10 Health Benefits of Milk Thistle

10 Health Benefits of Milk Thistle

Few ingredients have gained as much recognition and popularity in the realm of natural health and wellness as milk thistle. This potent plant, known for its unique properties and beneficial compounds, has become a staple in many health-conscious individuals' routines. 

The rise to fame for milk thistle isn’t without solid reasoning — there have been numerous clinical trials and studies to confirm the positive effects of milk thistle on human health. Today, we’ll be talking about these health benefits in greater detail so that you can decide whether the use of milk thistle is a good fit for your health goals and needs. 

Here at Dose, we’re dedicated to bringing you the very best of nature to support your wellness journey. That’s why we’ve harnessed the power of milk thistle and other natural ingredients to produce products specifically formulated to support various aspects of your health. 

What Is Milk Thistle?

The milk thistle plant belongs to the Asteraceae family or the daisy family as it’s more commonly known. Milk thistle is instantly recognizable thanks to its striking purple flowers and spiny leaves. The milky veins located in the leaves are what gives milk thistle its unique name.

However, milk thistle has picked up several other names over the centuries. While it’s known scientifically as Silybum marianum, milk thistle is also commonly referred to as holy thistle, mary thistle, and lady’s thistle, among others. Each name carries a story of its rich history as an herbal remedy and widespread use throughout history.

Milk thistle is native to the Mediterranean regions of Europe. However, this resilient plant has spread all around the globe and can be found growing in various parts of Asia, Africa, Australia, and both North and South America. The spreading of this plant only further illustrates its importance in traditional medicine as cultures from all around the world have recognized its potent abilities. 

What Makes Milk Thistle a Potent Health Supplement?

The potency of milk thistle as an herbal supplement is rooted in its unique composition. It's not just a plant, but a powerhouse of beneficial compounds that work synergistically to support your health. The star player in milk thistle's lineup of compounds is its active ingredient silymarin, which provides the vast majority of benefits associated with this incredible plant. 

Silymarin isn’t just a single compound, but rather a family of compounds. It’s primarily a complex mixture that’s made up of three flavonolignans: silibinin, silydianin, and silychristin. Each of these compounds brings its own set of health benefits to the table, but when they come together then the health effects of silymarin are amplified. 

Silibinin (sometimes written as Silybin) is known for its antioxidant properties and is the most abundant and active component of silymarin. It helps to support cell health during exposure to harmful free radicals and oxidative stress in the body.

Silydianin and silychristin are present in smaller amounts but still contribute to the overall health benefits of milk thistle. They function as complementary compounds that support the various actions of silibinin and add to the overall potency of silymarin.

The Top 10 Health Benefits of Milk Thistle

Milk thistle has a long history in traditional medicine for several reasons. Here are just a few examples of the potential health benefits provided by milk thistle: 

1. Nutritional Support

Milk thistle seeds are a treasure trove of essential nutrients, including essential fatty acids, amino acids, and vitamin E. These nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. 

Essential fatty acids support heart health, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from damage. 

2. Supports Liver Function

One of the most celebrated benefits of milk thistle is its support for liver health. The liver, our largest internal organ, performs up to 500 functions daily, making it integral to our overall health. 

The silymarin found in milk thistle helps to protect the liver cells from damage and supports the liver's natural filtration processes.

3. Promotes Digestive Health

Milk thistle supports the production of bile, a fluid that aids in the digestion of fats and neutralizes stomach acid. 

Healthy bile production can help ease bloating and other digestive issues while promoting overall digestive health.

4. Enhances Antioxidant Activity

As we mentioned earlier, the silymarin in milk thistle is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that help support the body during exposure to oxidative stress caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. 

Adding the antioxidant properties of milk thistle can help to support your body during exposure to these elements and lower the risk of various health conditions. 

5. Supports Weight Management

There's also promising evidence to suggest that milk thistle can support weight management. Some studies suggest that by improving liver function, milk thistle may support weight management efforts

However, it’s important to keep in mind that milk thistle isn’t a magic bullet for weight loss. It’s most effective for weight management when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

6. Promotes Skin Health

Despite being on the outside, our skin is often a strong reflection of our internal health. The antioxidant properties of silymarin can help support skin cell integrity during exposure to oxidative damage caused by free radicals. This can help reduce the look of signs of aging, promote a healthier complexion, and support your overall skin health. 

7. Boosts Brain Health

The brain is one of the most vital organs in our body, and taking care of it is crucial for overall well-being. Preliminary research suggests that milk thistle may have neuroprotective effects which potentially support brain health. It’s believed that the antioxidant properties of silymarin may help support brain cell health and support cognitive function.

8. Helps Maintain Blood Sugar Levels

Unstable blood sugar levels can result in a variety of undesired side effects and health conditions. Some research suggests that milk thistle may help support balanced blood sugar levels. 

However, while these findings are encouraging, more research is needed in this area before any conclusions can be made. So, milk thistle supplements shouldn’t replace any prescribed medications or treatments for blood sugar control.

9. Supports Heart Health

Milk thistle may play a role in supporting a healthy heart as some studies suggest that it may help to support overall healthy cholesterol levels. 

High cholesterol is a risk factor for a variety of cardiovascular conditions, so maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is essential for heart health. As always, it's important to maintain a balanced diet and regular exercise alongside taking milk thistle for optimal heart health.

10. Promotes Bone Health

Our bones are the framework of our body, and keeping them healthy is crucial for our comfort, mobility, and overall health. Early research suggests that milk thistle may have bone-supporting effects. While more research is needed in this area, these preliminary findings suggest that milk thistle could be a beneficial addition to a bone-healthy lifestyle.

Are There Any Side Effects of Using Milk Thistle?

While milk thistle is generally well-tolerated and considered safe for most people, it's important to be aware that it can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. This is particularly true for those who are allergic to plants in the daisy family, such as chrysanthemums, ragweeds, and marigolds. 

If you're aware of any such allergies, it would be wise to consult with a healthcare provider for specific medical advice before incorporating milk thistle into your dietary wellness routine.

The majority of side effects associated with milk thistle are typically mild and relate to gastrointestinal issues. These can include feelings of nausea, diarrhea, and bloating. While these side effects are usually temporary, it's always important to listen to your body and adjust your usage if necessary. 

In most cases, these side effects are merely the result of a high dose of milk thistle and can be eliminated by lowering the intake. 

Certain populations should exercise caution with milk thistle. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid using milk thistle, as its effects on these populations are not well-studied. Additionally, if you have a liver condition or are taking medication that affects liver enzymes, then you should consult with a healthcare provider before taking milk thistle.

How Much Milk Thistle Does a Daily Dose Shot Provide?

Here at Dose, we're committed to providing you with potent, effective doses of nature's most beneficial ingredients. 

Our Dose For Your Liver daily supplement provides 70 milligrams of milk thistle with each shot, featuring 80% milk thistle actives. This is significantly higher than most other options on the market, which typically only feature around 10% actives.

But the goodness doesn't stop there. In addition to milk thistle, Dose For Your Liver also features 300 mg of Turmeric, 30 mg of Dandelion, 500 mg of Orange, and 30 mg of Ginger. These potent, organic ingredients work together in harmony to offer further complementary support to your liver. They aid in its function and help cleanse it of unwanted elements which contributes to your overall health and well-being.

The Bottom Line

Milk thistle is a potent, natural ingredient that can support various aspects of your health, from liver function to skin health. Its long history of being used in traditional medicine has been backed by countless studies in the modern age. However, it’s important to remember that while milk thistle may offer numerous health benefits, it’s not a cure-all and is most effective when used as part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. 

If you’re ready to experience the benefits of milk thistle firsthand, then consider adding Dose For Your Liver to your daily routine. 


Review of Clinical Trials Evaluating Safety and Efficacy of Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum [L.] Gaertn.) | Sage Journals

Milk Thistle | NCBI Bookshelf

“Silymarin”, a Promising Pharmacological Agent for Treatment of Diseases | PMC

Biochemical Profile of Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum L.) with Special Reference to Silymarin Content | PMC

New Mechanistic Insights Into Hepatoprotective Activity of Milk Thistle and Chicory Quantified Extract: The Role of Hepatic Farnesoid-X Activated Receptors | NCBI Bookshelf

Skin Protective Activity of Silymarin and its Flavonolignans | PMC

A Mini Review on the Chemistry and Neuroprotective Effects of Silymarin | NCBI Bookshelf