3 Ways Milk Thistle's Antioxidant Actions Help Protect The Liver From Toxins*
From air pollution and heavy metals to beauty products and even additives in food, we face countless environmental toxins on a daily basis. And while the word detox might bring to mind crash diets, the body is detoxing itself all the time.
As the primary detox organ, the liver has the critical job of filtering these unwanted compounds and preparing them for elimination. So making sure the liver is functioning optimally is key to holistically supporting the body's natural detox pathways.
And when faced with an onslaught of pollutants, the liver can become taxed. Luckily, there's something that can help: enter milk thistle. The potent herb can help protect, support, and even rejuvenate the liver so it can filter and remove unwanted toxins with ease.*
How milk thistle supports liver health.
Thanks to bioactive phytonutrients called silymarins, milk thistle delivers antioxidant properties that offer quite an array of health benefits—many of which directly support liver health and function:*
1. It promotes detoxification.
Milk thistle helps support the body's natural detoxification pathways by promoting phase I liver detoxification.* Specifically, the herb neutralizes free radicals that are produced as a natural byproduct when the liver breaks down unwanted compounds.*
According to a 2015 Antioxidants scientific review, milk thistle's potent phytochemical silymarin also bolsters glutathione synthesis11.* Known as the "master antioxidant" in our body, glutathione is a vitally important antioxidant that has a profound impact on detoxification efforts.*
2. It acts as a toxin-blocking agent.
According to a Phytocology Research review, silymarin also helps support the liver by inhibiting toxins from binding to liver cell membrane receptors.* In addition to its toxin-blocking actions, milk thistle also helps regulate and buffer liver enzymes to support detox pathways.* (A win-win for the never-ending fight against modern toxins!)
3. It helps protect & restore liver cells.
Finally, milk thistle not only protects liver cells (e.g., by helping to block toxins and supporting overall detoxification) but also helps restore liver cells that have been affected by ongoing toxin exposure.*
Whether it's helping block unwanted compounds, supporting their elimination, or rejuvenating liver cells after an increased burden of toxins, milk thistle really is there for the liver during every step of the detoxification process.*
Finding a high-quality liver detox supplement that includes milk thistle (like mbg's daily detox+) is a great way to increase antioxidant activity, bolster liver function, and support your body's overall detoxification.*
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.