Benefits of Milk Thistle
1. Protects the liver against toxic chemicals:
Although milk thistle is primarily known as a liver protector, it also protects other organs such as the kidneys and heart by defending them against toxins such as heavy metals like lead and mercury. Milk thistle can prevent damage to liver cells that might otherwise occur if these toxins were present in the liver. Milk thistle helps in preventing toxicity (poisoning) by enhancing the function of the liver and scavenging free radicals.
2. Helps to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol:
Milk thistle can help in maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol in the body because it contains phytosterols that are known for their cholesterol-lowering effect.
3. May help to treat gallstones:
Milk thistle may be effective in treating certain types of gallstones because it helps the liver produce more bile. Bile is an important agent that helps to digest food and eliminate waste via the intestines. Since milk thistle increases bile production, there is a greater chance that gallstones may be broken up and eliminated from the body.
4. Supports healthy blood sugar levels in diabetics:
Milk thistle might work for patients with type 2 diabetes because it can help control blood sugar levels while also lowering cholesterol, decreasing insulin resistance, and speeding up the metabolism of glucose.
5. Reduces harmful enzymes in the body:
Milk thistle contains two main compounds, an antioxidant flavonoid known as silymarin and a fatty acid called phytosterol that can help to reduce harmful enzymes in the body.
Enzymes are important molecules that allow bodily functions such as digestion but sometimes these enzymes become detrimental to the body if they attack healthy tissues and organs. Silymarin helps to reduce the production of these enzymes, thus improving overall health.
6. While milk thistle is not a cure for hepatitis C, it may help to prevent liver damage:
Milk thistle does not actually treat hepatitis C but it may help to prevent liver damage related to the disease. A study out of Germany found that milk thistle decreased markers for cell death and injury in hepatitis C patients taking interferon (a drug used to suppress the virus).
Milk thistle extracts are also suggested for people with cirrhosis since they can help improve blood flow through the liver, promote the production of liver-protective bile acids, and help fight infections from hepatitis C.
7. May help to lower the risk of developing cancer:
Milk thistle may be beneficial in treating or preventing certain cancers because it contains a compound called silymarin which is known as an antioxidant with anti-cancer benefits. Silymarin may help to reduce the risk of cancer by fighting free radicals that cause cellular damage and by inhibiting certain enzymes that are responsible for assisting cancer cells in proliferating.
8. Supports cardiovascular health:
Milk thistle has been used as a traditional remedy for centuries to improve heart health due to its antioxidant properties. Silymarin, an antioxidant found in milk thistle, helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving blood flow and preventing LDL cholesterol from oxidizing within the arteries.
9. Supports healthy aging:
Milk thistle has been used as a natural therapy for centuries due to its antioxidant properties which help to protect cells from free radical damage. Free radicals have been known to speed up the signs of aging in the body, including damage to collagen and elastin that can lead to wrinkles and other effects of aging. Silymarin, an antioxidant found in milk thistle, can help to protect against these damaging free radicals which contribute to premature aging.
10. Helps to clear the skin:
Milk thistle may be used as a natural remedy for improving the health of your skin because it helps to improve blood flow and oxygenation to the cells. The antioxidants found in milk thistle also work to fight against free radicals, which are known causes of cellular damage that can lead to signs of aging and other health effects. For these reasons, milk thistle essential oil may be beneficial in treating acne and other skin conditions.
11: Helps with weight loss:
Since milk thistle can promote healthy digestion and regularity, it has been suggested to assist in treating obesity. Milk thistle extracts may help to prevent the absorption of dietary fats, which could help to regulate daily caloric intake and reduce overall body weight. Milk thistle is also effective in treating fatty liver induced by obesity since it can help to remove excess fat from the liver while also protecting healthy liver tissue.
12: Protects against free radicals:
Milk thistle may be beneficial in the treatment of arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory compounds called silymarin. Silymarin is known to contain powerful antioxidant properties that can help to reduce the risk of damage caused by free radicals, which are molecules that can cause oxidative stress and lead to premature aging of the body’s cells. This makes milk thistle a useful remedy for inflammatory conditions linked with free radical damage such as arthritis.
13: Helps to fight infections:
Milk thistle has been used as a traditional remedy for centuries to help fight against bacterial and fungal infections since it can reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Silymarin, an antioxidant found in milk thistle, is used by the liver to break down and remove toxins from the blood and may help to fight infections by promoting healthy liver function.
14: Supports eye health:
Milk thistle has been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for the treatment of eye conditions because it contains powerful antioxidants that can protect against free radical damage linked with age-related diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
15: Supports Liver Health:
Milk thistle treats liver problems due to its antioxidant properties. Milk thistle contains a powerful antioxidant compound called silymarin which is known to protect healthy liver cells while also promoting the regeneration of new liver tissue. Silymarin works by helping to reduce inflammation linked with chronic hepatitis while also supporting the regeneration of healthy liver cells.
16: Promotes healthy skin:
Milk thistle contains powerful antioxidant compounds known as silymarin which work to protect against damage caused by free radicals that lead to signs of aging and other health effects. Silymarin is effective in treating psoriasis, eczema, and other inflammatory skin conditions because it works to reduce the destruction of healthy cells by free radicals.
17: Supports kidney health:
Milk thistle may be beneficial in the treatment of chronic kidney disease since it can help to remove toxins from the blood and promote healthy liver function. Milk thistle is known to contain hepatoprotective compounds called silymarin which may help to protect the liver from damage and reduce inflammation linked with chronic kidney disease.
18: Protects against cancer:
Milk thistle is commonly used as a natural remedy for cancer because it contains powerful antioxidants that can protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Silymarin, found in milk thistle, is thought to help protect healthy cells from cancer by inhibiting the growth of tumor cells and promoting apoptosis, or programmed cell death.
19: Promotes a healthy immune system:
Since milk thistle contains antioxidant compounds known as silymarin which can increase bile production and reduce inflammation in the liver, it may provide benefits for immune system health. Silymarin appears to support healthy liver function which can help to boost immune function by removing toxins from the blood that otherwise suppress immune system cells.
20: Supports healthy nervous system function:
Milk thistle is beneficial for nervous system health due to its powerful antioxidant compounds known as silymarin, which work to reduce inflammation and support healthy liver function.
21: Helps to reduce high cholesterol:
Milk thistle can lower LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol levels, by increasing the production of bile in the body. Bile is a liquid produced by the liver that breaks down fats during digestion. Since milk thistle helps to increase bile production, it can help to break down fat in the body and prevent cholesterol levels from becoming too high.
22: Supports weight loss:
Milk thistle contains silymarin which is thought to reduce inflammation linked with conditions that block adipogenesis, or the formation of new fat cells. Milk thistle may also contain chromium which can help to support healthy blood sugar levels already within the normal range. Since milk thistle supports healthy weight loss, it may be beneficial to take in combination with other supplements like green coffee extract.
23: Supports skin health:
The antioxidants found in milk thistles are known to protect cells from oxidative damage due to free radicals that can lead to the formation of wrinkles and other signs of aging. Silymarin, found in milk thistle, is an antioxidant that may help to support healthy skin tone since it works to remove toxins from the blood which otherwise attack skin cells.
24: Helps to reduce nausea:
Milk thistle contains silymarin known for its powerful antiemetic properties that work to reduce nausea and vomiting by causing the GI tract to relax. Silymarin is often used as a natural remedy for feelings of queasiness since it stimulates the flow of bile in the digestive tract which can act as a natural defense against harmful bacteria or toxins that may cause feelings of nausea.
25. Supports a healthy liver:
Milk thistle is known to contain hepatoprotective compounds called silymarin which can help to protect the liver from damage. Since milk thistle may support normal liver function by helping to produce bile, it can help to break down fats throughout the digestive system and prevent elevated LDL cholesterol levels from damaging liver tissues.