Milk thistle supplements are made from the plant's milk thistle seeds and contain a compound called silymarin, which is believed to have medicinal properties, particularly beneficial to the liver.
Studies have suggested that milk thistle extract may help improve liver function and treat certain liver conditions, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The active ingredient in milk thistle supplements, silymarin, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help protect liver cells from damage caused by inflammation and oxidative stress.
A milk thistle supplement is generally considered safe when taken as directed. Typical doses range from 150-300 mg per day. It is important to follow the dosage instructions on the label or as recommended by a healthcare provider to avoid potential side effects or interactions with other medications.
Possible side effects of milk thistle may include gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, skin reactions, and interactions with other medications, such as blood-thinning medications, anti-anxiety medications, or cholesterol-lowering medications.
Milk thistle supplements are often marketed as a natural remedy for supporting liver health and improving liver function, including aiding in liver diseases and detoxification.
Studies have suggested that milk thistle supplements may help improve the levels of liver enzymes, indicating improved liver function and detoxification. Milk thistle supplements may also help reduce liver inflammation, which can contribute to liver damage and dysfunction.