Key health benefits of Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle is a very beneficial plant where the active ingredients in Milk Thistle is a member of a group of plants collectively known as Silymarin and a member of the Asteraceae family of plants. Milk Thistle gets its name from the white sap from the leaves when crushed which grow in the Mediterranean region. Silymarin is extracted from the plant's seeds (Silybum marianum).

Silybum is known to have antiviral antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed that Silybum reduces oxidative stress which in turn lowers cytotoxicity. Silymarin keeps healthy liver cells from being afflicted with further deterioration and inflammation and therefore it is believed to be hepatoprotective. It has traditionally been used to treat liver and gallbladder disorders, it promotes breast milk production and can even help protect the liver from environmental poisons. 

Aid with Liver Damage

Milk Thistle is used as a complementary therapy by people who have liver problems or liver damage. This follows liver function problems with conditions such as alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and even liver cancer. It helps by reducing liver inflammation and damage with its liver-protecting effects with the dietary supplement.

Assist in reducing a Decline in Brain Function

Milk Thistle may help in age-related decline in brain function. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties mean that it is possibly Neuroprotective by potentially reducing amyloid proteins that build up between nerve cells as you age. As the general population mortality rate increases, brain function deterioration has become commonplace, and the medical community is combatting Alzheimer's/Dementia with research and treatments.

Bone Protection

Milk Thistle helps to protect your bones. Osteoporosis develops slowly over a number of years and causes weak and fragile bones that can break easily due to low bone density. Studies have shown Milk Thistle stimulates bone mineralization and improves bone density while potentially protecting against bone loss.

Aids and Cancer Treatment

Milk Thistle may improve liver cancer treatment by reducing the side effects of cancer treatment and may also make chemotherapy work more effectively by reducing the inflammation in the liver. This allows for stronger doses without damaging the liver or having the patient significantly sick from the treatment. Some Cancer studies indicate that Milk Thistle can slow down the growth of cancer cells, and even shorten their lifespan - however, checking with your Doctor on the compatibility of your treatment with Milk Thistle is strongly advised.

Improved Breast Milk Production

Milk Thistle Can help in breast milk production by boosting milk production in lactating mothers by making more of the milk-producing hormone Prolactin.

Help Type 2 Diabetics

Milk Thistle can lower blood sugar levels in people with type-2 diabetes. It can be a complementary therapy to manage type-2 diabetes, by helping improve insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar, but be aware not to overdo Milk Thistle so as not to drop your blood sugars too low.

Additionally, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may also be useful for reducing the risk of developing diabetic complications like kidney disease. People with diabetes can benefit from the lower saturated fat and the promotion of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Living with diabetes requires a more controlled diet, and physical activity when possible to control overall weight. People with type 2 diabetes should consult their doctor given there are various medications prescribed to control it.

High Cholesterol

Since studies have been conducted with subjects that have type-2 diabetes, it isn't clear that a direct correlation with Milk Thistle will lower the "bad" cholesterol, but it is believed it does assist. A lot of the type-2 diabetes subjects also suffer from high Cholesterol which contributes to heart disease and stroke. This would mean that Milk Thistle would be promoting HDL Cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) and lowering the LDL Cholesterol (Low-density lipoprotein).

Therefore there are no Cholesterol tests that directly relate to improvements with Milk Thistle, however, if you have diabetes type-2, it is indicative of an improvement in this area.


Possible interactions with Milk Thistle need to be considered and why you should avoid taking Milk Thistle. If you have the above medical challenges, it might be wise to consult with your doctor/physician as well as check your allergic reactions and family history on the possible items below.

  • If you are taking allergy medication such as Fexofenadine (Allegra).
  • Medications for High Cholesterol such as statin-based drugs.
  • Mood and Anti-anxiety medications, such as Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium), and Lorazepam (Ativan).
  • Blood thinner drugs (Antiplatelet or Anticoagulant), such as clopidogrel (Plavix) and warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Certain Cancer drugs might not be compatible, including breast cancer drugs (Raloxifene).
  • For any medications that are broken down by the liver - consulting your doctor would be wise to ensure that the medication is compatible.



Milk Thistle can be beneficial to several medical/symptomatic conditions as described above and in several instances a consultation with your doctor or pharmacists to check if the compatibility of your current drug treatment is compatible. We at Innopure offer the best value for this nutritional supplement, and with careful consideration can improve your lifestyle and relieve you from liver inflation.

Supporting Research

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Barve A, Khan R, Marsano L, Ravindra KV, McClain C. Treatment of alcoholic liver disease. Ann Hepatol. 2008;7(1):5-15. Review.

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Brantley SJ, Oberlies NH, Kroll DJ, Paine MF. Two flavonolignans from milk thistle (silybum marianum) inhibit CYP2C9-mediated warfarin metabolism at clinically achievable concentrations. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2010;332(3):1081-1087.

Ferenci P, Scherzer TM, Kerschner H, et al. Silibinin is a potent antiviral agent in patients with chronic hepatitis C not responding to pegylated interferon/ribavirin therapy. Gastroenterology. 2008;135(5):1561-1567.

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Gordon A, Hobbs DA, Bowden DS, et al. Effects of Silybum marianum on serum hepatitis C virus RNA, alanine aminotransferase levels and well-being in patients with chronic hepatitis C. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006;21(1 Pt 2):275-280.

Gufford BT, Chen G, Vergara AG, Lazarus, Oberlies NH, Paine MF. Milk Thistle Constituents Inhibit Raloxifene Intestinal Glucuromidation: A Potential Clinically Relevant Natural Product-Drug Interaction. Drug Metab Dispos. 2015;43(9):1353-1359.

Hoh C, Boocock D, Marczylo T, et al. Pilot study of oral silibinin, a putative chemopreventive agent, in colorectal cancer patients: silibinin levels in plasma, colorectum, and liver and their pharmacodynamic consequences. Clin Cancer Res. 2006;12(9):2944-2950.

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