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Milk Thistle

By far the most famous liver aid in the world, milk thistle is an extremely well known dietary supplement ingredient most commonly suggested to those using liver damaging prohormones, steroids, and alcohol as a way of protecting oneself from the potential dangers.

While this compound is an effective way of boosting one’s health, there is cause to believe it may not be the best way to protect one’s liver while using anabolics.

What it does

Milk thistle helps reduce dangerous liver enzyme levels and restore liver cell growth to help manage potentially dangerous liver damage. Several studies show it to be possibly beneficial in managing alcohol, anabolic steroid, and various other liver induced damage.

Unknown to many, is the fact that milk thistle should not be one’s first line of defense when taking preventative measures against methylated steroids. Traditionally, milk thistle is suggested to be used alongside methylated steroids to help your liver not get damaged. This however, is counterintuitive as the active component in milk thistle, silymarin, can significantly inhibit the function of androgen receptors, causing a reduction in muscle growth on a cycle[1].

How it works

The herb milk thistle or silybum marianum has a naturally occurring compound in it known as silymarin. Silymarin acts as a powerful antioxidant that also possesses anti-inflammatory benefits which in turn help to increase liver health.

Milk thistle usage has shown to be capable of decreasing dangerously high liver enzyme levels[2] which may be drug-induced via superoxide dismutase restoration[3], or in more simple terminology increasing your body’s ability to exert potent antioxidant benefits on the liver, improving its strength and effectiveness to filter toxins.

Dosing

Daily suggested dosing of milk thistle for liver damage from drugs or toxins is 160-800mg of silymarin per day. To achieve this dosage, check the extraction potency of the supplement you’re using and dose appropriately as 160-800mg of milk thistle will not provide 160-800mg of the active constituent. Split doses up for 2-3 doses per day.

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/carcin/article/22/9/1399/2608143/Silymarin-inhibits-function-of-the-androgen
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26153591
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26400476