Milk thistle is one of the most powerful supplements available today that helps detox the liver, protect the body from free radical damage, and reduce inflammation. This supplement is composed of four flavonoid compounds which include silibinin, isosilybin, silymarin, and silybin. Among these four compounds, silymarin is best known for providing milk thistle with its antioxidant properties.
In this article, we’ll review the health benefits of milk thistle as well as provide a breakdown of the 3 best milk thistle supplements available to help with detoxification and promote better all-around health.
Comparison of the 3 Best Milk Thistle Supplements
Milk Thistle Extract by Bulk Supplements is the ultimate antioxidant supplement for supporting liver function and reducing inflammation throughout the body. This product also supports bone and joint health as well as provides 212 mg of silymarin per serving.
Milk Thistle Extract comes in pure powder form and is sold in quantities ranging from 100 grams to 25 kilograms. Adults should take 250 milligrams once daily, or as directed by a physician.
This product is best for adults who wish to take pure milk thistle extract and are looking for a high-quality supplement that’s free from contaminants, additives, and unnecessary ingredients or fillers.
Liver MD is a clinical-strength liver repair supplement that provides customers with 6 potent ingredients that help purify and optimize liver function.
This product combines a “supercharged” vitamin E, EVNolMax, an enhanced form of milk thistle extract, Siliphos Bioavailable Silybin, and numerous antioxidants to maximize liver health benefits and promote overall health.
Adults should take one capsule, twice daily, or as recommended by a healthcare professional.
This product is best suited for customers who are in need of a clinical-strength milk thistle supplement to aid liver detoxification, support weight management, and increase overall energy.
Persona Nutrition provides its customers with their own personalized vitamin pack to best meet each individual’s specific health needs.
In order to best customize their vitamin pack, customers should initially complete a quick assessment on their website to receive personalized, science-backed supplement
recommendations. Specific questions on this assessment gather information on specific types of diets, allergies and food sensitives, health conditions, medication use, and more.
Alternatively, customers may also use the option to filter through specific vitamins and supplements by selecting their particular health needs on the product page or by specifically searching for the ingredient they want to include.
Persona’offers Euromed® Milk Thistle Extract which is standardized to 80% total silymarin flavonoids and best for enhancing liver function and fighting off free radicals through supporting the body’s detoxification process.
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Best Milk Thistle Brand
In order to select the right milk thistle brand, you should look for a product that’s composed of at least 80% silymarin extract or one that contains silybin with enhanced bioavailability.
Milk thistle supplements that contain 80% silymarin should provide you with anywhere from 150mg-250mg per serving. If you select a product that instead contains silybin, make sure that it contains a concentration of at least 30% silybin and provides 80mg-100mg per serving.
One of the best sources of milk thistle extract is Siliphos®. This form of milk thistle extract is sourced from the most active flavonoid, silybin, which has been demonstrated in countless clinical studies for its effectiveness in preventing liver cell damage from everyday toxins and environmental pollutants. 
Siliphos® Silybin has been shown to be over 10 times more bioavailable than standard milk thistle extracts sourced from silymarin due to the Phytosome® phospholipid technology used in its formulation.
As discussed earlier, LiverMD® by 1MD contains 80mg of Siliphos® within each daily serving. It also contains this superior form of milk thistle within oily-medium soft-gel capsules which enhances its absorption even further. 
Although the dosage of Siliphos® in 1MD is much lower than standard 80% silymarin products, this does not affect the overall potency of the product as the lower concentration of a more bioavailable form of milk thistle outweighs the larger dosage contained in competing brands.
What are the Health Benefits of Milk Thistle?
Milk thistle has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of numerous liver disorders and is currently used in Europe by patients who have received medication that is known to cause liver problems as a form of protection from further health complications.
There are extensive scientific studies that have demonstrated the therapeutic properties of milk thistle, with most of them centered on its active ingredient, silymarin. These studies have displayed the effectiveness of milk thistle as a potent antioxidant and provided evidence on its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antiviral activities.
Additionally, these studies have provided vital information on its potential role in the treatment of major liver disorders, such as chronic liver diseases, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma, as well as shown its importance in the reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation all throughout the body.
Finally, silymarin has huge potential in serving as a therapeutic adjuvant and is frequently prescribed to patients worldwide to help reduce liver toxicity from the consumption of certain medications and to enhance as well as expedite healing. 
Milk Thistle for Weight Loss
Milk thistle is able to facilitate weight loss and improve body composition through its role in controlling blood glucose levels. Several studies have shown that the use of milk thistle extract with a high silymarin concentration by Type 2 diabetics not only improved their blood sugar levels but it also helped them to reduce their overall weight. 
Additionally, milk thistle aids the liver with detoxification processes and optimizes its overall function. This in turn has the ability to promote weight loss through the breakdown of toxic substances, the shedding of excess water, as well as enhanced hormonal function related to digestion and metabolism.
Milk Thistle Dosage for Fatty Liver
Along with its role in weight loss, milk thistle is also known for its ability to aid those with fatty liver. Studies have shown that milk thistle extract with high silymarin concentration, both on its own and when combined with potent antioxidants including Vitamin E, helps to substantially reduce liver size and protect against liver damage. 
Additionally, studies have shown that milk thistle improves certain parameters associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Evidence from these studies demonstrates that patients with NAFLD who have used milk thistle as a part of their treatment greatly reduced the presence of the liver enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT).
Those who suffer from NAFLD and other forms of liver damage have higher levels of AST and ALT enzymes in their blood, which is a key indicator of the liver being injured or severely damaged. 
If you’re taking milk thistle for the treatment or management of fatty liver, it is generally best to consume 150mg up to three times daily. This is also the optimal dosage for those who are seeking a natural liver detox.
In order to minimize potential side effects, you may want to initially use 50mg per serving and then work up to 150mg per serving over the course of a few weeks.
Milk Thistle Side Effects
Milk thistle is generally well tolerated by most consumers and it’s quite rare to observe adverse reactions or serious health consequences from its use.
Some mild side effects that may be experienced by consumers include digestive issues, gastrointestinal discomfort, or minor skin irritation. However, more extreme side effects, such as rash or anaphylaxis, may occur in those who have allergies to plants within the aster family, such as ragweed, chrysanthemum, marigold, and daisy. 
Overall, milk thistle is extremely safe to use but those who have allergies to certain types of herbs and plants should consult with their doctor prior to use.
Our top picks for brands that offer the best milk thistle supplements are Bulk Supplements, 1MD, and Persona. All 3 of these companies offer milk thistle supplements that support liver repair, provide customers with a high-quality product, and aid several other health areas.