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Milk Thistle for Weight Loss 

Milk Thistle for Weight Loss

Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment. 

Does milk thistle promote weight loss? - This is a question many people have been wondering about for the last few years, especially those who want to shed their extra weight through natural weight loss supplements. Obesity is one of the most prevalent health issues worldwide nowadays and it is contributing to the development of a wide range of other health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease as well as others. Milk thistle is considered a potent herbal remedy to aid in weight loss. 

In this article, we’ll be exploring the effects of using milk thistle for weight loss and will give you a comprehensive guide on its usage. So, let’s get started.  

Table of contents 

  • What is milk thistle? 
  • Nutrients found in milk thistle
  • The effects of using milk thistle for weight loss
  • How to use milk thistle 
  • How long does it take to work for weight loss of milk thistle? 
  • Precautions and side effects 
  • Final words 

What is milk thistle? 

Milk thistle, scientifically known as Silybum marianum, is a prickly plant from the family of Asteraceae. It generally grows in sunny regions such as Asia, Africa, and Europe. This herb contains a distinctive type of purple flower that is widely used in medicine for its tremendous antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Though scientists are still exploring the full potential of milk thistle, it has been found to have positive effects on liver diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure so far. 

Nutrients found in milk thistle

Milk thistle is rich in healthy nutrients. The active ingredient found in milk thistle is called silymarin, which is thought to be effective for weight loss as well as other health problems. Apart from silymarin, it contains a number of essential minerals, such as: 

  • Calcium 
  • Potassium 
  • Chloride 
  • Phosphorus

Additionally, the extract of milk thistle seeds contains various phytochemicals, including: 


  • Silybin 
  • Isosilybin
  • Taxifolin 
  • Silychristin 
  • Iso Silychristin 
  • Silydianin 

The effects of using milk thistle for weight loss 

Milk thistle has been found effective for weight loss since it contains plant chemical compounds that have the capacity to aid in preventing weight gain and promoting weight loss. Though the evidence on the direct effects of milk thistle on weight loss is very limited, a considerable number of scientific studies reviewed its indirect effects on weight loss such as counteracting insulin resistance and inflammation, and found that milk thistle might help with managing body composition and weight.   

The active compound in milk thistle, silymarin, contains various natural phenols called flavonolignans such as silybin or silibinin and iso silibinin. Research suggests that silibinin has potent anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation of fat cells and may help manage obesity and its associated complications. 

A recent 2020 study published in the BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology concluded that silibinin has the potential to reverse obesity and its complications as an anti-inflammatory therapy in diet-induced obesity.     

In another study published in the Review of Diabetic Studies (RDS) in 2014, researchers found that silibinin, the active compound in silymarin, possesses strong antioxidant properties and has beneficial effects on diabetes and its several complications including diabetic nephropathy, diabetic retinopathy, and NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis). In this study, researchers have also suggested that more future research is needed to confirm the potential of milk thistle to control diabetes and its complications.   

Let's take a look at some effects of milk thistle in the body that may help lose weight directly or indirectly. Milk thistle can help in: 

  • Suppressing cravings 
  • Cutting body fats through the liver
  • Improving metabolism 
  • Reducing bloating 

How to use milk thistle

Milk thistle is available in various supplementary forms such as capsules, powders, tablets, and liquid extracts. Doses of milk thistle supplements for weight loss vary from person to person depending on the specific health conditions and lifestyle habits. 

However, in general, 300 mg to 600 mg of milk thistle extract capsules can be taken per day in two to three divided doses with lukewarm water. It’s always the best idea to consult with a licensed naturopathic medical professional to determine what dose would be the best for your specific health condition. 

How long does it take to work for weight loss of milk thistle? 

When it comes to losing weight in a natural way, you should never be in a hurry. Milk thistle may take some time to produce any positive results and of course, it is safe for long-term use. According to reports, milk thistle may take up to 3 months to 40 months to show good results. 

Precautions and side effects 

A very few adverse effects have been reported so far from the use of milk thistle or the active ingredients it contains even when used for a long time. Taking milk thistle may rarely have a laxative effect in some people or may cause stomach upset, heartburn, or nausea. Some people may also experience mild allergic reactions with high doses, especially those who are allergic to similar plant families such as daisies, ragweed, artichokes, and kiwi. 

Besides, milk thistle may interact with several prescription medications including some that are used to treat blood pressure, infections, and cholesterols. Since milk thistle has a direct impact on blood sugar levels, people with diabetes must ask their healthcare provider before taking it. 

Like with all herbal remedies and dietary supplements, it’s always the best idea to consult with a qualified natural medicine practitioner prior to starting milk thistle for weight loss or any health issues, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or on medications for any health problems. 

Final words

Milk thistle has been used traditionally for centuries for treating various health issues especially those related to liver and gallbladder. Nowadays, there has been a growing interest in milk thistle for weight loss since it can block several pathways in the body that cause weight gain and obesity. People with diabetes as well as those who are taking medications for any underlying health issues should check with their healthcare providers before taking milk thistle for weight loss.

Here you can see Vorst’s pure and natural Milk Thistle 150 mg Capsules.

Here you can also see Vorst’s special liver care formula Liver Care Vegan Capsules that contain a considerable amount of milk thistle. 


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