The bioflavonoids contained in milk thistle have a strong liver-protective action and have been extensively used in Europe as well as Asian countries as pharmaceutical preparations for liver disorders. The term silymarin is consists of bioflavonoids silibin, silydianin and silychristin. There are a lot of clinical studies supporting that silymarin can protect the liver by detoxifying a number of toxic substances including alcohol, acetaminophen, carbon tetrachloride, and the Amanita mushroom poison. Silymarin alters liver cell membranes which prevent toxins from passing through and damaging the cells.

Bioflavonoid compounds also stimulate cellular growth and reproduction by boosting protein synthesis. The betaine hydrochloride, found in milk thistle seeds may contribute to the hepatoprotective properties of the plant.

Aside from the liver-protective properties of milk thistle, it is also of great importance that we have basic knowledge of the other health benefits of milk thistle targeting other vital organs in the body. Here now are the other health benefits of milk thistle that you might not yet have heard of.

1. Gallbladder and gallstones

The silymarin in milk thistle has been found to help promote the flow of bile by increasing its solubility. This is beneficial in treating or preventing gall stones. Whenever the flow of bile is increased, the chances of developing a gallstone are decreased. Studies have also shown that taking milk thistle has resulted in a pronounced reduction of cholesterol in the bile.

2. Obesity

Few people understand the liver’s role in weight reduction. Boosting liver function is badly neglected in virtually all weight loss programs. The liver is the primary organ involved in purifying the blood of impurities and in metabolizing fat. With silymarin’s boosting action on the liver, metabolism of fat will be faster and it will be of great help in losing weight.

3. Estrogen- related diseases
Most of the breast tumors are directly related to the hormone estrogen. According to studies, when the liver is functioning properly, bad forms of estrogen can be filtered from the body. The silymarin of milk thistle controls the risk of estrogen-related diseases like breast tumors. The women’s estrogen and progesterone peaks and valleys are bringing different tumors in the women’s reproductive organs including the uterus and ovaries. The ability of milk thistle to regulate hormonal imbalance as to estrogen helps in preventing the said diseases.

4. Diabetes and its complications
Recent researches found out that silymarin has the ability to inhibit aldose reductase. The enzyme aldose reductase is responsible for the deposition of sugar in the eyes of diabetics. This will eventually progress to diabetic retinopathy. The ability of silymarin to scavenge free radicals is protective in nature against diabetic retinopathy caused by excess sugars in the eyes.

5. Psoriasis and skin itchiness

We already know that the liver filters the toxins present in our blood. We also know that the skin is the largest organ in the body and is a very important organ of detoxification. Psoriasis has been linked to certain toxic substances that circulate throughout the bloodstream. There is some evidence to suggest that abnormal liver function may play a role in the development of psoriasis. The itchiness on the other hand is also related to the blood toxins being removed through the skin.

6. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There are many possible pathologies to be considered in a person with chronic fatigue syndrome. Psychological factors like depression and anxiety play crucial but medical problems are equally important. Studies discovered that chronic fatigue syndrome can be due to a poorly functioning liver. If a liver is damaged, the immune system is compromised causing infections and toxins in our bloodstream.

7. Unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle

Many of us eat diets that are too high in fat and protein, take over-the-counter or prescription drugs, and routinely expose ourselves to radiation and other pollutants. We seldom exercise and are very much stressed. All of these can damage the liver and can cause serious health problems. Taking care of our liver by taking milk thistleas a supplement in our daily diet can have a huge impact on our immune system and our natural healing and defensive capacities. With a healthy liver, our body is well protected and we can enjoy a happy and fulfilling life.





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