Some interesting facts about Milk Thistle( liver support)

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4717
   Posted 11/2/2009 1:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I just started Milk Thistle for liver support and the nurse that supplies some of my supplements gave me a pamphlet that explaines exactly what Milk Thistle is good for. The one I have called, "Milk Thistle Plus", has extra ingredients that also help with liver support. I think it is extremely important to take something that protects the liver especially while on antibiotics.

Milk Thistle Plus is a comprehensive formula designed to support liver health and protect against hepatotoxic compounds.

Written records show that Milk Thistle was used as a liver-protecting agent by the Romans as early as the first century. Despite it's long history of use for liver and biliary complaints, it was not until 1968 that silymarin was isolated as the active ingredient.

Silymarin protects the liver from toxins and supports liver cell regeneration. Laboratory studies show that Silymarin:

•Stabilizes cell membranes, thus preventing entry of toxic chemicals into the cell.
•Stimulates synthesis and activity of enzymes resposible for detoxification pathways.
•Exhibits potent antioxidant properties.

Specifically Silymarin stimulates the glutathione S-transferase pathway to alter intracellular concentration of glutathione. Glutathione, an antioxidant produced in the liver, is the bodies key protector against the oxidizing compounds that can lead to liver disease.

These are the ingredients in the Milk Thistle I have and an explanation of what each ingredient does in the body:

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine(Nac)- Derived from the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine, increases glutathione levels in liver, lungs and plasma even more effectively than glutathione supplements. It is used to protect the liver from damage caused by glutathione depletion after acetaminophen overdose.

Tumeric- and it's active constituent, curcumin, have hepatoprotective characteristics similiar to that of silymarin. This protective effects is primarily due to it's antioxidant properties.

Artichoke- Helps prevent glutathione destruction. It appears to support liver regeneration, blood flow to traumatized areas of the liver and bile flow within the liver as well.

SOD- The antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) helps revitalize cells and reduce the rate of cell destruction. It neutralizes the most common, and possibly the most dangerous free radical, superoxide.

Beet Leaves- Can help to increase bile flow and aid in carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Bile acids are essential for digested fats and fat soluable vitamins to be carried across the intestinal wall into the blood.

Boron- Is added for mineral balance. It decreases urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium which may be depleted in some liver conditions. Because of it's role in copper metabolism, boron may also increase SOD levels.

Note: Supplements that increase bile flow should not be used by patients with obstructions of the bile duct.
**You never know how STRONG you are....until being STRONG is the ONLY choice you have**

Co-Moderator Lyme Disease Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 228
   Posted 11/2/2009 5:09 AM (GMT -7)   
This is great info.

I started taking Milk Thistle earlier this year (before Lyme) because I was told I had cysts on my liver. I was told they were no big deal, there's nothing to worry about, some people just get them. My Doc also said most women get them from years of taking Birth Control Pills! I've never taken many of those, so that wasn't a reason for me. I wasn't happy with that explanation anyway, so I started taking Milk Thistle. I also read somewhere that all cysts are just parasites. Eeek! Dunno if that's true or not, but the thought freaks me out. Now I wonder if they are Lyme related?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4399
   Posted 11/2/2009 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Cysts can form due to tissue injury as well, so not sure I agree with the idea that all cysts are from parasites. It is an interesting concept to ponder, however.

Interesting that BCP's cause liver cysts...doesn't sound good for the body...

Take care,
Chronic Lyme Disease, Chronic Bartonella (clinical dx only), Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD ("Secondary Lupus-Like Syndrome"), Osteoporosis, chronic Lymphopenia, etc.; G-Tube; Currently trying to wean off TPN.
Meds:  Pulmicort, IV Ceftazidime, Heparin (to flush PICC line), Claritin, Domperidone, Colloidal Silver (used topically), probiotics, Milk Thistle, Ailanthus, homeopathy.

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