Why is milk thistle effective?
Milk thistle is a stimulant for the liver and helps regulate carbohydrate metabolism by supporting the utilisation of insulin. A better liver function could result in a better glucose and lipid metabolism.
The active ingredients of milk thistle are silymarin and water-soluble flavonoids (quercetin and taxifolin) that together protect the cytochrome p450 enzyme system.
This system acts as a catalyst in detoxification: it breaks down harmful fungal toxins, xenobiotics, and pesticides. Glyphosate damages this enzyme system, which has an important role in the basic regulation of the body’s metabolism and in maintaining a healthy hormonal balance.
The active ingredients in milk thistle protect and regenerate the liver and the epithelial cells of the renal tubules.
What is silymarin?
Silymarin’s major active constituents are silibinin, silidiadin, and silychristin. It contains several other bioactive flavonoids (quercetin and taxifolin). It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Silymarin’s active constituents successfully bind to liver cells, so it can effectively prevent toxins from entering the liver.
In addition, silymarin can neutralise the effects of toxins that have already entered the liver.
Due to the neutralising effect of silymarin, liver cells can fight xenobiotics and biogenic amines more effectively. By supporting cytochrome P450 enzymes – which play a key role in the metabolism of drugs – a milk thistle extract restores the body’s hormonal balance in patients suffering from endometriosis and endothelial hyperplasia due to its estrogenic regulatory properties (G. Karimi et al., 2011: “Silymarin”, a Promising Pharmacological Agent for Treatment of Diseases, Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences. July-Aug 2011, Vol. 14, No. 4, 308–317).
In the kidneys, silymarin concentrates in the cells and aids regenerative processes in the epithelial cells of renal tubules. It has been proven that silymarin can protect animals from kidney damage caused by toxins (Barbara L. Minton: Milk Thistle: The Herb for Liver Health and More, European Journal of Cancer, April 2008).
Flavonoglycans are known to have hepatoprotective effects. Their active ingredient complex stimulates the functioning of DNA polymerases (essential enzymes for DNA replication), thereby stimulating the synthesis and regeneration of liver cells, and stabilising their membrane. Milk thistle enhances and strengthens liver function by preventing the elimination of glutathione, which is a tripeptide comprised of three amino acids produced in the liver – it acts as a detoxifying agent. Experiments have demonstrated that milk thistle is capable of increasing glutathione concentrations by 35%.
The effects of milk thistle
Due to its antioxidant properties, milk thistle can protect you against the hepatotoxic effects of various toxins (such as α-amanitin and phalloidin), which can be found in death cap mushrooms, heavy metals (lead, mercury) and biogenic amines.
Milk thistle has antioxidant effects, and neutralises harmful free radicals even more than vitamin C and vitamin E do.
Vitamin C is a synergist of silymarin. Therefore, we have added vitamin C to Fulvicherb in a natural form, extracted from rose hips.
Furthermore, milk thistle helps eliminate metabolic toxins.
Milk thistle in history
Milk thistle was already used for medicinal purposes thousands of years ago by the ancient Greeks and Romans. In their works, Greek physician and pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides, and Roman naturalist and natural philosopher Pliny, explain the effectiveness of milk thistle in promoting liver health. Moreover, medieval herbal medicine publications, including Hungarian botanist, writer, and theologist Péter Melius Juhász’s Herbárium (1578), also elaborate on the remedial effects of milk thistle.
Milk thistle in science
Several recent experiments on various domestic animal species have shown the beneficial effects of milk thistle, especially due to its liver-healing properties. The results indicated that milk thistle neutralises free radicals.
The active ingredients of milk thistle are effective against xenobiotics: chemical substances found within an organism that are foreign to that organism, and damage the liver. In addition to further beneficial properties, milk thistle extract also offers protection against fungal toxins that may be present in grains.
This herb can be used safely in all cases: there are no records of interaction with other medicinal products (Lidia Radko, Wojciech Cybulski (2007): Application of silymarin in human and animal medicine, Journal of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Research, Vol. 1, 1/2007, 022-026).
Read the article in German: Mariendistel – Lösung für die optimale Gesundheit Ihrer Leber
Read the article in Polish: Oset Mleczny: naturalne rozwiązanie dla optymalnego zdrowia wątroby