Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Milk Thistle

Feed Your Liver with Milk Thistle
May 24th, 2011

"Did you know that weight gain, cellulite, and abdominal bloating are just a few of the signs that the liver is overburdened? It’s true. When your liver is sluggish, every organ in your body is affected, and your weight loss efforts are blocked. Some common reasons why the liver gets overloaded include environmental toxins, processed foods, overeating, and damaging factors such as alcohol, contraceptive pills, candida, and caffeine.

But, there’s good news! One of the worlds most thoroughly studied herbs, milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to support detoxification of the liver, speed up liver function, and help regenerate new, healthy liver cells. It also changes the makeup of bile, helping to reduce the risk of gallstones.

A member of the sunflower family, milk thistle gets its strength from a complex called silymarin, which scavenges free radicals and inhibits free-radical production. Silymarin defends the liver against toxins by changing the structure of liver cells so that toxins can’t get in, thereby protecting and curing the liver at the same time. So, support your liver and improve your chances to lose weight with a daily dose of milk thistle.

Just the Facts:
• Milk thistle has been used medicinally for more than 200 years and has been the subject of clinical trials for over 40 years.
• It is not uncommon to find milk thistle growing wild in a variety of settings, including by the side of the road. (But you should “harvest” your milk thistle in the form of a quality supplement.)

Boost the Benefits
• Although milk thistle is available as a tea, you’re better off taking it in capsule or tablet form. Milk thistle is not particularly water soluble, so steeping it in a tea diminishes its liver-protective benefits.
• While milk thistle may be purchased as a “stand alone” supplement, it is better absorbed when combined with choline. Sometimes taking milk thistle alone—especially a standardized milk thistle extract at high dosages (120 mg and above)—can prompt a powerful detox response creating styes and skin rashes. This is one of those herbs where a little goes a long way!

Recommended Usage: I recommend Weight Loss Formula. Taking one capsule three times daily provides 51 milligrams of milk thistle—and 336 milligrams of choline.

What is choline, and what benefits does it give your body? Catch Thursday’s blog to find out…"

-Edge on Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman