Silymarin is an important active ingredient that can be found in milk thistle plant. This unique flavonoid complex contains silydianin, silychrisin and silybin, all of which are powerful phytochemicals that have extraordinary anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research and studies show that silymarin benefits the human body in many ways, some of which are explained further below:
Silymarin is a very essential ingredient in treating damaged liver cells that are often overtaxed by drugs or alcohol. It can be used to treat jaundice, gallbladder disorder, cirrhosis and hepatitis by regenerating new and healthy liver cells. The effect of silymarin is that of a decongestant; it stimulates the flow of bile through the gallbladder and liver, preventing gallstone formation and reducing stagnation and bile-induced damages. Not only does it restore liver back to health, it also protects it from substances that cause massive liver stress, such as tetracycline and acetaminophen.
Research concludes that silymarin increases glutathione production in liver by upwards of 35% in subjects and up 50% in rats. Glutathione acts as detox for a wide range of drugs, chemicals and hormones. Protein synthesis is also stimulated, particularly in the liver area, and this speeds up liver cell productions to replace the unhealthy ones. Silymarin was proven to be a great success in treating liver diseases related to alcohol abuse. A study was made in 170 patients, 91 of which are alcoholics diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. These subjects were given 140mg of silymarin 3 times daily for 41 months. A significant reduction of death rate was found in the group that took silymarin, and the continuous ingestion of the supplement had no side effects.
Silymarin benefits include its anti-oxidant properties helping round up the free radicals that damage healthy body cells that are exposed to toxin. In comparison, silymarin is 10 times as potent as vitamin E in relation to anti-oxidant activities. It also raises the levels of important enzyme superoxide dismutase that normally reside in cell cultures. Silymarin may also be administered to patients to complement the treatment and purging of viral hepatitis.
Other notable benefits also include- silymarin prevents leukotrienes synthesis that are inflammation mediators and could cause psoriasis. Some sources say that it can also help the heart by lowering LDL, or the "bad" cholesterol levels, and help patients afflicted with type 2 diabetes by improving their resistance to insulin. It protects us against different industrial poisons such as carbon tetrachloride, and serves as a life-giving antidote to Amanita phalloides, or death cap mushrooms.