Milk thistle is commonly used as a natural remedy for a variety of health problems. Milk thistle is a plant that comes from the same family as the flower daisy and is usually grown in the Mediterranean.
The main active ingredient in milk thistle seeds is called silymarin. Silymarin is an antioxidant that is known to protect the liver by ensuring proper liver function and detoxification. It’s also said to repair liver cell damage caused by diseases, such as drugs or alcohol. However, milk thistle has also been said to treat several other health issues. The most common ways to consume milk thistle are by taking it as a supplement or brewing it as a tea.
Here are 7 benefits of milk thistle
1. Liver Protection
Milk thistle is commonly used to remedy liver problems.
Researchers believe that silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle protects the liver. It acts as an antioxidant by reducing the production of free radicals. This allows the body to fend off toxins by blocking entry to the liver cell. This detoxifying affect is the reason many scientists believe milk thistle is beneficial in treating liver problems. Milk thistle has also been found to neutralize toxins already in the cell. These neutralized toxins are then removed either through the bloodstream or through the bowel, urine, and sweat.
Milk thistle has been found to improve inflammatory conditions.
Milk thistle reduces damage to the cells caused by inflammatory conditions. This is done by inhibiting the chemical mediators that cause inflammation in the body.
According to one study, milk thistle has been found to have antioxidant and anti-aging effects on human skin cells. Researchers discovered that people who took 210 g of silymarin daily for 8 weeks experienced a 53% decrease in acne. However, more research is needed on the effects of milk thistle on the skin.
3. Lowers Cholesterol
Having high cholesterol has been linked to issues causing heart health and increases a person's chance of having a stroke.
One study suggest that milk thistle plays a critical role in keeping cholesterol levels down. The study concluded that people taking milk thistle to treat diabetes had lower levels of cholesterol than those who didn’t take milk thistle.
4. Promotes Brain Health
Milk thistle has been found to help improve cognitive function.
Researchers suggest that silymarin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may protect your brain from damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, one study found that milk thistle increased resistance to oxidative stress which is a potential cause of Alzheimer's disease. Supplementing with milk thistle can also promote healthier brain function as you age and improve cognition.
5. Supports the Immune System
Studies done on milk thistle have been shown to boost a person’s immune system and help them fight off infections.
Both animal and human studies suggest that milk thistle extract improves immunity and has a positive effect on the immune response. However, there is limited research on the effects of milk thistle on the immune system and more evidence is needed before scientists can say for certain what the effects of it are on a person’s immune system.
6. Supports Bone Health
A study done in 2013 found that milk thistle can help stave off bone loss. It plays a vital role in the support of bone health.
Silymarin’s antioxidant properties have been found to exert a genetic influence that can help prevent bone loss and stimulate the growth of new bones. One study specifically looked at bone loss caused by an estrogen deficiency and found that milk thistle improved bone health.
Further studies are needed before researchers can conclude that milk thistle supports bone health in humans.
7. Reduces Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is typically an issue for people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
One study done on mice, found that milk thistle helped reduce insulin resistance. Furthermore, researchers suggest that milk thistle may play a role in managing diabetes. The silymarin found in milk thistle has the potential to lower your blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Milk thistles main active ingredient which is an antioxidant known as silymarin has a range of potential health benefits. Milk thistle’s benefits range from immune system support to treatment in people with type 2 diabetes. It is a great supplement and may be worth trying if you want to experience its benefits.
Create your own milk thistle supplement at home using empty capsules and accessories by Capsuline. Our vegetarian and gelatin empty capsules make it extremely simple. They can easily be pulled apart, filled, and snapped back together. Try making your own milk thistle supplement today!
This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.