Milk thistle, also known as Silybum marianum, is an herb that has been used for centuries to treat liver problems. It is a natural remedy that is gaining popularity for these potential benefits. Whether you are already taking milk thistle or are considering it, you may be wondering about the benefits that milk thistle can provide. In this article, we discuss the top three benefits of milk thistle and how it can help support liver health, regulate blood sugar levels, and potentially prevent cancer.
If you want to explore the top three benefits of milk thistle, keep reading.
Benefits Of Milk Thistle for Liver Support
Milk thistle is most well-known for its support to the liver. It contains a molecule called silymarin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and may even help protect the liver from damage. There is good evidence that milk thistle can help protect against various liver conditions like hepatitis, fatty liver, and cirrhosis. Milk thistle achieves this by enhancing the recycling and utilization of glutathione, which is one of the main antioxidants and detoxification molecules in our bodies.
Milk thistle also protects cell membranes from toxins that might damage liver cells or other cells in the body. Studies have shown that milk thistle increases antioxidant molecules like superoxide dismutase, glutathione, and glutathione peroxidase.
Benefits of Milk Thistle for Blood Sugar Regulation
There is good research and evidence suggesting milk thistle has a positive effect on lowering blood sugar in people with diabetes and blood sugar issues. It likely helps the blood sugar levels through improving insulin sensitivity. Milk thistle contains a specific molecule that acts like a PPAR gamma agonist, which is similar to how some medications used for diabetes called thiazoladinedione medications work.
Benefits Of Milk Thistle for Cancer Prevention
Some studies have suggested that milk thistle may have an anti-cancer effect and may be effective in both preventing the growth and spread of certain types of cancer cells. Milk thistle seems to exert this effect by protecting healthy cells when on chemotherapy and pushing malignant cells into programmed cell death called apoptosis. While this sounds very promising, it's important to note that this research is fairly limited, and more research is needed to fully understand what's going on with milk thistle and its anti-cancer properties. It's important to discuss this with your provider who has knowledge of milk thistle and its effects on cancer, so they can make sure it's going to be beneficial for you in the chemotherapy that you're on.
While milk thistle is generally safe, it is important to note that taking milk thistle should not be used as a substitute for an integrative medical treatment plan. It is always a good idea to discuss the use of milk thistle and other herbs with your healthcare provider, especially if you are taking medications. They can make sure it's safe for you and potentially beneficial for your health. Here is a link to a trusted source of milk thistle (Amazon link) we use.
In conclusion, milk thistle has many potential benefits, including liver support, blood sugar regulation, and cancer prevention. It is a natural remedy that is gaining popularity for its potential to improve overall health and well-being. While more research is needed to fully understand the benefits of milk thistle, it is a relatively low-risk herb with few downsides. If you are interested in taking milk thistle, be sure to discuss it with your healthcare provider to ensure it is safe and potentially beneficial for you.