Best Milk Thistle Supplement

Milk thistle is best for liver repair. For centuries, milk thistle has always been used as an herbal remedy for a variety of health ailments. The active ingredients of the herb., particularly the flavonoid silymarin, contain powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can protect the liver from toxins and help repair itself by growing new cells. In this piece, we’ve gathered five of the best milk thistle supplements to help you pick which one will suit your health needs best.

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Top 5 Milk Thistle Supplements

  1. LiverWell (Best Overall)
  2. LiverMD (Better Absorbtion Than Milk Thistle Extract)
  3. Quicksilver Liposomal Milk Thistle (Best Liposomal)
  4. FutureKind Vegan Milk Thistle (Vegan-Friendly)
  5. Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle

The “Marian Thistle” And Its Properties

The milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a flowering herb related to the daisy and ragweed family that is native to the Mediterranean regions of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. However, at least one species has been introduced in other places like North and South America, Africa, India, China, and Australia. 

Otherwise known as the St. Mary’s thistle or the Marian thistle, the milk thistle derives its name from the unmistakable white marbling on its leaves – thought to be a reference from the Virgin Mary’s milk. When broken off from the stem, the leaves can be seen producing a milky white sap. It’s sometimes used as a natural remedy for ailments such as cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitis, and gallbladder disorders. It is also thought to lower one’s cholesterol levels and aid those with diabetes. 

Milk Thistle And The Liver

Milk thistle is often used as a treatment for people who have alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis. Research shows that milk thistles can restore damaged cells and help stop oxidative stress and free radical damage in the liver. Silymarin can also protect the liver against damage from alcohol and some prescription drugs.

The List

These supplements can help you enjoy the benefits of milk thistle on your body and more:

1. LiverWell™ NAC

LiverWell Milk Thistle

LiverWell is a dietary supplement that makes use of the power of milk thistles to help to detoxify and protect the liver, facilitate healthy immune cell production, and support a healthy metabolism. 

This supplement combines the properties of Siliphos, a bioavailable silybin milk thistle extract, which is clinically proven to boost liver and kidney function, NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), a cancer-preventing antioxidant, aids in the detoxification process, and ALA (Alpha-lipoic acid), another antioxidant that helps break down carbohydrates and glucose to make energy. 

On the other hand, zinc and selenium give added antioxidant protection from free radicals to maximize liver health. Aside from supporting liver health, it can also boost your immune system,  promote a healthy weight, and facilitate better metabolism to help your body run more efficiently and be in ideal shape. It also contains 90mg of caffeine per serving, equivalent to a cup of coffee, which ought to keep you up and energized.

Pros:

  • Conveniently sized
  • Third-party tested
  • Has undergone stringent quality control standards
  • Reasonably priced
  • Free shipping

Cons:

  • Given the caffeine content per serving, it may cause some sleeping troubles
  • Caffeine-sensitive people might experience nervousness, irritability, and occasionally rapid heartbeats

Serving Suggestion:
Take one (1) capsule, twice daily, after a meal.


2. LiverMD®

LiverMD Milk Thistle

Produced by 1MD Nutrition, LiverMD is scientifically formulated to support and maintain one’s liver health by promoting liver enzyme function, boosting energy, and enhancing focus. 

LiverMD’s comprehensive formula is designed to help overall liver and heart health while supporting the creation of new liver cells. This masterful combination uses the power of Siliphos and EVNolMax, a patented and plant-based, full-spectrum tocotrienol vitamin-E extract that’s been proven to purify and promote proper cell division in the liver. Other ingredients such as alpha-lipoic acid, selenium, and zinc also do well to support the liver’s enzyme levels, strengthen the immune system, and promote respiratory health.

Not only do the properties of zinc and selenium in clearing oxidative stress benefit the liver, but they also give way for your cognitive functions to get that much-needed refresh and boost. These may help prevent mental decline, improve learning abilities, sharpen memory, and even avoid the risk of dementia. 

This product contains Siliphos® an ingredient that combines the bioactive ingredients from milk thistle (silybin) with phospholipids to form a bio-enhanced, absorbable complex. Studies indicate that this complex has superior absorption compared to generic milk thistle extract.

Pros:

  • Award-winning supplement (2020 NEXTY Award Finalist for Best Condition-Specific Supplement)
  • Non-GMO
  • Dairy, peanut, wheat, and shellfish-free
  • 90-day money-back guarantee 
  • Free shipping

Cons:

  • May take persistent consumption to see visible results
  • Pricier compared to other brands

Serving Suggestion:
Adults should take one (1) capsule, twice (2x) daily, with a meal and a full glass of water, or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.


3. Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal Milk Thistle

 Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal Milk Thistle

Compared to most supplements, Quicksilver Scientific’s Liposomal Milk Thistle uses the liposomal delivery system, a method that doesn’t use capsules or tablets, or powders to deliver nutrients. Liposomes help protect nutrients from being broken down by stomach acids and facilitates faster delivery and absorption, which makes it currently one of the more promising vectors for efficient drug and gene delivery.  

When it comes to the nutrients it has packed, the Liposomal Milk Thistle harnesses the milk thistle flavonoid Silymarin to purge traces of toxic metabolites from the liver and prevents harmful compounds from being absorbed into the liver’s cells. Aside from cleansing the liver, this supplement also promotes healthy digestion, bile flow, and boosts the body’s inflammatory response, gearing you up for an optimal state of health.

The natural mixed tocopherols also play a role in strengthening your immune system, they prevent clogged arteries and diminish the risk of cancer development. On the other hand, medium-chain triglycerides could aid in weight loss, and be a good energy source, especially for athletes. 

Pros:

  • Conveniently sized
  • cGMP Certified
  • 100% vegan, 
  • Tested non-GMO 
  • Allergen-free
  • Tested gluten-free
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Low solubility
  • Improper handling could result in leakage and fusion of encapsulated drug/molecules.

Serving Suggestion:
Take 1-4 pumps by mouth. Hold in mouth 30 seconds before swallowing. Repeat to desired dosage or as directed by a healthcare professional. Take on an empty stomach, at least 10 minutes before meals. 

If pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant, consult your physician before use.


4. FutureKind Vegan Milk Thistle Supplement

FutureKind Vegan Milk Thistle

Partied a little too hard? Or did you chow down way too much in that buffet? Don’t worry! Future Kind’s Vegan Milk Thistle Seed Liver Cleanse Supplement has your back. Thanks to the power of milk thistle and other antioxidants, you’ll get a natural health boost that will power you through the day. 

The milk thistle’s flavonoid Silymarin presides over this supplement’s inflammation-reducing and liver-cleansing properties, helping your body ease the damage caused by the free radicals produced as your liver breaks down toxic substances

But it doesn’t stop with protecting the liver, its other properties also work to keep your body in its peak, physically and mentally-wise. It combats oxidative stress, supports cognitive functions, boosts the skin cells, and regulates blood sugar levels. 

Pros:

  • Allergen-free
  • Non-GMO
  • Dairy-free
  • 100% vegan
  • Affordable price
  • 60 Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Free US Shipping On Orders $60+

Cons:

  • May take a while for visible results to come about

Serving Suggestion:

Take 1 tablet daily, preferably with a meal

Expectant or nursing mothers, anyone under the age of 18, and individuals with a known medical condition should consult a physician before using this or any dietary supplement. Do not use it if you are allergic to any ingredients in this product. 

Store in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight and out of reach of children.


5. Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle Seed

Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle

If you’re looking for an all-natural, cruelty-free way to maintain liver function and support your overall well-being for the long term, the Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle Seed should be your constant. 

This supplement from Gaia Herbs uses the properties of the milk thistle seed, particularly that of Silymarin, to keep the liver functioning at its optimum and the liver cells healthy and regenerated. It’s also designed to keep the digestive system right on track and the cognitive functions to be working like clockwork 24/7. Truly, a healthy liver is a key to living life the way you want it. 

Pros:

  • Soy-free
  • Non-GMO
  • Dairy-free
  • 100% vegan
  • Purity tested
  • Reasonably priced
  • Free Shipping on orders $49+

Cons:

  • May take a while for visible results to come about

Possible Side Effects

The use of milk thistle is generally regarded as safe, however, it may trigger some side effects on some people. The following [mild] side effects are usually observed:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach upset
  • Rashes (from touching milk thistle plants)

For these reasons, you should take any kind of herbs with care, under the supervision/guidance of your trusted health care provider.

Who Shouldn’t Take Milk Thistle

While the benefits of taking milk thistle are aplenty, some people should steer clear of them for their own health reasons.

For example, milk thistle should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women in any form.

Likewise, people suffering from diabetes should avoid taking it since it might lower blood sugar than desired. Similarly, those who are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, chamomile, yarrow, or daisies ought to avoid it as well.

Possible Interactions

Milk thistle can also interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications, and given its action on the liver, the site of most drug metabolism, it would be prudent to consult with your doctor first before you plan on taking milk thistle, especially if you are being treated with any of the following medications:

  • Antipsychotics – butyrophenones and phenothiazines (such as chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, and promethazine).
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin) – Used to treat seizures.
  • Halothane – Inhalation anesthetic used for induction and maintenance of general anesthesia. 
  • Simeprevir – Antiviral agent that inhibits HCV NS3/4A protease to treat chronic hepatitis C virus Taking milk thistle with this hepatitis C medication might increase levels of the drug in your blood plasma. 
  • Sirolimus (Rapamune) –  Immunosuppressant used with other medications to prevent rejection of a kidney transplant. Taking milk thistle with it might change the way your body processes the medication.
  • Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates – Taking milk thistle might affect this enzyme and drugs such as diazepam (Valium), warfarin (Jantoven) and others. 
  • Diabetes medications. Milk thistle consumption might lower blood sugar in people who have type 2 diabetes..
  • Raloxifene (Evista). Taking milk thistle in any form may affect how the liver could process Raloxifene, causing higher levels of the drug in the bloodstream.
  • Allergy drugs – Fexofenadine (Allegra) 
  • High cholesterol drugs – Statins such as lovastatin (Mevacor, Altocor).
  • Anti-anxiety drugs – Such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners) – Taking milk thistle might make warfarin (Coumadin) and clopidogrel (Plavix) too effective, which could increase the risk of bleeding. 
  • Birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • Certain cancer drugs

Key Takeaways

Much has been said about milk thistle and its reputed health benefits. It’s a herbal remedy that shows great potential in treating various ailments and conditions, including liver disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and diabetes. Many studies however are still needed to affirm the full extent of these benefits. Many of the studies already done are small and have methodological flaws, which makes it difficult to cast a final judgment on this supplement or fully confirm its effects.

Taking it in any form is generally safe, with only a small percentage of people reporting experiencing any sort of side effects during its consumption. Should you experience any, seek immediate medical attention and cease using the product altogether. One should also seek medical advice before considering taking milk thistle, or any supplement for that matter in order to prevent any incompatibility, interaction, or health risks associated with taking it. 

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