Silymarin is a flavonoid found in the ripe seeds of the common milk thistle plant. In many areas, the plant is considered an invasive weed, but it is also a natural medicine. You have probably seen it growing on roadsides and in untended fields. It is a thorny plant with a lovely purple flower that attracts numerous butterflies during the spring and summer months, when it is in bloom.

It was used by traditional healers to treat cirrhosis, jaundice, and hepatitis, as well as gallbladder disease. It is currently a favorite adjunctive therapy for hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. Silibinin, another flavonoid found in milk thistle, is used to counter ingestion of poisonous mushrooms.

All flavonoids have antioxidant activity. Increased flavonoid intake is believed to help prevent heart disease and cancer, both due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. There may even be other methods of action not yet understood. One of the things that scientists are attempting to do is to explain “why” flavonoids and other antioxidants work as they do. Researchers have found that silymarin inhibits a variety of different processes that lead to carcinogenesis.

There are a number of different health supplements on the market that contain milk thistle extracts. But, the single-ingredient supplements are not likely to be beneficial. The compound is not readily absorbed into the bloodstream. Manufacturers can take steps to address this issue. They can add an enteric coating or include lecithin. Many manufacturers do neither.

The quality of herbal remedies varies greatly, which probably explains why many do not work as they are supposed to. But, when it comes to your long-term health, there is no way to know whether or not it’s working, until it’s too late. The best way to insure that you are getting the actual benefits is to choose a reliable supplement manufacturer.

One thing to look for is the silymarin content. This varies from extract to extract. The highest concentrations provide 85mg of silymarin per 100mg of extract. Another thing to look for is lecithin. It should be included in a 1:1 ratio. If there is 100mg of milk thistle in the product, there should be 100mg of lecithin.

The best manufacturers also include an enteric coating. These coatings protect some of the more delicate nutrients from stomach acid, as well as protecting the stomach from upset. These coating dissolve in the upper intestine where the nutrients can pass directly through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.

Silymarin is a good choice for anyone that must take anti-inflammatory drugs on a regular basis. It is believed to lessen the damage that these drugs do to the liver. It also has natural anti-inflammatory activity, which may reduce a person’s need for pain medication.

There is evidence that the extract protects against kidney damage. It may be beneficial for controlling blood sugar levels in type II diabetes. When you look at everything that it can do, it may seem unusual, but there are dozens of other plants that have similar activity. Silymarin is a good ingredient for a multi-nutritional supplement, but it is not the only ingredient that we need.

Valerie Rosenbaum has spent years researching the claims of anti aging supplement products and skin care products to find out which ingredients and products are the most effective at slowing or even reversing the aging process. If you are interested in restoring your youthful vigor and appearance then visit her website http://www.NaturalBalanceSupplements.com to learn more.

Any reasonable milk thistle or silymarin dose is safe. But, how much does it take to be effective for protecting and improving liver health and function? That’s a good question.

Like many nutrients, silymarin has low “bioavailability”. Bioavailability has to do with the body’s ability to absorb a compound, a drug or nutrient. Researchers measure the amount that reaches the bloodstream unchanged, when it is taken orally. When a drug or nutrient is injected, there is 100% bioavailability. When taken orally, only a small portion of it may reach the bloodstream without being changed by the liver.

Because it has low bioavailability, some manufacturers suggest a high silymarin dose. Although such a dose would not be toxic, it could cause stomach upset or negative side effects. For example, if a person suffers from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, they should not take a large dosage, as the compound has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.

Researchers usually find ways to enhance and improve bioavailability. Usually, the only thing that it takes is adding a complementary nutrient. In the case of milk thistle, the complementary nutrient is lecithin.

Milk thistle may improve the function of the liver, relieve gall bladder problems, reduce varicose veins, reduce inflammation and be helpful for blood sugar control in type II diabetes, but it is not “essential” for human health. Lecithin is essential. The body needs it to create important neurotransmitters, which conduct messages from nerves to the brain and back.

If lecithin is included in the product, the recommended silymarin dose is 100mg per day. The best supplements contain a variety of different ingredients, including your basic vitamins and minerals, as well as extracts like milk thistle. Some of the nutrients that are important to liver health and function are n-acetyl cysteine, selenium, niacin and choline.

N-acetyl cysteine is the stable form of the essential amino acid L-cysteine. Cysteine is needed by the body to form glutathione, one of the most potent antioxidants that exist in the human body. Cysteine supplementation improves system function and may be beneficial for a variety of diseases. When it comes to the function of the liver, it helps it to cleanse itself of toxic heavy metals, such as mercury.

Selenium is an important antioxidant that improves the elasticity of tissues throughout the body. Niacin is essential to human health. None of the body’s organs can function without it. Choline prevents fats from accumulating in the liver, protecting you from fatty liver disease.

In other words, a silymarin dose is not the only nutrient that you should be getting every day. It is just one of many that contribute to good health, help prevent disease and may increase your lifespan. There is a growing amount of research indicating that low nutrient intake is the underlying cause of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration and a variety of other degenerative and life-threatening diseases.

If you want to live a long healthy life, you probably need to improve your nutrient intake. A 100mg silymarin dose is just one ingredient to look for.

Valerie Rosenbaum has spent years researching the claims of anti aging supplement products and skin care products to find out which ingredients and products are the most effective at slowing or even reversing the aging process. If you are interested in restoring your youthful vigor and appearance then visit her website http://www.NaturalBalanceSupplements.com to learn more.

Here are some facts about the milk thistle silymarin liver herb. Although there is still much that we do not know, there are some things that we do know about the benefit of supplementation. Let’s start with the benefits.

In vitro and animal studies, as well as historical usage, suggest that it protects the liver’s cells from toxins. Human studies are, as yet, inconclusive, although the HALT-C trial, which included volunteers suffering from chronic hepatitis C, found that users had less fatigue, nausea and anorexia, as well as less pain in the liver, joints and muscles. Their general health remained significantly better than those patients that did not use the supplement.

Scientists have documented the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity of silymarin, one of the active compounds in the ripe seeds of the milk thistle plant. There is some debate about whether or not it is a chelating agent. Some sources say, “Yes”. Others do not list this as a benefit.

A 2008 study concerning the milk thistle silymarin liver herb and patients with fibrosis concluded that it lowered the body’s iron stores, which indicates that it does have chelating activity. Chelating agents convert hazardous heavy metals like lead and mercury to non-hazardous substances, but they can also cause anemia in susceptible patients. The 2008 study used a supplement that included lecithin, a nutrient that increases the activity of silymarin by about 10 times.

Without lecithin, supplements may be completely ineffective. Not much of it ends up in the bloodstream unchanged. Enteric coatings help to protect it and lecithin increases its activity. So, in the right supplement 100mg per day is a safe and effective dosage. That amount should not deplete the body’s iron stores. The study showing decreased iron stores used much higher dosages.

The milk thistle silymarin liver herb may also protect against various types of cancer. It is one of many herbs and nutrients that have anti-cancer activity. Others include green tea, turmeric, resveratrol, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D, grape seed, bilberry, lutein, L-carnosine and l-glutathione.

Any naturally occurring compound that has anti-inflammatory activity and/or anti-oxidant activity typically has anti-cancer activity, as well. Most health experts now recommend a diet that is rich in nutrients that have these activities. Omega-3 fatty acids are also recommended for that purpose.

If you wanted to take the milk thistle silymarin liver herb and all of the other nutrients and extracts that are known to be beneficial to your long-term health, you would end up taking over 70 single-ingredients every day. Lucky for us, there are some well-designed supplements that include all of them. It may take a little more time to find them. You won’t find them in the drug store. But, if you want to do everything that you can to protect your long-term health, it is worth your time to shop for the best.

Now that you know a little more about the milk thistle silymarin liver herb, you might want to learn about other nutrients that are important to the liver’s health and function. You can never have too much knowledge.

Valerie Rosenbaum has made it her mission to provide the public with information supporting the use of natural and clinically tested ingredients in their anti aging supplements. It is very important to include a complete balance of over 70 nutrients to create a healthy equilibrium of nutrients and antioxidants within the body. If you want to look and feel younger then visit http://www.NaturalBalanceSupplements.com to learn how.

Milk thistle silymarin extracts make up some of the most popular liver tonics. A very common plant, it was used by traditional healers to treat diseases of the liver and gall bladder. Modern studies have shown that it is active against liver cancers. Hepatitis C patients commonly use it as a complementary medicine to relieve pain, nausea and fatigue.

It is included as an ingredient in some of the better multi-nutritional supplements on the market. Alone, it does not have high bioavailability, meaning that very little ends up in the bloodstream. But, when added to lecithin, a fat found in soy and sunflower seeds, the bioavailability is ten times higher.

In addition to their use as liver tonics, milk thistle silymarin extracts are also used to protect the liver from drugs that are potentially toxic to it. There are some 900 different drugs that are potentially toxic to the liver.

The human body identifies drugs as foreign substances or toxins. It takes action against them to make them suitable for elimination. The central role of the liver in clearing toxic chemicals from the body makes it susceptible to drug induced injury. Some of the common drugs that are known to cause liver damage include acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Some naturally occurring substances are toxic to the liver, as well. One of these is the “death cap”, a kind of poisonous mushroom. Chemically modified milk thistle silymarin extracts are injected to treat death cap poisoning. This well-known use supports the purported benefits of dietary supplementation.

In addition to having a positive effect on the liver, the extract may help prevent prostate, lung and colon cancers. It is currently being studies as a preventative measure and a treatment for various types of cancer. Many other plants are being studied for their anti-cancer activity, as well. For example, curcumin, from turmeric, is the current subject of three separate trails.

Many researchers believe that we can greatly reduce our risk of cancer by increasing our intake of natural anti-inflammatories and antioxidants found in plant foods and herbs. Nutrient intake is another factor. Low levels of calcium and vitamin D have recently been identified as being associated with various types of cancer.

Doctors have found that vitamin D deficiencies are common in the United States. Pediatricians recently raised the daily recommended dosage of vitamin D for children and suggested that supplementation should continue into adulthood.

Milk thistle silymarin extracts will not prevent vitamin deficiencies, but they are included in some of the better multi- nutritional supplements. Some debate about the benefit of dietary supplements, but recent research has shown that fresh fruits and vegetables are not as nutrient-rich as they were just 50 years ago. It is practically impossible to get all of the nutrients that you need every day without overeating. Some experts believe that is the root cause of the obesity epidemic.

To sum it up, milk thistle silymarin extracts may be beneficial for relieving pain, nausea and fatigue. It helps support the liver and reduces your risk of cancer. It is not the only important plant compound that we know of, just one of the few that is known to protect the liver.

Valerie Rosenbaum has made it her mission to provide the public with information supporting the use of natural and clinically tested ingredients in their anti aging supplements. It is very important to includenatural ingredients to nourish a healthy balance of nutrients and antioxidants within the body. If you want to look and feel younger then visit http://www.NaturalBalanceSupplements.com to learn how.

The idea of taking milk thistle for liver damage is not new. It has been used medicinally for over 2000 years to treat liver, as well as gallbladder disorders. Today, supplements containing the extract are popular in Europe and the United States. Surveys indicate that people which chronic hepatitis C often use a variety of different herbal supplements. Silymarin, the active component in milk thistle, is one of the most popular.

In a recent study, researchers for the National Institutes of Health found that hepatitis C sufferers using silymarin had fewer symptoms, reported better quality of life and their general health was significantly better than those who did not use the supplement. The researchers suggested a future well-designed study where the use of the supplement was controlled and the quality of the supplement was standardized. Such a study would help doctors determine if they should recommend milk thistle for liver damage.

The activity of silymarin is not well understood. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Sources agree on that. But, while some sources say that it is a chelating agent (able to break down hazardous heavy metals, so that they can be removed from the body), other sources say that it does not have chelating activity. It may be dependent on whether the supplement is taken alone or used in conjunction with lecithin.

A combination of lecithin and silymarin is about ten times more bio-available than silymarin alone. The bio-availability of a drug or a nutrient has to do with how much ends up unchanged in the bloodstream when it is taken orally. Alone, silymarin has poor bio-availability.

In a 2008 study, researchers found that the lecithin/silymarin combination decreased circulating blood levels of iron, which indicates that it does have chelating activity. Chelating agents are non-selective. They change iron, as they would change a hazardous heavy metal like lead or mercury. Anemic people are warned against using chelating agents on a regular basis for that reason, unless they also take an iron supplement.

Because of this latest study, if you are taking milk thistle for liver damage, you might also need to increase your iron intake. Of course, any type of supplementation should be discussed with your doctor.

Many people take milk thistle for liver damage prevention. It is included in some of the better multi-nutritional supplements, because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Free radical damage and inflammation are two of the causes of cellular aging, throughout the body.

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, before they can damage the cells or cause degeneration of the DNA strands. Drugs that have anti-inflammatory activity are ineffective against the chronic inflammation that causes cellular aging. In fact, those drugs are toxic to the liver.

If you regularly take ibuprofen, aspirin or other drugs of that type, you should consider the use of more natural anti-inflammatories, such as omega-3 fatty acids, and also take a multi-nutritional supplement that contains silymarin. Research indicates there are positive benefits to taking milk thistle for liver damage prevention, especially as it relates to those drugs.

Valerie Rosenbaum has spent years researching the claims of anti aging supplement products and skin care products to find out which ingredients and products are the most effective at slowing or even reversing the aging process. If you are interested in restoring your youthful vigor and appearance then visit her website http://www.NaturalBalanceSupplements.com to learn more.

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