You probably must heard of the use of milk thistle in many weight loss plans. Does it really work? Milk thistle weight loss benefits are not fully supported by science. However, based on personal accounts, stories, testimonials & reviews on various online forums, this herb seems to work. Read on to find out more
Milk Thistle Weight Loss-how does it Work
What is milk thistle ?
Milk thistle is a flowering herb related to the daisy and ragweed family. It is native to Mediterranean countries. It scientifically known as Silyblum marianu.
It also goes by the names cardus marianus, blessed milkthistle, Marian thistle, Mary thistle, Saint Mary’s thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle, variegated thistle and Scotch thistle.
Other than using it for weight loss(details coming up shortly, it was first used in the ancient Greece to treat poisonous snake bites.
Milk thistle has actually been used over 2,000 years. Milk thistle benefits work by drawing toxins out of the body that cause a range of symptoms and diseases including; cancer development, high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney stones, gallbladder disorders and negative effects of chemotherapy, alcohol use, skin damage and many more.
As an active antioxidant, milk thistle is equally powerful to other important nutrients like vitamin E or vitamin C which help in fighting free radical damage and slow the aging process that can lead to disease development.
It specifically contains high levels of lipophilic extracts from seeds of the plant, which act as bioflavonoid antioxidants that increase immunity and slow down oxidative stress.
Milk thistle and weight loss-How milk thistle benefits weight loss?
Milk thistle contains its active ingredient called silymarin which aids in weight loss. Silymarin has the potential to help in controlling your blood sugar levels, and this is the focus of many studies that are looking into the potential benefits of milk thistle. However, these studies are limited since they have been undertaken on people with diabetes type 2
Studies also show that milk thistle may help liver disorders. Its use in treatment of liver disorders also explains its relationship with weight loss. Though, this relationship is quite indirect.
As you already know, the liver is the major fat burning organ in the body and it regulates fat metabolism by a complicated set of biochemical pathways.
Weight loss is all about burning calories hence if your liver has issues you will probably have issues with weight.
If your liver does not regulate fat metabolism efficiently, you are likely to gain weight around the abdominal area and a protuberant abdomen.
Research on the use of milk thistle for weight loss per se is still on going.
Note: If you want to lose weight effectively you are required to burn more calories than you consume. You should also note that milk thistle is not likely to result in considerable weight loss but you should use it as a complimentary to other fat burning weight loss methods.
It is advisable that you should consult with a doctor before you use milk thistle as a supplement as it may not be safe to be used by every person.
Benefits of Milk Thistle for Weight Loss
Using supplements and components such as milk thistle may play an indirect role in weight loss. They ensure optimal functioning of the body. Milk thistle should be used as a complementary and not as an alternative for weight loss.
Some of the benefits of milk thistle include the following:
You can use milk thistle for weight loss as part of a detox diet as it supports the liver function. It helps rebuild liver cells while removing toxins from the body that are processed through the liver.
The liver also helps to remove harmful substances from your blood, aids in hormone production, detoxifies your body, releases glucose into the blood stream in order to give your body steady energy and releases bile into your small intestine so that fat can be absorbed from foods.
Milk thistle helps in lowering cholesterol levels. A study done on animals discovered that silymarin works efficiently to lower cholesterol. It has also added an advantage of raising high density lipoproteins to considerable levels. Although, more studies are required to prove this effect on humans.
The U.S National Library of Medicine considers milk thistle to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, it helps in stopping inflammation which is one of the major causes of heart disease. Milk thistle benefits heart health and helps in lowering high cholesterol levels by lowering inflammation, cleaning the blood and preventing oxidative stress damage within the arteries.
Blood Sugar Control
According to the Journal of Medicinal Food, using silymarin, in addition to the diabetes medication glibenclamide, helped with blood sugar control.
It has also helped people to lose weight and decreases their body mass index over the course of the 120-day study, compared to when using this medication alone.
The valuable effect of antioxidants found in milk thistle has been reported in experimental and clinical studies to help decrease blood sugar levels in insulin resistant patients
Some people also find that milk thistle has a laxative effect, which could result in some water weight loss, but it is not likely to cause any permanent fat loss. Milk thistle can also increase your appetite of people who have low appetite making it more difficult to lose weight if it has this impact on you.
Lowers blood sugar levels
According to an animal study published in the Journal of Semnan Medical Sciences University, 2009, silymarin may help lower your blood sugar levels in your body. The study showed that the diets which help you in maintaining steadier blood sugar levels can also help you lose weight. This is the reason why a supplement that potentially helps with blood sugar control is being promoted for weight loss purposes.
Milk thistle and obesity.
The liver plays a significant role in weight loss whereby it purifies the blood. The function of the liver is fat reduction. Enhancing liver function is frequently neglected in almost all weight loss plans.
The liver helps in fat metabolism and purification of blood in your body. As the liver’s ability to function is increased by silymarin, fat can end up being metabolized faster. This means that as a result it’s much easier for you to lose weight.
Gallstones and gallbladder
The liver is a major digestive organ, which helps to process nutrients and toxins that enter your body through food, water and air. The liver works closely with other digestive organs like the gallbladder, pancreas, intestines and kidneys to improve liver health so much, milk thistle is also able to help prevent gallstones and kidney stones.
Milk thistle also benefits help in supporting the endocrine and gastrointestinal systems by aiding in the production of bile and enzymes, in addition helping in cleaning your blood. Milk thistle can help to purify the body of metabolic waste, thereby regulating the function of the gallbladder, in addition to the kidneys and spleen.
For weight loss you should take up to six cups of milk thistle tea in a day. While following a healthy diet and exercise plan. For the milk thistle capsule you are required to take 1 capsule 2-3 times a day 30 minutes before a meal.
For best results you should take milk thistle for at least a month. During this time, you should also consider to improve your diet, draft a weight loss plan and limit the intake of alcohol and processed foods. Before consuming milk thistle and other supplements you should first speak to your doctor and you should take extra caution if you are on any kind of medication.
How take Milk Thistle for Weight Loss
The seeds and leaves of milk thistle plant can be consumed either in pill, powder, tincture, extract or tea form. The seeds can actually be eaten completely raw, but usually people prefer to take a milk thistle extract or supplement in order to consume a higher dose and see bigger results.
Milk Thistle Weight Loss Stories/Testimonials
According to testimonials milk thistle is seen as an effective remedy for weight loss, some say that they have taken milk thistle of 175mg 2 to 3 times a day to detoxify the liver and there was a positive result in weight loss – a drop of 16 pounds in 4 months.
These users add that the herb also helped in bringing the liver enzymes to normal levels.
Many people have also discovered the benefits of milk thistle. If you add a cup of milk thistle tea or any other type of herb that works on the liver and gall bladder to your meal, you will find that the uncomfortable feeling of excess weight is gone. Milk thistle has acted in way to make your digestion more efficient.
When you drink one cup of milk thistle with each meal, you will stop your digestive system from releasing more toxins from the liver.
Also, by eating a meal that is low in fats, the milk thistle does not have to process the fats in the liver. Therefore many people narrate that there is a positive result in losing weight after the use of milk thistle.
On weight loss forums such as 3fatchicks and bodybuilding.com, most agree that is basically good for detoxification which in return can contribute to weight loss.
Below is a testimonial result -YouTube video
Milk Thistle Weight Loss Reviews
According to customer reviews it is evidenced that milk thistle aids in weight loss alongside taking a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Milk thistle has been observed to help to treat liver disorders and the liver plays a crucial role in the human body by metabolizing and removing toxins.
The customer’s reviews agree that milk thistle helps to:
Support the liver and detox
Improve insulin sensitivity and lowers cholesterol levels
Promotes weight loss due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Although some people experience weight gain after taking milk thistle but it is observed especially in females who are aged 60+ years old who are also taking a fish oil medication, and have stress and anxiety. This is a review which analyzes, which people have weight gain in milk thistle but it works well as a weight loss remedy.
Other Health Benefits of Milk Thistle
Following are more other health benefits of milk thistle for everyone including women going through menopause
- Organic Repair
- Diabetes Management
- Heart Health
- Alzheimer’s Disease
Sources & References