Milk Thistle Extract
For several centuries extracts of milk thistle have been recognized as "liver tonics." Since 1970, researches regarding the biological activity of silymarin and its possible medical uses have been conducted in different countries, but there were no consistency on the results. It has been reported to have protective effects on the liver and to greatly improve its function. It is typically used to treat liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation), and toxin-induced liver damage including the prevention of severe liver damage from alcohol intake.
Research suggests that milk thistle extracts both prevent and repair damage to the liver from toxic chemicals and medications. In the study, workers who had been exposed to vapors from toxic chemicals group(toluene and/or xylene) for 5–20 years were given either a standardized milk thistle extract (80% silymarin) or placebo for 30 days. The workers taking the extract showed significant improvement in liver function tests (ALT and AST) and platelet counts vs. the placebo.
Milk thistle as an herb is made up of both active and inactive ingredients in varying amounts, with the active ingredients providing all of the supplement's benefits and therapeutic value. Sylimarin is the active ingredient that protects. Silymarin is actually a group of flavonoids called silibinin, silidianin, and silicristin. Silymarin also keeps new liver cells from being destroyed by these same toxins. These help repair liver cells damaged by alcohol and other toxic substances. Silymarin may also lower blood sugar level in people with type 2 diabetes.
Milk thistle seed might protect liver cells from toxic chemicals and drugs. It also seems to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Milk thistle plant extract might enhance the effects of estrogen. Milk thistle’s effectiveness has used a specific extract standardized to 70% to 80% silymarin, based on the studies. In the U.S., this formulation is found in the brand name product Thisilyn (Nature’s Way). The solution is the patented, highly-absorbable, all-natural, standardized, pharmaceutical grade milk thistle found in Maximum Milk Thistle™ and UltraThistle®. It is superior to other milk thistle products because it allows more of milk thistle's most active component, silybin, to be absorbed by the body. It takes the silybin to distribute it through body's tissues and cells to increases its absorption. It delivers up to 10 times more silybin and produces up to 20 times the efficacy as compared to other standardized milk thistle products. Learn more about Maximum Milk Thistle™ or the world's highest-potency milk thistle formula; UltraThistle®. The combined product (Iberogast, Medical Futures, Inc) contains milk thistle plus peppermint leaf, German chamomile, caraway, licorice, clown’s mustard plant, celandine, angelica, and lemon balm. When used daily over a period of 4 weeks, this combination seems to reduce severity of acid reflux, stomach pain, cramping, nausea, and vomiting.
Milk Thistle extract is available in Capsules of standardized dried herb (each capsule contains about 120 - 140 mg silymarin), liquid extract, tincture, silymarin phosphatidylcholine complex.
You should be cautious in taking the said supplement due to the side effects it may cause. It’s recommended before taking the supplements, ask your doctors advice.