How effective is milk thistle at protecting the liver against alcohol and liver diseases

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Milk thistle is a herb derived from a Mediterranean flower that is used as a natural remedy for liver problems. Milk thistle is widely used as a treatment for hangover and even preventing damage of the liver by diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatitis. As milk thistle is fast becoming popular it is important to really understand if this dietary supplement really does work. Well the best way to answer that would be to consider what science has to say about this dietary supplement.

What research has revealed about milk thistle

In a research publication by Rambaldi et al., (2005) it was determined through assessment of thirteen randomized clinical trials on 915 patients suffering from alcohol or hepatitis liver disease. The results of the study showed that mortality as a result of liver disease on patients that were taking milk thistle was significantly reduced in all trials. The study also revealed that all patients that participated in the study did not show any adverse effects to the dietary supplement.


Further research by Tamayo & Diamond, (2007) revealed that milk thistle does not only protect the liver but it also plays a part in preventing certain types of cancers, diabetes and has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system.

Milk thistle is good for you

Now that you have scientific information backing the efficacy of milk thistle, it is important to find out if this dietary supplement will be good for you. Surely milk thistle will do you no harm if you take it to maintain better general health. This is so because milk thistle contains silymarin as its major active ingredient. Silymarin is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce the amount of cholesterol in the body which reduces incidences of high blood pressure and heart attack. So there is no harm in taking this dietary supplement.

What milk thistle can do for you if you have diabetes

Milk thistle has been linked with a reduction in blood sugar levels, reduction in cholesterol levels in people suffering with diabetes type II. Diabetes patients taking milk thistle as a dietary supplement have shown a reduction in insulin resistance, thus reducing the effects of type II diabetes.

Dos and don’ts whilst taking milk thistle

Now that you have heard that milk thistle is great for protecting your liver, heart and helps control diabetes, that doesn’t mean it’s a wonder drug that will let you be reckless with your body. It is important to continue taking alcohol in moderate quantities and also continue to regulate the kinds of foods you eat. Smoking may be hazardous to health. Control your smoking habit, for cigarette smoke contains harmful substances which can weaken your immune responses as well as damage vital organs, among which include the liver. Exercise plays an important role in toning the body and shedding excess weight. Therefore it is very important to consider exercising in addition to taking milk thistle. Also always remember to stay hydrated through drinking ample amounts of water to keep your vital organs in top gear.

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