Milk Thistle for Liver
Modern social life involves drinking. As much I try to limit the intake of alcohol into my system, I slip occasionally. I am human, all right? But then I get hugely worried about my liver because I know my liver cannot handle more than 1-2 glasses of wine. Basically, I am overburdening my liver to work overtime. Its cumulative effects could result in liver cirrhosis in severe cases. So, in an effort to detox my liver, I found a few supplements that could help and protect the liver. Milk thistle is one of them.
Milk thistle has been used for over 2,000 years as a natural medicinal plant. Its seeds contain an active ingredient, Silymarin that is made up of three main flavonoids: Silybin, Silydianin, Silychristin. As with other flavonoids, milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from damage caused by free radicals and lipid peroxidation.
Double blind studies on the effect of milk thistle on toxic liver damage (mostly alcohol-related), chronic liver disease and disease caused by certain drugs have been reviewed by medical experts. The experts concluded that milk thistle is an extremely therapeutically useful medicinal herb that stabilizes the cell membrane and stimulates protein synthesis while accelerating the process of regeneration in damaged liver tissue. Other studies also suggest that milk thistle may protect the liver cells by blocking the entrance of harmful toxins and helping remove these toxins from liver cells.
In fact, in Europe, milk thistle is a prescribed medication. The milk thistle extract is prescribed to treat mushroom poisoning, alcoholic cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, drug and alcohol-induced liver damage and acute viral hepatitis,
Other added benefits are due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects include;
- Lowers cholesterol levels, which benefits the heart
- Reduces the growth of cancer cells in breast, lung, colon, prostate, cervical and renal cancers
- Functions as a therapeutic agent for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
- Improves blood sugar levels
- Contains numerous anti-aging properties
- Reduces hot flashes and other related menopausal symptoms
- Helps with intestinal / indigestion issues
- Reduces the effects of deathcap mushroom (Amanita phalloides) poisoning
I take the powder form (crushed seeds of milk thistle) but you can easily purchase pill forms on various health sites like iherb.com.
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