From the 4th century BC, milk thistle was used by ancient Greeks as a protection for the liver. By the 16th century until now, Europeans have made milk thistle into a medicine that treats diseases related to the liver.
Over the last 50 years, scientists around the world have discovered the main ingredients in milk thistle extract. It's a complex compound called silymarin. Silymarin contains many flavonolignans (silibinin, silychristin and silydianin) are active ingredients with many different uses. One of them is weight loss benefits.
However, milk thistle benefits weight loss is not widely known. Therefore, let’s find out what can milk thistle do to help consumers lose weight.
What Is Milk Thistle?
Milk Thistle is a plant from the Mediterranean. This plant contains a compound called Silymarin, which is used to treat liver disease. Since the discovery of silymarin in milk thistle has been effective in treating many other diseases, it has been cultivated all over the world. It is a popular functional food widely used in the United States and Europe.
Benefits of Milk Thistle That Help Lose Weight
#1. Liver Detoxification
Milk thistle has a strong detoxifying activity, helps regenerate liver cells, eliminates toxins from the body through the liver, and reverses the harm of the use of alcohol. Milk thistle has been recognized as a treatment for various liver diseases, including fatty liver syndrome, drunkenness, jaundice, psoriasis, hepatitis, and others.
Ingredients in milk thistle help boost the immune system, thereby promoting the body's ability to fight off disease. They contribute to stabilizing the cell membrane and control cell function.
Very few people know that effective fat reduction processes need to make significant contributions of the liver. Almost all weight-loss plans neglect the enhancement of liver function. The liver is an important organ in cleansing the blood and converting fat in the body. When the ability to perform this function of the liver is enhanced by silymarin, the fat is metabolized faster, and the goal of weight loss is easily achieved.
#2. Cancer Prevention
Milk thistle can inhibit the growth of metastatic tumors thanks to the antioxidant contained in the silymarin compound. Scientists have conducted experiments on the active ingredient of milk thistle with prostate cancer cells, breast cancer and cervical cancer cells in vitro, all of which showed that the cancerous cells had been inhibited effectively.
#3. Atherosclerosis Treatment
Causes of atherosclerosis are due to the oxidation of LDL cholesterol that forms the plaque that attaches to the artery wall. Milk thistle helps regulate cholesterol levels and cleanse the blood, preventing oxidative damage to artery walls. Also, a study conducted by Chinese and Japanese scientists showed that silymarin in milk thistle protects heart muscle cells.
Obese people usually have high cholesterol that can destroy the body in many ways; especially it is one of the leading causes of coronary heart disease. Therefore, since milk thistle can regulate cholesterol, it can help you lose your weight.
#4. Diabetes Control
The US National Institutes of Health has confirmed that silymarin in milk thistle can control blood glucose, thereby contributing to prevent and control diabetes.
If you have diabetes, accompanied by overweight, weight loss is essential to support diabetes treatment, prevent other illnesses and give you a more well-proportioned body. Thus, milk thistle is a perfectly natural product.
#5. Protect Your Brain
Overweight and obese individuals have a smaller brain volume than those with a healthy weight and are included in the risk group for dementia, including the risk of Alzheimer's.
Dr. Paul M. Thompson, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, said: "That's a big loss of tissue, and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer's and other diseases that attack the brain." This study was published in Human Brain Mapping on August 6, 2009.
Milk thistle contains neuroprotection, and early studies suggest it may be beneficial for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. Animal studies have also shown that silymarin can inhibit the formation of beta-protein amyloid (a toxic Alzheimer's-related protein), thereby helping to prevent Alzheimer's disease.
#6. Helps Prevent Gallstones
Do you know that obese people are more prone to suffer from gallstones than others?
Obese people are more likely to develop gallstones than those with a healthy weight. For women, obesity is a risk factor for gallstone progression. Researchers show that if you are overweight, you may have high cholesterol. This leads to the production of bile that contains more cholesterol than the amount cholesterol that your body can decompose. When this happens, gallstones form from excess cholesterol.
Milk thistle helps support the endocrine and digestive system in the production of bile and enzymes, helps cleanse the blood, and can help purify the body, thereby regulating the function of the gallbladder, kidney, and spleen to help prevent gallstone and kidney stones.
#7. Improves Skin Health
Research has shown that phytochemicals found in silymarin of milk thistle efficiently suppress the ultraviolet light that causes oxidation on the skin. Milk thistle is considered an active inhibitor of UV rays that can cause skin diseases such as skin cancer. The application of silymarin found in milk thistle to the skin also reduces skin damage due to radiation therapy in patients treated for cancer.
#8. Against Aging
Antioxidants from milk thistle can slow down the aging process on the skin, reducing the risk of some of the most common and severe disorders in adults including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney, liver damage, aging skin and eye problems.
Milk Thistle Benefits Weight Loss Products
There are thousands of products on the markets contain milk thistle extract such as functional foods, medicine, oil, seeds, tea, … They are considered to be a wonderful remedy that can treat many diseases and obesity is not an exception.
However, not everyone can use this herb because each person’s body is different. As a result, it can cause some side-effects. Keep reading for more details.
Using milk thistle may also have side effects, though very rare, including vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, chills, aching joints, loss of consciousness, … In unusual cases, milk thistle can cause allergies, including swelling, rash, urticaria, and shortness of breath.
Silymarin extract from milk thistle may interact with other medications such as schizophrenia medicine, medication for stroke or anesthesia drugs. When faced with the above symptoms, you should stop using milk thistle for at least three days.
Pregnant or nursing mothers should not use milk thistle.
Milk thistle, like any other natural remedy, is not strictly analyzed as strictly as pharmaceutical drugs. Milk thistle is a popular product in pharmacies and is usually sold in capsules, tea, flour, oil extracts or seeds. Although considered a safe, natural treatment, experts still recommend that you should be cautious when using this herb due to the increased amount of medication in the liver.
If you are looking for a natural weight loss product, milk thistle is not a bad one. Since it has so many great benefits for your health, I think you should consider using them. Make sure that you have consulted a doctor before taking any medicine. Safety first!
Lastly, thank you so much for reading the whole post. I hope you like it. If you have any question, feel free to leave comments in the box below. Have a good day and see you in the next post!