In modern society no doubt your detoxification systems are easily overloaded for increased toxin exposure. As the primary detoxification organ, your liver has to work harder these days. For that reason, toxic buildup in this organ is becoming more and more common. No wonder now it is a trendy way to do a liver detox. Although some good lifestyle options, for example regular exercise and the consumption of a healthy diet, can help reduce the burden of this organ to some extent, it is not enough. In this case, you need some helpers to do the job. And milk thistle can be a good choice because medicinally it has been used for 2,000 years. And today, it is commonly used to prevent hangovers, lower cholesterol, treat a variety of liver problems, help with weight loss, benefit diabetes, and so on.
Why your liver is important?
As mentioned above, liver does the majority of the detoxification, but the accumulated toxins there can affect its productivity. Since it is the gateway to the body, the impaired liver will fail to filter the blood to remove large toxins and to convert the toxins into a more water-soluble or fat-soluble form. As a result, the kidney and bowels can’t perform to help the body get rid of toxins from body. In other words, the proper liver function means a lot to your life, and your health will be definitely affected if this organ is damaged. Unfortunately, this is a delicate organ that is susceptible to disease and toxicity. So, you need to take care it.
Many factors can impair liver functions. Among them two obvious deterrents are alcohol and diseases. Just know that, sluggish liver can occur even if you have no liver disease at all. In this case, toxic build-up can be one of the most possible causes. And the common signs and symptoms include chronic fatigue, headaches, body odor, food or chemical sensitivities, insomnia, and so on.
Will milk thistle help your liver?
This herb has long been known for its amazing healing properties for liver and gallbladder disorders. According to health experts, silymarin, a mixture of Mary thistle’s active components, is quite protective against liver damage, for example chronic hepatitis and alcoholic liver disease. Besides, silymarin plays a key role in improving liver health and functioning liver detoxification too. No wonder this herb is sometimes called silymarin too.
As you may know now, silymarin is derived from the plant of Saint Mary’s thistle. This chemical extracted from the seeds now becomes an important ingredient of a variety of herbal supplements. Although this herb has been a traditional remedy for over 2,000 years, it wasn’t accepted by modern science until 1968 when flavanolignans (collectively known as silymarin) was isolated. In fact, the scientists attribute almost all the health benefits of milk thistle to this active ingredient.
In Germany alone a number of clinical trials have been conducted in order to evaluate the medical uses of milk thistle. So far, in Europe and the United States more than 120 studies have been carried out. And pharmacological and toxicological tests show that silymarin has the following functions:
1. Prevention of liver injury. It can form a protective film to prevent the liver cells from damage caused by toxic substances, especially environmental pollutants (pesticides, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, etc.). In addition, it can significantly reduce the alcohol-induced liver damage.
2. Strengthening and repairing liver. Through the stimulation of protein synthesis, it can promote the repair of liver cell, contributing to cell regeneration. That’s to say, it can significantly protect and stabilize liver cells, and improve hepatitis symptoms.
3. Powerful antioxidation. It protects the liver cell membrane by reducing the risk of free radical damage. Besides, it is with anti-radiation effect. So, it inhibits the peritonitis caused by formaldehyde.
4. Regulating the secretion of bile. It helps the digestion of fat. At the same time, it also nourishes the stomach, spleen, gallbladder and kidney.
5. Providing nutrients for the circulatory system. So, it reduces cardiovascular problems, including atherosclerosis and hypercholesterolemia.
Milk thistle seed extract health benefits
Today this herb is available in the form of seed extract. Apparently, this standardized extract is more suitable for the modern people. This is why it is often recommended by experts to treat alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD), chronic hepatitis B or C, liver dysfunction or damage caused by certain medications, and so on. Of course, it can be used to detox your liver too.
When it comes to how to buy milk thistle (silymarin) supplements, the key is to make sure this is a concentrated and standardized one, normally consisting of 80% silymarin. Besides, you need to consider the bioavailability for liver disorders.
According to New York University, the recommended oral standard dose of milk thistle is 200 milligrams taken two to three times daily. And currently no serious adverse events have been reported at this dosage. However, consult your doctor before taking it, especially when you’re pregnant, taking any prescription medications, suffering from hormone-sensitive conditions, and so on.