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Milk Thistle | Alixir Life

Milk Thistle

Support for the Liver

  • Supports the liver, notably after damage
  • May reduce blood sugar levels
  • Promotes lactation in mothers
  • Could reduce cholesterol and improve circulation


  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten-Free
  • Non-GMO

Milk Thistle has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, [1] [2] which make it a great detoxifier for the liver and some protection against toxic elements. It also encourages lactation, making it a good supplement for mothers. It even may reduce cholesterol, improve circulation and reduce blood sugar levels although further studies are needed to confirm this.

Our Milk Thistle formula contains a highly potent concentrate of 80% total Milk Thistle seed flavonoids.

Product Type: 1 Veggie Capsule
Dosage:           150mg


Milk Thistle Seed 30:1 Extract (Silybum marianum) (80% total flavonoids), Cellulose, magnesium stearate (vegetable source) and silicon dioxide. Capsule consists of hydroxypropylmethylcellulose.

Does not contain

milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans

Summary of Research

  • Supports the liver, particularly after damage

    Milk Thistle may increase the rate of protein synthesis in liver cells and encourage repair to damaged cells.[3] [4] A 1989 study examined the effect of Milk Thistle compared to a placebo on the survival rates of 170 people with liver cirrhosis, a common form of liver disease where scar tissue prevents the liver from repairing itself. It concluded supplementation significantly increased survival rates, especially in patients with alcoholic liver disease.[5]


    Milk Thistle may also reduce the growth rate of hepatic carcinomas (a common type of liver cancer). However, people must also take care to avoid alcohol. One study indicates this reduction in growth is reversed by alcohol consumption.[6]


    Some chemotherapy drugs cause side-effects that damage the liver. A 2015 study examined levels of harmful liver-damaging enzymes in people taking Milk Thistle compared to those taking a placebo. Those supplementing Milk Thistle had lower levels of liver-damaging enzymes.[7]


    Moreover, a 2008 meta-analysis of 19 double and single-blind clinical studies examined the effect of Milk Thistle on liver disease and found that people who took Milk Thistle experienced lower rates of mortality and liver failure compared to those taking a placebo. However, it showed mixed results regarding alcoholic liver disease and did not show any effect on liver disease caused by viral hepatitis.[8]


    Research Score: Strong

  • May reduce blood sugar levels

    One 1993 study concluded Milk Thistle reduced blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and alcoholic liver disease, which consequently decreased the need for insulin. Although these results are promising, further research is needed.[9]


    Research Score: Promising

  • Potentially protects against toxic chemicals

    A 2016 study investigated Milk Thistle’s protective effects against metals, environmental pollutants, potent drugs, and oxidative agents. It concluded Milk Thistle offers a broad spectrum of protection against toxicities induced by chemicals.[10]


    Research Score: Promising

  • Promotes lactation in mothers

    There is evidence that supports Milk Thistle is a good breast milk production agent. [11] [12] [13] [14]


    Research Score: Strong

  • Could reduce cholesterol and improve circulation

    Milk Thistle studies have shown reduction in total cholesterol, particularly bad cholesterol, and triglycerides (essential fatty acids in the blood, high levels of which can lead to circulatory problems).[15]


    Research Score: Promising

  • References

    1. Freedman ND, Curto TM, Morishima C, et al. Silymarin use and liver diease progression in the HALT-C trial. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics. 2011;33(1):127-137. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2036.2010.04503.x.

    2. Polyak SJ, Morishima C, Lohmann V, et al. Identification of hepatoprotective flavonolignans from silymarin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2010;107(13):5995-5999. doi:10.1073/pnas.0914009107.

    3. https://examine.com/supplements/milk-thistle/#summary4-0

    4. Abenavoli L, Capasso R, Milic N, Capasso F. Milk thistle in liver diseases: past, present, future. Phytother Res. 2010;24(10):1423-32.

    5. Randomized controlled trial of silymarin treatment in patients with cirrhosis of the liver. Ferenci P, Dragosics B, Dittrich H, Frank H, Benda L, Lochs H, Meryn S, Base W, Schneider B., Journal of hepatology, 1989

    6. https://examine.com/supplements/milk-thistle/#summary4-4

    7. Silymarin (Milk Thistle) can revoke liver enzyme changes during chemotherapy of breast cancer with Taxanes Mohaghegh F, Solhi H, and Kazemifar AM. , European journal of integrative medicine, 2015

    8. An updated systematic review with meta-analysis for the clinical evidence of silymarin. Saller R, Brignoli R, Melzer J, Meier R., Forsch Komplementärmed, 2008

    9. Velussi M, Cernigoi AM, Viezzoli L, Dapas F, Caffau C, Zilli M. Silymarin reduces hyperinsulinemia, malondialdehyde levels, and daily insulin need in cirrhotic diabetic patients. Curr Therap Res. 1993;53(5):533–545.

    10. Razavi BM, Karimi G. Protective effect of silymarin against chemical-induced cardiotoxicity. Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences. 2016;19(9):916-923.

    11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23012383

    12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19161049

    13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22392841

    14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19260380

    15. Huseini HF, Larijani B, Heshmat R, et al. The efficacy of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (silymarin) in the treatment of type II diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2006;20(12):1036-9.

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