density boosts the immune system, and even improves skin health.

 Besides, its antioxidant content helps slow the decline in brain functions in older people.

Some people use it to limit menstrual pain, bloating, and depression.   

Facts about milk thistle and some health conditions

Milk thistle and heart disease:

There are no significant scientific studies that prove a prominent role of milk thistle in controlling heart disease. Studies only demonstrated its noticeable effect in lowering LDL harmful cholesterol levels. And this subsequently will improve cardiac problems. Although most results are from people, who suffer from diabetic disease and have high cholesterol rates.


Milk thistle and liver:   

There are many mixed results regarding the connection between milk thistle supplement and curing liver disease. Some people say they experience better symptoms after taking it. Although, limited studies say that milk thistle may repair some liver cells, and helps in keeping toxins away from the liver.

On the other hand, there is significant evidence that milk thistle treats a type of mushroom poisoning called Amanita phalloides. It's the leading cause of deaths occurrences from eating mushrooms each year. This type of poisoning causes liver failure and the significant effect of milk thistle in treating this kind of poisoning are widely proved.    

Milk thistle and type two diabetes:

According to many studies, Milk thistle helps improve insulin resistance; it lowers blood sugar and cholesterol as well in people who have diabetes.

However, people who have diabetes are not advised to take milk thistle as a substitute for diabetic medications. And they should first consult their doctors before taking the supplement because it may interfere with the medicines.


Milk thistle and Hepatitis:

Milk thistle doesn't cure Hepatitis. It can ease the symptoms of the disease or the side effects of its medications. But until today, no concrete evidence of its curable role, however some specialists claim it has a placebo effect on the patients.

Patients should consult their doctors before the usage of the supplement to make sure it goes well with other medications.


Milk thistle and cancer:

Long term treatment with chemotherapy usually causes liver inflammation. Milk thistle reduces the side effects of chemotherapy in cancer treatment, and helpful in controlling this inflammation for a longer time without liver damage.

The side effects:

Milk thistle has many side effects, so patients should be cautious while using it. The side effects can be mild; and some of them are:

  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Itching and rash
  • Nausea

Estrogen-like side effects, so women with uterine, breast, and or ovarian cancer shouldn't use it.

In conclusion, as people move from over the counter medicaments to natural supplements, old traditional treatments methods are awaken and new healing remedies are discovered.


We want to know if you have used milk thistle before. So leave a comment now, for it will help us and useful information to our write-up.