Written through Ansley Hill, RD, LD top top December 22, 2020 — median reviewed by Kathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition

Milk thistle is a famous herbal remedy that has actually been used for hundreds of years to treat a variety of clinical conditions, including illness of the liver and also gallbladder (1).

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More newly milk thistle has actually been advocated as a device for encouraging load loss, however scientific proof to support this use is limited.

This short article reviews what milk thistle is and whether it’s useful for load loss.

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Milk thistle, also known together Silybum marianum and also St. Mary’s thistle, is an herb that belongs to the Asteraceae family members of flower plants. It grow wild in clear regions almost everywhere the world, including Europe, Africa, and also Asia (2).

Milk thistle is characterized by the tall and slender stem, bright purple flowers, spiny green leaves, and also sharp thorns.

It has been provided in timeless herbal medication for centuries and contains a variety of compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This compounds are collectively referred to together silymarin, but the most potent one is well-known as silybin or silibinin (1).

The state silymarin and also silybin are regularly used interchangeably, though they technically express to distinct chemical contents of the milk thistle plant.

Modern research study on the medicinal results of milk thistle is restricted and mainly inconclusive (3).

The bulk of available studies focuses on milk thistle’s potential come treat liver disorders, such together cirrhosis and fatty liver disease. It has also been studied together a potential therapy for high blood sugar among those with kind 2 diabetes.


Milk thistle is a kind of flowering tree that’s frequently used to treat diseases of the liver in organic medicine practices.

Milk thistle is occasionally used come promote weight loss, but there’s very small research to support its capacity to enhance fat lose or boost body composition.

One current study evaluate the impacts of utilizing milk thistle extract on mice with obesity. In spite of consuming comparable quantities of food, the mice that got milk thistle lost around 5% of their weight, when the manage group continued gaining load throughout the research (4).

A grasp of small human studies have actually evaluated milk thistle’s effects on particular metabolic symptoms linked with obesity, such as insulin resistance and inflammation, but none have looked particularly at milk thistle’s capacity to promote fat ns (5).

Although the results are promising, a solitary animal research does not constitute sufficient evidence to reliably identify whether milk thistle can help weight lose in humans.

More research study is needed.


One study discovered that milk thistle motivated fat ns in mice v obesity. However, more research is required to determine whether comparable effects could occur in humans.

Milk thistle is typically taken through mouth in capsule or extract form.

Current evidence argues that dosages together high together 420 mg 3 times per day are most likely safe because that most human being (6).

Although milk thistle has actually a decent document of safety, it isn’t fully risk-free.

The most typically reported side results include digestive disturbances, such together mild diarrhea and nausea. Allergic reactions to milk thistle may additionally include headache, itching, and also joint ache (6).

People who space allergic come plants carefully related to milk thistle, such as ragweed, daisies, and also marigolds, might be at a greater risk of enduring adverse reactions (3).

Milk thistle is no recommended for civilization who are pregnant or breastfeeding because of a lack of robust safety data (3).

There’s not at this time enough evidence easily accessible to assess whether milk thistle may interact negatively v prescription medications. If she taking any kind of medications, consult your healthcare provider front to adding milk thistle come your health regimen.


Milk thistle is generally considered safe for most people at dosages up to 420 mg 3 times a day. However, that may cause allergic reactions, such as itching, headaches, and also joint pain, or gastrointestinal symptoms favor nausea or diarrhea.

Milk thistle is a popular herbal remedy that has actually been supplied for the therapeutic results for centuries.

It contains a variety of antioxidant compound that have been studied as a possible treatment for liver an illness and kind 2 diabetes.

Recently, milk thistle has actually been touted as a device for promoting weight loss, yet the evidence supporting this use is restricted to one pet study.

At this point, there’s not enough evidence to suggest milk thistle has any kind of weight loss services for humans.

Milk thistle is most likely safe to consume but can cause allergic reactions in some people.

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Consult your health care provider front to including milk thistle to your health and also wellness routine.