More than just an exotic name, Silymarin is a nutrient extracted from the milk thistle plant. It's an effective ingredient that helps detoxify your body and keep your liver super healthy. It’s packed with potent plant nutrients – 80% of the extract is just flavonoids, which increase the antioxidants in your body (primarily glutathione, a master antioxidant), inhibit alcohol-induced liver damage, and reduce the impact of toxins and heavy metals.
About the ingredient
Let’s understand the science !
- Silymarin is a flavonoid that has been known to activate the detoxifying enzymes GST, resulting in an efficient detoxification process. Read more
- Silymarin is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent. It is used to treat alcoholic liver disease, acute and chronic viral hepatitis and toxin-induced liver diseases.Read more
Let’s understand the science !
Here are all the Setu products with Silymarin extract
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Silymarin is a nutrient extracted from the milk thistle plant. Milk thistle belongs to the ragweed and daisy family and is a flowering herb. It is found in Mediterranean countries. It is also known as the holy thistle or Mary thistle. Silymarin has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties. It is also known to promote cardiovascular health.
Silymarin is the active ingredient contained in milk thistle, the flowering herb which is native to Mediterranean countries. All the health benefits of milk thistle can be attributed to Silymarin. It is known to benefit health conditions relating to the gallbladder and liver. It also prevents the depletion of glutathione and averts various medical conditions associated with glutathione deficiency. Some of the health benefits are discussed in depth in this article.
Health Benefits of Silymarin
Silymarin has various health benefits to its credit. Silymarin extract derived from milk thistle plant has 65 to 80% of silymarin. It has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. It has been a traditional treatment for gallbladder and liver disorders, stimulation of breast milk, and protecting the liver from snake bites, environment and alcohol poisons. It may also prevent as well as treat cancer. The various health benefits of Silymarin are given below:
#1. Prevents Age-related Cognitive Degeneration
From time immemorial milk thistle has been a traditional treatment for age-related degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. As age advances, there will be a decline in brain function. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties protect the nervous system and avert degeneration. Another quality of silymarin, i.e., protecting brain cells from oxidative damage, helps in the upkeep of brain function.
Studies conducted on animals have shown that silymarin reduces the concentration of amyloid plaques in the brain. The formation of sticky amyloid protein clusters in between the nerves is amyloid plaque. Amyloid plaque is found in a high range in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. However, studies on humans are yet to be conducted to confirm the effect of silymarin in people with Alzheimer’s disease or any other neurological issue.
Also, it is not known if silymarin absorbed in humans is enough to cross the blood-brain barrier and also the dosage required for optimum effect is yet to be arrived at.
#2. Protects The Liver
Silymarin is widely used to treat liver and gallbladder issues. It is a popular complementary therapy used to treat the damage caused to the liver due to alcoholic liver disease, liver cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and hepatitis. Death cap mushrooms release amatoxin, a lethal toxin and silymarin protects you against this deadly toxin.
Silymarin extract supplements boost liver function by reducing liver inflammation and damage in people suffering from liver disorders. Toxic substances metabolised in the liver release free radicals that can cause damage to the liver. Silymarin protects the liver from these free radicals.
Silymarin enhances the life span of individuals suffering from cirrhosis, a condition caused by alcoholic liver disease.
The inference drawn by studies conducted on the benefits of silymarin in treating liver disease is diverse and so more research is required for determining the exact duration and dosage for treating particular liver conditions.
Also, there is a lack of evidence to prove that silymarin can prevent liver disorders, especially, if your lifestyle is not healthy.
#3. Is Beneficial For Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a condition when your bones become weak and thin. Your bones become susceptible to fractures. Calcium deficiency is one of the reasons for this condition. Animal studies have shown that silymarin boosts bone mineralisation and prevents bone loss. It is believed that bone loss in women post-menopause can be delayed with the intake of silymarin. Human studies are yet to be done and so its effect on delaying or preventing bone loss in humans is yet to be confirmed.
#4. It Improves Lactation
Silymarin stimulates the production of prolactin, the milk-producing hormone and thus enhances lactation in breastfeeding mothers. A trial showed that lactating mothers who consumed 420 mg of silymarin produced 64% more milk than the ones who did not consume silymarin. The safety of silymarin for lactating mothers is yet to be established.
#5. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetic Patients
Silymarin extract can be a supportive treatment for type 2 diabetes. The effect of silymarin in enhancing insulin sensitivity is akin to medications prescribed for diabetes. Recent studies have shown that consistent intake of silymarin has considerably reduced fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c. The potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have their due contribution in minimising the risk of developing complications like kidney diseases associated with diabetes. However, more research is required to establish the efficacy of silymarin in regulating blood sugar levels and preventing diabetes-related health conditions.
#6. Helps Treat Acne
Oxidative stress is one of the reasons for developing acne. Silymarin with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties is a beneficial treatment for acne breakout. Studies have indicated that an intake of 210 mg of silymarin consistently for 8 weeks significantly lowered acne lesions.
Recommended Dosage of Silymarin
Silymarin is generally taken orally in the form of capsules. A dosage of silymarin extract up to 420 mg a day is considered safe.
Side Effects of Silymarin
Silymarin is considered safe and has no side effects when consumed according to the recommended dosage. An overdose of silymarin can result in the following mild side effects
- Joint Pain
People allergic to any other plant like ragweed or daisies that are close to the milk thistle family will be more susceptible to adverse reactions.
Though there is no evidence to show that silymarin may interfere with other medications, it is better to consult your doctor before taking silymarin if you have any existing medical conditions. Breastfeeding and expecting mothers should avoid consuming silymarin.
Which is the ideal time to take a silymarin supplement?
It is recommended to take silymarin 30 minutes before a meal or on an empty stomach as it helps alleviate stomach disorders or indigestion.
How to take silymarin?
Silymarin is generally taken orally in capsule form. The recommended dosage is 12 to 15 grams of dried fruit or 200 to 400 mg of silymarin extract. If you have skipped a dosage, ignore the dose, and continue with your regular dose. Do not double the dosage to compensate for the skipped dose. Limit the dosage to the recommended levels. Overdose may cause side effects and may sometimes lead to medical emergencies.
What is the precaution to be taken before consuming silymarin?
The safety of the supplement for breastfeeding or expecting mothers is not established. So they have to avoid the drug. The effects of silymarin taken along with other medications are not completely established. It is recommended for people with any existing medical condition to consult their physician before taking silymarin.
Can silymarin be derived from a diet?
Silymarin is found in traces in beetroot, grapes, berries, and brewer’s yeast. It is a common additive in bread products.
How to understand the effect of the supplement on your liver?
Your liver will slowly heal on the consumption of the silymarin supplement. The indications for your liver healing are:
- Healthier looking skin
- Increase in energy level
- Relief from stomach ache and swelling
Your liver processes amino acids and proteins that your body cannot store. If your liver is healing, this amino-acid regulation will improve.