Milk thistle contains a compound called silymarin, which is an antioxidant that hunts damaging free radicals. Silymarin, as well as an isolated form of flavonolignan called silybin, has a particular effect in the liver where it can prevent or counteract damage to the liver caused by toxins such as alcohol, acetaminophen (Tylenol) and other therapeutics, as well as environmental and bacterial toxins, and poisons.
Our livers take a daily beating from what we put in our body. It is constantly filtering out all the toxins and crap we put in our body. Milk thistle has also been shown to stimulate the production of new liver cells. So to me, it is a no brainer. Milk thistle is a necessity. It costs very little and provides you with excellent liver care.
Milk thistle is typically marketed as a standardized extract of the milk thistle seed. Most contain 80% silymarin flavonoids (silybin, silydianin, and silychristin). Typical dosage recommendations are for 175 mg of 80% silymarin extract, taken 1-3 times per day.
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