Silymarin Milk Thistle – The Ultimate Liver Supplement

Madhura Mohan

Posted on April 04 2020

The modern hectic lifestyle presents compromised diet challenges, relying on fast foods, processed foods and high-calorie foods which could be overwhelming the liver. Moreover, in the present-day world, people are overworked, fatigued and are constantly bombarded with toxins from food and environmental pollution. These factors directly impact the liver as a result of which our liver is working harder than ever. When pushed to the limit and beyond, the liver (which is the chief organ of detoxification) in the body requires support.

The scientific research underscores milk thistle’s significant benefits to defend the liver against the effects of toxins and its ability to optimize liver performance. This article will take you through the milk thistle’s purported benefits for liver health.

Read on to know how the organ of detoxification gets help from silymarin milk thistle

What Is Milk Thistle?

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a herbaceous plant of the Asteraceae family which typically has prickly stem and leaves, which appear shiny with white veins and rounded heads of purple flowers. It is a biennial or annual plant that grows up to 1 meter tall and has a branched stem. Milk thistle is also known by other names Mary thistle, Holy thistle, Scotch thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle.

Highly regarded for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and its potential to benefit liver health, Silimarn milk thistle has been used in traditional Chinese, European and ayurvedic medicine for more than 2000 years. It originated in southern Europe, Asia Minor and Mediterranean region but now grows around the world. The herb gets its name from the milky white liquid that runs of the milk thistle plant’s leaves when they are crushed. The plant produces shiny, black grey toned-seeds which are used in making the extract.

Before we head towards learning what exactly is silymarin and its purported benefits for the liver, let’s first know what our liver does to our body.

 

Liver Is The Chief Organ Of Detoxification In The Body

I was telling you that our body is constantly being exposed to toxins. As the body’s primary detoxifier, the liver serves as the front line defense against toxins that can cause damage to other organs, including the heart, blood vessels, brain, eyes and skin.  For your information, the liver performs round the clockwork and is involved in more than 500 biological functions in the body.

 

Listed below are the top 3 functions of the liver:

>Plays a crucial role in filtering the blood and produces bile to aid digestion.

>Oversees processes like detoxification, cleansing, and production of enzymes for correct maintenance of bodily functions. Maintains proper glucose levels in the body.

>Helps in metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, fats and maintains good energy levels.

 

What Is Silymarin? Is It The Same As Milk Thistle?

Silymarin is a bioflavonoid complex (composed of silybinin, silydianin and silychristin) and an active ingredient in milk thistle, which is known for its liver-protecting abilities. The phytonutrient, silymarin has been conclusively shown to both protect the liver from multiple forms of damage induced by toxins, infectious agents, metabolic burdens like excess calorie intake, alcohol and environmental pollution like air, water and so on. Did you know? Silymarin is a more potent antioxidant than vitamin E. The term Silymarin and Milk Thistle although are often used interchangeably, there lies a difference between them. Milk thistle is a herb from which the active ingredient Silymarin is extracted.

You’ll now understand when I say, silymarin supplement is nothing but a standardized extract of the milk thistle seeds that contain a mixture of flavonoids.

 

How Does A Silymarin Supplement Benefit Our Liver?

There is well-supported evidence to prove silymarin’s benefits for liver health. The expert herbalists have now started suggesting silymarin milk thistle supplements as the herbal remedy for preventing and helping with liver disorders that include hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and fatty liver associated with alcohol and to maintain liver health optimization.

 

Here Are The Top 8 Benefits Of Silymarin For Liver:

1. Silymarin interacts with liver cell membranes and guards the liver cells by blocking binding sites and hindering the uptake of toxins.

2. Strengthens liver cell walls to prevent toxins from entering the cell and stimulates enzymes that make the toxins less harmful to the body.

3. Boosts the production of glutathione, which is known as the ‘master antioxidant’ that defends the body against degenerative diseases.

4.As a potent antioxidant, silymarin blocks the damaging effect of free radicals on the liver.

5. Protects the liver from damage caused by overdosage of prescribed medication, like antidepressants, acetaminophen, antipsychotic and cholesterol-lowering drugs.

6. Stimulates the formation of new liver cells to replace those that are damaged.

7. Helps inhibit lipid peroxidation in the liver cells.

8. Inhibits inflammation of the liver by altering liver kupffer cell action.

 

How To Choose The Right Silymarin Supplement?

                                                                                                                  There are enormous supplements of silymarin sold on the market. I recommend you to look for a high-quality product which offers 250mg-400mg milk thistle extract per capsule and the ones labelled as standardized to contain 80% silymarin. The higher concentration of milk thistle can help with bioavailability and absorption meaning more effectiveness. High-quality milk thistle capsules should be completely free of gluten, wheat, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.

Does Silymarin Produce Any Side Effects?

Silymarin milk thistle is extremely well-tolerated and is free of significant side-effects. It has no significant interactions with drugs. It has shown to possess a good safety profile. At high doses, Silymarin may cause a laxative effect due to increased bile secretion and bile flow.

Pregnant, diabetic and nursing women are suggested to consult a physician before embarking on supplementation.

 

Don’t let the poor liver functions to throw an open invitation to diseases and illness…

Incorporate Silymarin, a powerful herbal supplement to restore, rejuvenate and optimize your liver function…

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Also read: Curcumin - the master anti-inflammatory herb

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