Milk thistle, a plant known primarily for its beneficial effects on the liver, has also recently gained popularity as a potential ally in the fight against excess weight. Can it really help the weight loss process? What other advantages does it offer?

In this article, we will look at the properties of milk thistle, its effects on human health, as well as the potential benefits and contraindications associated with its addition.

What is milk thistle?

Milk thistle, also known as silybum marianum, is a medicinal plant in the Asteraceae family. It is characterized by large shiny leaves with characteristic white spots and purple inflorescences. Its seeds contain silymarin, a complex of flavonoids with powerful antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties, which means that they protect the liver from various harmful factors. Milk thistle is traditionally used in folk medicine for various ailments, especially in the context of liver support.

What are the properties of milk thistle?

Milk thistle is mainly known for its protective effect on the liver. Its main component is silymarin, a complex of flavonoids with powerful antioxidant properties.

How does milk thistle affect a person?

Milk thistle, although often associated primarily with liver protection, has a much broader range of effects on the human body. Its unique ingredients, including silymarin, affect various aspects of our health, from the digestive system to cholesterol levels. In this chapter, we will take a closer look at the mechanisms of action of milk thistle to understand how this inconspicuous plant can support our health and well-being.

Milk thistle's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

Its hepatoprotective effect is unique and multidirectional. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, regulates cell permeability, stimulates liver regeneration, and inhibits the deposition of collagen fibers, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.

Effects of milk thistle on cholesterol and insulin resistance

A review of animal and human studies published in 2018 notes that silymarin is the most effective of the various components of milk thistle. Significantly increases HDL (so-called "good cholesterol"), reduces triglycerides, "bad cholesterol" and total cholesterol. It also affected insulin resistance through various mechanisms, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, enhancing beta-cell regeneration, insulin sensitivity, and inhibition of gluconeogenesis.

Milk thistle and weight loss

The current market for dietary supplements is full of products that promise to help you lose weight. Milk thistle, while traditionally associated with liver protection, is becoming increasingly popular as a potential ally in the fight against overweight. But can it really help with weight loss? What are the mechanisms behind its potential impact on metabolic processes? In this chapter, we will review the scientific evidence on the role of milk thistle in the context of weight loss in order to separate facts from myths and give the reader a clear idea of what to expect from this plant in the context of its weight loss goals.

What is the impact of using milk thistle on weight loss?

The effect of milk thistle on obesity is based on its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects, as well as mechanisms that reduce fat accumulation, reduce leptin and resistin levels, and increase adiponectin levels. Milk thistle treatment also inhibited adipocyte differentiation and reduced adipogenesis.

In conclusion, there is some evidence of the beneficial effects of milk thistle on weight loss. Unfortunately, there are too few of them.

Specific clinical trials are needed to determine whether milk thistle supplementation has a real impact on weight loss. They will provide reliable and reliable data that will confirm or exclude the benefits of milk thistle for weight loss. In such studies, it would only be possible to correctly assess the effectiveness of supplements, dosage, interactions with other drugs, and potential side effects.

Losing weight after thistle?

Milk thistle can help with the weight loss process, but it is not a direct weight loss remedy. It helps break down fat and supports your metabolism, but it's not a substitute for a healthy diet and physical activity.

Does Thistle work for weight loss?

Substances contained in milk thistle seeds can be recommended as a support in the fight against excess weight. They are good for the liver and digestive system, which can speed up the burning of calories.

Milk thistle burns fat?

Milk thistle can help the fat burning process by affecting the liver and digestive system. However, it is not a "fat burner" in itself, and its effects in this regard require further study.

After what time can you see the effect of using thistle?

The first effects of milk thistle use, especially in the context of liver support, can be seen after about 2 weeks of regular use.

What causes you to lose the most weight?

The combination of a healthy, balanced diet with regular physical activity has the greatest impact on the process of losing weight. Milk thistle may be a supportive supplement, but it is not a substitute for the basic principles of a healthy lifestyle.

Milk Thistle Application and Supplements

Milk thistle, due to its many health benefits, has become one of the most popular ingredients in dietary supplements. Its ability to support liver function, antioxidant effects, and potential benefits in the context of metabolic health make it valuable for both health-conscious individuals and those seeking support in the weight loss process. In this chapter, we'll look at the different forms of milk thistle supplements, their dosage, and recommended uses.

Protective effect of milk thistle on the liver

The silymarin in milk thistle acts as an antioxidant, protecting liver cells from damage caused by free radicals and toxins. It also helps protect the liver from the effects of harmful chemicals such as alcohol and medications.

The effect of milk thistle on the digestive system

Milk thistle can also have a positive effect on the digestive system. The silymarin in milk thistle can stimulate the production of bile, which is essential for the digestion of fats.

When is the best time to take milk thistle: in the morning or in the evening?

For optimal benefits of milk thistle, it is recommended to take it about half an hour before the main meals. It can be in the morning or in the evening, depending on individual preferences.

How long can I take thistle?

Milk thistle can usually be taken from 2-4 weeks. For preventive purposes, you can extend this time to 6 months, but it is always a good idea to consult a doctor or nutrition specialist.

In what form is it best to take milk thistle?

Milk thistle is available in various forms: grain, powder, oil, tablets or capsules. The choice of form depends on individual preferences. It is important to choose high-quality products and follow the dosage recommendations.

How to understand that the liver is being cleansed?

Cleansing the liver can manifest itself as an improvement in well-being, less fatigue, improved skin condition, and normalization of blood pressure.

Can I take milk thistle all the time?

It is not recommended to constantly take milk thistle. After 2-4 weeks, you should take a break. For preventive purposes, it can be taken for up to 6 months, but you should always consult a specialist.

Does milk thistle cleanse the body?

Yes, milk thistle helps eliminate toxins from the body, especially by supporting the liver, which plays a key role in the detoxification process.

Interactions and contraindications of milk thistle

Any dietary supplement, regardless of its natural origin, may interact with other drugs or substances, and also have certain contraindications. Milk thistle, despite its many health benefits, is no exception to this rule. Before making a decision about its regular use, it is worth carefully reviewing potential interactions and situations where its consumption may not be appropriate. In this chapter, we will introduce the reader to these aspects of using milk thistle to ensure that its benefits are used safely and consciously.

What can not be combined with thistle?

It is not recommended to combine milk thistle with some herbs and medicines, especially with valerian root. It's always a good idea to consult your doctor before taking supplements.

Does milk thistle have any side effects?

Yes, some people may experience side effects from taking milk thistle, such as bloating, nausea, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. If you experience undesirable symptoms, stop taking supplements and consult your doctor.

Summary of the effects of milk thistle on humans and recommendations for its use

The conclusion from research to date is that milk thistle can help improve the overall health of the bodyespecially due to its beneficial effects on liver function and various aspects of metabolism.

However, as for the role of milk thistle in the process of losing weight, scientific evidence is limited. There are no reliable clinical trials that would convincingly confirm its effectiveness and safety in the context of weight loss.

Although there are promising results from animal studies and isolated data from human studies, further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms of action of milk thistle and assess its real impact on weight loss.

So, if the goal is to lose weight, a holistic approach that includes a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and maintaining an adequate energy balance is important.

Milk thistle can be a mainstay for your overall health, but you can't rely on it alone as a means to achieve weight loss.


Bahmani, Mahmood, et al. „Silybum marianum: beyond hepatoprotection.” Journal of evidence- based complementary & alternative medicine 20.4 (2015): 292-301.

Tajmohammadi, Atefeh, Bibi Marjan Razavi, and Hossein Hosseinzadeh. „Silybum marianum (milk thistle) and its main constituent, silymarin, as a potential therapeutic plant in metabolic syndrome: A review.” Phytotherapy research 32.10 (2018): 1933-1949.

Wang, Xin, Zhen Zhang, and Shuai-Cheng Wu. „Health benefits of Silybum marianum: Phytochemistry, pharmacology, and applications.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 68.42 (2020): 11644- 11664.