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Milk Thistle For Liver

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Milk thistle for liver

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) comes from a flowering plant in the same family as a more familiar flower, the daisy. The seeds of the milk thistle plant have been used medicinally for over 2,000 years to treat such maladies as snake bites, mushroom poisoning and liver problems. Milk thistle seeds contain silymarin, an antioxidant compound that may protect liver cells against damage due to toxins. Some research shows milk thistle improves liver function in people with liver damage due to cirrhosis (damage of the liver caused by disease or chronic alcohol use). However, more research is needed to confirm this. Research has explored the possible benefits of milk thistle on patients with hepatitis although no benefits have been proven. At times, milk thistle has been used as a treatment for some types of liver disease, especially liver disease due to toxin exposure. Milk thistle has been shown to have anti-cancer benefits in a laboratory setting but it is not clear if it has any effects in the body and additional research is needed. Milk thistle may help to lower blood sugar, triglyceride and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In addition, it may ease seasonal allergy symptoms in people who take it along with conventional therapy and drugs. Ongoing research continues to investigate the possible benefits of milk thistle although to date there is no conclusive evidence to support its use in any health condition.

What You Should Know about Milk Thistle Supplements

Milk thistle herbal supplements appear to be safe and are well tolerated by most people. Research suggests that it's safe even for long-term use. The most common health side effects of milk thistle include loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, gas and bloating. It's possible to be allergic to milk thistle and experience an allergic reaction as a result. People who have allergies to other plants in the same family as milk thistle run the risk of being allergic to milk thistle too. Plants related to milk thistle include daisies, chrysanthemums, ragweed, marigolds and some herbs. Milk thistle can also interact with other medications and herbs. Milk thistle may have "estrogenic" effects. This means it could mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. That's why you shouldn't take it if you have a history of breast cancer, cancer of the uterus, ovarian cancer or cancer of the prostate. In addition, milk thistle may lower blood sugar levels and should be used with caution in people with diabetes, or those taking supplements that lower blood sugar levels. Check with your doctor before taking milk thistle to make sure you're a good candidate.

This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of purity, strength, or safety of the products. As a result, effects may vary. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking a supplement as supplements may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking a supplement. Consult a healthcare provider if you experience side effects.

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