Milk thistle is a herb, which comes from the milk thistle plant called Silybum marianum. Silymarin is the active ingredient in milk thistle which gives it its antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Traditionally, milk thistle has been used to treat digestive and liver issues such as gallbladder disease and detoxification, but more recently milk thistle has been used to treat a broad range of ailments giving numerous benefits.
- Liver Protection
Milk thistle is most commonly used for its liver protecting effects and protecting against liver conditions such as alcoholic liver disease, hepatitis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Research has found that supplementing with milk thistle has increased liver function through its anti-inflammatory properties and may also extend the life expectancy of those who are suffering with liver disease.
More studies are required as results have been mixed, however milk thistle may help to reduce liver damage caused by disease or liver poisoning.
- Acne Treatment
Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of milk thistle, it may have some beneficial effects on acne conditions which generally come with high levels of inflammation.
One study found that people who supplemented with 210mg of silymarin for 8 weeks had over 50% less acne flare ups than those who did not. While more research is required, this evidence shows promising results that milk thistle may help those who experience chronic acne symptoms.
- Brain Protection
Silymarin has shown some neuroprotective potential in patients with neurological conditions due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects.
Some early studies have found milk thistle being able to reduce the number of amyloid plaques in the brains of animals with Alzheimer’s disease. While there are no human studies yet, milk thistle may be very useful in protecting brain function.
- Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Milk thistle may be useful for those who suffer with type 2 diabetes in managing their blood sugar levels. A recent scientific review found that silymarin significantly reduced fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c in those with type 2 diabetes. However, the quality of the studies reviewed were poor so stronger evidence is required in future studies.
Sona Milk Thistle Forte contains 80% or 400mg of silymarin to help support liver and digestive function. It also may help to support skin, brain, and blood sugar health.
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Sahib, A.S., Al-Anbari, H.H., Salih, M. and Abdullah, F., 2012. Effects of oral antioxidants on lesion counts associated with oxidative stress and inflammation in patients with papulopustular acne. J Clin Exp Dermatol Res, 3(5), pp.1-6.
Voroneanu, L., Nistor, I., Dumea, R., Apetrii, M. and Covic, A., 2016. Silymarin in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of diabetes research, 2016.