T Nation

Milk Thistle: Pros and Cons?


So, I've been looking into this for some time now because I was interested in doing some liver detox. From what I've read so far the herb seems to be a miracle (it may also help treat diabetes, cancer, etc) except for the fact that it may have some estrogen-like properties (kinda like soy I guess).

So I was wondering if anyone of you has ever tried this for liver support. if so, have you experienced any improvements or any sides related to the alleged estrogenic properties?

Maybe supplementing with something like Tribulus or Rez-V could help with this problem? any thoughts?


I wouldn't worry about it. Proper liver function is key for clearing Estrogens anyway. If the liver is working more efficiently, the slight (if any) increase from the milk thistle itself should be nothing.


Kinda-related thread hijack: Is there any significant difference between supplementing with 'Milk Thistle' versus the extract of Silymarin?


They are the same. Milk Thistle's scientific name is Silybum marianum. the active compound of the plant is called Silymarin.


So would it be correct to assume that the other parts of the plant (that are not Silymarin) are relatively inert or insignificant?


Well, for what I understand the silymarin is a standardized extract that is actually a mixture of three different compounds (silybin, silydianin, and silychristin). From what I've read these are the only compounds that play a part in Milk Thistle's therapeutic properties.