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The Best Milk Thistle Supplements Reviews in 2018 – Top Picks and Buyer’s Guide

Livers are the unsung heroes in our bodies. From clearing out toxins from ingesting foods make with questionable products to work overtime to break down of the alcohol in our system, the liver plays a vital role in our health and life. The need to cleanse it gets overlooked, and most people only look into giving it a boost when they are unwell.You don’t have to get to that point to detoxify the body, that is, the liver, gallbladder, and kidney. There are many supplements out there flaunting to be able to do this, but milk thistle is the most researched herb when it comes to dealing with the liver. We have outlined the best milk thistle supplements for you and included one (Goat Milk Colostrum by Mt. Capra) that we thought was just as effective in giving the liver a good cleanse.Our best are in the table below and ranked to reflect the ratings we’ve given them. The best product on the list is NatureWise Liver Health Premium Formula while Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle Seed Liquid Phyto-Capsules gives the best value. The other products work equally well. Have a look at each, weigh the benefits with regards to what your body needs and make the decision today.

You may also like: Best Liver Detox Supplements in 2018
ProductBrandRatingQuantityAvailability
NatureWise Liver Health Premium Formula 4.9 120-ct
Full Review
Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle Seed Liquid Phyto-Capsules 4.8 120 Count
Full Review
Integrative Therapeutics – Super Milk Thistle X 4.9 120 Capsules
Full Review
BulkSupplements Pure Milk Thistle Extract (Powder)​ 4.7 (1 Kilogram)
Full Review
UltraThistle by Natural Wellness 4.5 90 Vegetarian Capsules
Full Review
NutraBulk Milk Thistle​ 3.9 1000mg Soft Gels 1000 Count
Full Review
Dr Js Natural Simpl e Detox 4.3 30 capsules,
Full Review
Maximum Milk Thistle by Natural Wellness ​ 4.3 90 Vegetarian Capsules
Full Review
Goat Milk Colostrum by Mt. Capra 4.0 174 grams
Full Review
Pharma Thistle GOLD- European Milk Thistle Extract 5.0 180 Vegetarian Capsules
Full Review

1.NatureWise Liver Health Premium Formula

NatureWise Liver Health Premium Formula w/ Milk Thistle, Curcumin & Artichoke, Advanced Protection, Superior Bioavailability, 120-ct

The best product on our list is NatureWise Liver Health Premium Formula. It is doctor formulated and helps provide liver protection daily and encourage long-term liver health. It contains 80% silymarin milk thistle, 95% curcuminoids from curcumin, a turmeric extract and artichoke leaf which is an antioxidant promoting improved digestive and liver support. The artichoke leaf, according to studies, may assist in soothing a stomach upset and other gastrointestinal disorders. This NatureWise supplements also includes ginger which, when combined with curcumin, increases the benefits experienced by taking the supplement. The Bioperine black pepper extract acts to increase absorption of herbal extracts. Clinical studies show that this element makes these supplements more efficient as compared to other formulas that don’t contain bio-enhancers.

There are no synthetic ingredients in NatureWise Liver Health. Only natural non-GMO compounds are in this product which is also suitable for vegans.

 

PROS:
  • It includes curcumin which is known for its many benefits including reducing inflammation and reducing plaque and fat in the arteries
  • It has  Bioperine black pepper extract which improves bioavailability of the supplement
  • Value for money compared to what you’re getting with regards to the ingredients in the formula

CONS:
  • Claims are not FDA approved

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2.Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle Seed Liquid Phyto-Capsules

Return to product informationThough a bit expensive, Gaia Herbs provides the best value for money when it comes to milk thistle supplement. It supports liver health function and aids in detoxifying the body by eliminating waste products. The milk thistle is naturally extracted and gives a high concentration of milk thistle extract.

The Gaia Herbs milk thistle seed process of extraction takes place under low pressure and temperature to preserve phytochemical silymarin. This method makes it more efficient in promoting liver cell production of healthy functioning and provides healthy cholesterol metabolism in the body. It works well for digestive, kidney and liver function. It works best when paired with exercise and healthy eating habits.

PROS:
  • Recommended by some homeopathic and naturopathic doctors
  • Best value with regards to the benefits it gives.
  • The extraction process preserved the integrity of silymarin
  • Molecularly distilled fish oil

CONS:
  • It’s a bit pricey

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3.Integrative Therapeutics – Super Milk Thistle X

Integrative Therapeutics - Super Milk Thistle X - Liver Support Formula - 120 CapsulesIntegrative Therapeutics formula of Super Milk Thistle X is a natural cleanser for the liver. It may also have positive effects on the flow of bile which helps with detoxification. The liver cells are kept healthy and active with this supplement. The formula consists of one part milk thistle and phosphatidylcholine in two parts which make milk thistle highly absorbable. It includes artichoke, dandelion, and licorice. It contains no artificial additives (preservative, color or flavors) is free of most food allergens, including dairy, gluten, and wheat. It also does not contain any animal products

 

 

 

PROS:
  • Includes artichokes which aids in digestion, reduces high cholesterol levels, cure hangovers and reduce heartburns
  • Dandelion helps with some stomach, and intestinal issues is good for the skin and works as a blood and digestive tonic
  • Licorice aids some stomach issues as well, throat inflammation and infections as well as colic.

CONS:
  • Not enough reviews

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4.BulkSupplements Pure Milk Thistle Extract (Powder)

BulkSupplements Pure Milk Thistle Extract Powder (1 Kilogram)

The BulkSupplements Pure Milk Thistle Extract comes in powder form, a hit with smoothie lovers. It has no fillers and comes in a foil zip pouch. The product is lab testd to verify its benefits and product purity. The supplement works as an antioxidant that benefits the liver. The chemical silymarin stops the release of toxic enzymes for the liver’s protection. It also creates a permanent shield around the membrane of a cell to defend against harmful chemicals and toxins. The beta in hydrochloride enhances the positive effects of milk thistle.

 

PROS:
  • It comes in powder form and suitable for mixing in smoothies
  • Known for reducing liver enzymes
  • Cheaper than other similar brands

CONS:
  • You have to buy a spoon that measures ⅛ of the powder
  • Not easy to travel with as compared to capsules.

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5.UltraThistle by Natural Wellness

Milk Thistle - UltraThistle - World's Highest-Potency Milk Thistle Formula - by Natural Wellness 90 Vegetarian CapsulesThe UltraThistle was initially only available through a prescription from a medical doctor. Like Maximum Thistle, the company states that their patented formula is proven to absorb in the body ten times more than other competitors. It is claimed to be twenty times more effective than its counterparts and for a lower price. Like existing milk thistle formulas, it produces new cells and rebuilds liver tissue, just at a faster rate. It protects the liver from toxins of all forms including alcohol. It improves storage of minerals and vitamins in the body and provides support for the metabolization of protein, fats, and carbohydrates in the liver.

This supplement also packs twice the amount of milk thistle per capsule than other products.

 

 

PROS:
  • You can buy it over the counter considering its potency
  • Great absorption rates
  • You get more protection and value for money

CONS:
  • Claims not FDA approved
  • Not enough reviews

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6.NutraBulk Milk Thistle

NutraBulk Milk Thistle -1000mg Soft Gels 1000 Count

NutraBulk Milk Thistle is designed to support liver health and function. It does so by protecting the liver from harmful toxins. They are great for detoxing or if you want a healthy liver. The silymarin helps with liver repair by growing new cells. They also act as an antioxidant and for its anti-inflammatory properties. The formula consists of pure milk thistle extract encased in glycerin soft gels, which are known for being easy to swallow and for facilitating rapid absorption in the body. They also provide fast and efficient delivery of silymarin to the liver.

The supplement is gluten and dairy free, with no artificial preservatives or flavors, or even sugar or lactose. NutraBulk milk thistle supplements come from a GMP-certified facility and made from premium grade ingredients as per manufacturing standards. These capsules come in large, 250, 500 and 1000 count bottles that are great for bulk buying and savings.

The other benefits that come from taking these supplements are it provides skin protection.

 

PROS:
  • It comes in value packs
  • Good for the skin
  • Comes in glycine capsules

CONS:
  • Poor absorption because it doesn’t have other ingredients to boost bioavailability

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7.Dr Js Natural Simpl e Detox

The Simple Detox formula has six superior ingredients known to focus on liver, kidneys, and colon functions. These components are milk thistle seed, artichoke root, dandelion root, senna leaf extract, sarsaparilla root, and casanthranol USP. Effects kick in after the two capsules taken on the first night. On experiences an even more significant impact in just five days. Dr. J’s Natural claims to have the best formula for cleaning out waste and toxins in the gut, colon, liver, and kidneys with many patients affirming this claim.

The flashing toxin is known to bring about an improvement in a person’s skin complexion and reduce bloating for a flatter stomach. It also burns stored fat, enhances the absorption of nutrients and boosts the metabolism and energy levels. In the one-month dosage, notable benefits include an improvement in liver health, reduced signs of aging and a more balanced cardiovascular system. It is beneficial for people who are overweight, consume high levels of alcohol or smoke. The heart also gets to benefit from the reduced toxins and fat it has to pump around in the body.

 

PROS:
  • It does not contain laxatives
  • Additional ingredients give added benefits

CONS:
  • Senna leaf extract and the sarsaparilla root can cause stomach problems

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8.Maximum Milk Thistle by Natural Wellness

Milk Thistle – 10x More Absorbable, 20x More Effective – Maximum Milk Thistle by Natural Wellness

The Natural Wellness patented formula for milk thistle is said to be ten times more absorbable, making it 20 times more effective than its counterparts in the market. It’s used to rebuild and generate new cells and liver tissue. This supplement protects the liver against effects of toxins, pollutants, and alcohol. It increases the protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism in the body, and its capacity to store minerals and vitamins.

Another added benefit is that it reduces inflammation and oxidative stress by free radicals. The company states that the claims they make are science-based according to studies of Silybin Phytosome ® done, the active ingredient in this milk thistle supplement formula. It is gluten-free also.

 

PROS:
  • Offers more than twice of silybin per capsule compared to other brands.
  • Great absorption rate
  • You get more protection and value for money

CONS:
  • Claims are not FDA evaluated.

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9.Goat Milk Colostrum by Mt. Capra

 

Goat milk colostrum contains high amounts of natural immunoglobulins, peptides, growth factors as well as 20 other antibodies that support immune health. Colostrum is the milk produced by mammals during pregnancy. It is known for its high nutrient content (antibodies, proteins, and carbohydrates) and low-fat nature. The colostrum is how mothers transfer antibodies to babies two days postpartum.

The supplement comprises of colostrum and cream of 100% free range and grass fed goats. The supplemental feed given to the goats are all organic, free of herbicides and pesticides, non-GMO and not treated with antibiotics. The content of the supplements come encased in vegetarian capsules. The goat milk colostrum supplements are taken to improve immune health, and in turn, increase mental alertness. It also burns fat, helps muscles, boosts production of collagen, and slows down the aging process. It works as an anti-inflammatory agent as well, an antioxidant and helps reduce pain. This latter benefit makes it popular with athletes as it also works to repair muscle, cartilage, and skin when injured.

Other added advantage is that it keeps the stomach lining and bowels healthy. It can be taken to alleviate diarrhea, parasites and improve digestion. In short, colostrum is excellent for your health.

 

  • PROS:
    • It’s also available in powder form
    • It gives you a healthy immune system
    • The kids are treated well and not unduly deprived of milk

    CONS:
    • Some bottles don’t come with an expiry date.
    • Not suitable for people with dairy allergies

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10.Pharma Thistle GOLD- European Milk Thistle Extract

European Milk Thistle Extract - Pharma Thistle GOLD, 30 to 70:1 Extract with 80% Silymarin (#1 Liver Support Supplement for Liver Detox and Cleanse) 180 Vegetarian CapsulesThis milk thistle product underwent over 100 clinical studies of Pharma Thistle GOLD™, some of which are independently verified. It boasts as being twice as bioavailable as other products in the market and made according to the specifications of US Pharmacopeia. Pharma Thistle GOLD™ also features each of the six isomers of silymarin.

The product is also: non-GMO, gluten, soy and corn free, does not contain any allergens, magnesium stearate (the chalk-like substance in supplements) or other harmful additives. It’s also certified vegan and kosher. This supplement works best in supporting optimal liver function and health when used daily.

 

 

PROS:
  • It’s kosher certified and can be taken by vegans.
  • Does not contain fillers or additional preservatives
  • A high number of clinical tests.

CONS:
  • There aren’t enough customer reviews for the product.
  • It’s too expensive considering the low dosage.

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Milk thistle benefits

1

Diabetes:

Milk thistle may work in reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) levels which are known to bring about heart disease. Existing studies are limited in ascertaining this fact as they only have participants with diabetes given their high cholesterol levels. Other research recommends that taking silymarin extract thrice daily reduces insulin resistance. However, silybin extract, also found in milk thistle, does not seem to affect blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes.

2

Dyspepsia:

If you are suffering from heartburns, stomach pain, acid reflux, nausea, cramping and vomiting, you are recommended to take milk thistle daily for four weeks. Milk thistle is known to work together with chamomile, peppermint or lemon balm, among other herbs and extracts, to help reduce severe cases of gastrointestinal disturbances.Milk thistle has been said to also help in treating the issues listed below, though with somewhat limited evidence:

3

Alcohol-induced liver disease:

Those with alcoholic hepatitis (an inflamed liver) and alcoholic cirrhosis (the last stage of liver disease) get recommended this natural treatment. There are however mixed results when it comes to scientific testing. Most studies however show that it improves the liver function and increases the survival rate in people with chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis. What make the assertion hard is the small participant numbers, dosages administered and the duration of the therapy. Milk thistle can also help prevent elevated liver enzymes caused by medication.

4

Cancer:

Preliminary lab studies undertaken in test tubes suggest that milk thistle active substances might have anticancer effects. They appear to hinder cancer cells from dividing, reproducing and shorten their lifespan and reducing the supply of blood to tumors. Silymarin is said to be able to prevent skin cancer when used a sunscreen and works well together with chemotherapy.

5

Mushroom poisoning:

Traditionally, milk thistle is an emergency antidote for poison from death cap mushroom. Studies in animals found that the extract entirely counteracts the toxic effects within 10 minutes. When given before 24 hours lapse, it drastically reduces the risk of liver damage and ultimately, death.

6

Type 2 Diabetes:

Medical research suggests milk thistle, can improve diabetes when combined with traditional treatment. They also show a decrease in sugar levels in the blood and elevated cholesterol and insulin resistance in the body. It also plays a role in pancreas health.[/wpsm_numbox

7

Viral hepatitis:

Milk thistle treats viral hepatitis, mostly hepatitis C, with again studies showing mixed results. Some participants had improved liver function while others didn’t. Results found a reduction in hepatitis C viral within 14 days in participants that got better.If you suffer from any of the above-listed diseases, first see a doctor about using the supplement. Milk thistle is known to interact with some cancer prevention drugs. If you suspect that you have liver disease, do not self-medicate with milk thistle, see a doctor instead. Milk thistle is typically taken orally as supplements, powder or tea.

8

Hangover buster:

some supplements made prevent a hangover if taken before a drinking spree.

 


Milk thistle side effects
A lot of studies to do with this drug have been done in either animals or test tubes, meaning we are still trying to understand both the benefits and side effects. Existing studies show that it may cause the following if taken in high doses:

  • bloating
  • gas
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • gastrointestinal upset
  • rashes
  • warnings

 The following people should not take   milk thistle:

If you’ve suffered from hormone-related cancers, for example breast, prostate or uterine cancerIf you’re allergic to the following herbs: chamomile, daisies, yarrow, thragweed, marigolds or chrysanthemums. This is because it may cause rashes or a severe reaction.The liver is where most drugs become metabolized. It is, therefore, necessary to ask the doctor if milk thistle can interfere with the medication you’re prescribed. It is however likely to interact with antipsychotics, phenytoin (for seizures), halothane (used during general anesthesia), hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills. Other medications known to interact with milk thistle are allergy medications, anti-anxiety medicines, drunks taken to deal with high cholesterol, blood thinners and some cancer drugs.


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Purchasing guide

Milk thistle, Silybum marianum, is a natural herb with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. People who are looking to detoxify the body, the liver, gallbladder, and kidney purchase products made of milk thistle. The plant is known as a weed (labeled as such because it spreads quickly) and grows in Mediterranean climates. It gets its name from the milky substance that oozes out the leaves when they are crushed. Milk thistle is best in extract form for maximum benefits. It has been in use for the past 2000 years with scientific studies suggesting that substances within the plant protect the liver from toxins. It does so by helping the liver grow new cells to repair itself. Milk thistle comprises of flavonoid compounds including silymarin (the main active chemical), silybin isosilybin, and silibinin. Silymarin contains silybinin A, silybinin B, isosilybinin A, isosilybinin B, silychristin and silydianin flavonoids.

It is worthy to note that while animal studies show milk thistle works, human studies show mixed results. Milk thistle is, however, the most researched herb for liver health.

In the world of nutritional supplements, milk thistle is used mainly as an antioxidant. If you’ve heard of milk thistle, this is probably the context you heard it in.


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How to Choose Milk Thistle

There are few standard factors you need to consider when selecting a milk thistle supplement.

Conclusion
If you suspect that you are suffering from liver failure or other problems with your digestive system, we suggest that you see a doctor. If you do however wish to detox and rid your body of toxins, then milk thistle supplements are for you. Be mindful to check if the supplement has other ingredients that you might give you an allergic reaction.

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