Milk thistle or Silybum marianum is an annual belonging to the daisy family. It is named for its green, spiny leaves that release a milky sap when broken. But the health-promoting benefits come from its seed-like fruits. Merely millimeters in size, these tiny fruits contain silymarin, a complex mixture of plant-based nutrients called flavonoids.1
For thousands of years, milk thistle has been used as a health tonic most prized for supporting liver health.* Originally native to areas of Europe, Russia, Asia and Africa, milk thistle was later naturalized in North and South America and has been used throughout the world. In Ancient Greece it was used as a tonic to promote liver health.*1
Traditional systems of Chinese and Indian medicine also used milk thistle to revitalize the liver and gallbladder.*1 Throughout the Middle Ages, it was believed to detoxify the liver.*2 Despite its frequent and common use, the active components in milk thistle were not identified until 1968.1
The liver is the largest single internal organ weighing around 3 lbs.3,4 After digestion, nutrient-rich blood is delivered directly to the liver where it is filtered before being distributed to the rest of the body. The liver detoxifies blood, metabolizes nutrients and plays many more critical roles that impact nearly every aspect of health.
Milk thistle contains special flavonoids that help maintain healthy liver function.* Flavonoids are plant-based compounds that can be beneficial for human health.* There are thousands of different flavonoids in the plant kingdom. The complex group of flavonoids found in milk thistle is collectively known as silymarin. Silymarin supports the outer cell membrane of liver cells.* Cell membranes control what is allowed to enter a cell, helping to protect the cell from outside threats such as toxins.
Silymarin also contains important antioxidant properties to help fight free radicals in the body.* Free radicals can contribute to oxidative stress, which in turn may contribute to the premature aging of cells. Free radicals occur naturally in the body but can be compounded by external factors like pollution and smoking. The beneficial flavonoids and antioxidants in milk thistle also stimulate the production of important proteins needed for the formation of new liver cells.*
Produces bile, important for the digestion and absorption of fats5
Stores vitamins A, D, & E, iron and copper5
Breaks down certain drugs and removes alcohol from the blood5
Synthesizes proteins needed for proper blood clotting5
It is true that silymarin has been identified as the active component in milk thistle responsible for promoting liver health.* Silymarin also has important antioxidant properties.* Yet silymarin only makes up about 1.5-3% of the dry weight of the small, seed-like milk thistle fruits.1 The rest of these fruits are composed of proteins, fatty acids, sugars, and other phytonutrients with beneficial properties. Puritan’s Pride offers both standardized and non-standardized milk thistle extracts. A standardized milk thistle extract will provide a set amount of silymarin whereas an unstandardized extract will provide the goodness of the whole herb.
Your daily intake of milk thistle supplements can be consumed with one meal or can be taken at separate meals throughout the day.
Milk thistle seeds have long been roasted and used as a coffee substitute. Puritan’s Pride® milk thistle capsules may be opened and prepared as a tea. If you choose to consume your milk thistle supplements in this manner, we recommend enjoying your milk thistle tea along with a meal. The active constituent in milk thistle, silymarin is best absorbed when taken with food.
|Serving Size 1 Capsule|
|Amount Per Serving||% Daily Value|
|Milk Thistle Extract||175 mg *|
|(Silybum marianum) (seed)|
|(standardized to contain 80%|
|*Daily Value not established.|
No Artificial Color, Flavor or Sweetener, No Preservatives, No Sugar, No Starch, No Milk, No Lactose, No Soy, No Gluten, No Wheat, No Yeast, No Fish, Sodium Free.
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