Milk Thistle: More Than Just An Antioxidant For Liver Health
Milk thistle contains numerous plant compounds that are generally referred to as silymarin. These compounds are known to be anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. Silymarin has been extracted and used to treat a wide array of ailments for centuries. It is probably most well known for its positive effects on the liver and kidneys. And with all the toxins we are bombarded with on a daily basis, having optimal liver and kidney function is a crucial piece to longevity.
Because of legalities milk thistle is just another one of those “supports a healthy liver” remedies. But we are smarter than that. We have noticed its uses for liver damage, alcoholic liver disease, fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and even liver cancer. And while it isn’t the answer to these major diseases, milk thistle has been able to produce significant results against them. It repairs and protects liver cells from toxic substances. It has been shown to stop cancer cells from dividing and reproducing. And there is even some evidence for reducing the life span of cancer cells. More studies on humans need to be done here, but it does look promising.
Let's just run through some of the other great benefits that milk thistle can give. It promotes healthy prostate function, fights free radical damage in the gastrointestinal tract, prevents neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, promotes strong bones, boosts breast milk production, improves insulin sensitivity, and can even help treat acne. Now, like I said before it’s not the answer to serious diseases in these arenas but milk thistle’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects are beneficial to them.
Milk thistle effectively activates NRF2 or nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor. Yeah, all of that. It’s one thing to consume antioxidants but another to turn on our own bodily production of them. The most powerful antioxidants are those that our body produces like superoxide dismutase SOD and glutathione (often refer..
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