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Milk Thistle – Not Just an Itchy Weed

Milk thistle has been well known in folklore as a remedy for gall bladder and liver problems. This plant is native to Europe. The Silymarin is a flavonoid found in the seeds and is the active constituent in this plant.

Research has found that this plant provides protection from liver damage due to alcohol, Tylenol and other drug use. It also has been found to improve liver function in patients suffering from cirrhosis of the liver.

There is promising research that is tentatively exploring the solitarian in this plant in connection with cancer prevention and high cholesterol. Studies have shown that there was a significant reduction in liver disease related deaths when patients were given this supplement and it was determined that it may help stop inflammation resulting from hepatitis C.

There are further ongoing studies being conducted at this time to determine how the supplement might be successful in treating all patients with hepatitis. The supplement does not appear to remove the disease from the body, however, it does help fight the inflammation.

Besides folklore, there is science behind this plant and diabetes treatment. Additionally, this supplement may provide a defense against diabetes and diabetes-related complications, which include kidney damage and blood vessel damage. It is rich in antioxidants which may assist in the treatment of diabetes.

There was another study that also concluded the supplement may aid in treating diabetes-related kidney damage. This occurred in an animal study which indicated that the supplement slowed the progression of diabetic nephropathy in rats.

There is research which included people with type 2 diabetes who for four months participated by including a supplement containing silymarin along with their conventional drug routine. This group showed a marked decrease in total cholesterol and LDL. Their blood sugar levels also appeared to be better regulated when using the milk thistle extract.

Research seemed to show that it could also help manage diabetes by treating insulin resistance.

There is yet another useful application of milk thistle may be an aid in skin-cancer prevention. Applied to the skin in combination with sunscreen it was shown to produce antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune system regulating properties. Additionally, the herb showed an ability to inhibit several tumor-promoters involved in skin cancer growth.

Should you use milk thistle for diabetes treatment? That is a good question with various opinions and answers out there, but The National Institutes of Health classifies milk thistle as a "possibly effective" treatment for diabetes. However, since there are various side effects to the supplement which might have serious health consequences you should use caution when starting any supplement regimen.

This supplement is not recommended for pregnant women nor should women with cancer of the breast, uterus or ovaries use it. This supplement may also interfere with oral birth control medications.

There are also various side effects, including headache, indigestion and itching.

As the research continues, this supplement may prove to be much more useful than ever imagined.



Source by Virginia Brookins-Brown

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