Research on the properties of the milk thistle plant is an ongoing science. Studies are conducted by various research groups and usually these results end up on the Internet. The Smoothie Essentials Antioxidant Blend features milk thistle extract because it rates high on properties that assist in the maintenance of good health. For reference, a few quotes below ~ regarding the results of various studies and the implications of the milk thistle effects when added to a healthy diet.
Milk thistle “acts directly on the cell membrane of the liver, and probably most other cells of the body, by stabilizing and strengthening” it. Toxins within the body seek out cell membrane receptor sites but when milk thistle extract comes into play, they now compete against each other. “That toxins are unable to affect cell membranes in the presence of milk thistle extract argues for the stabilizing action of these substances.”
Mowrey continues, “The observable result is the regeneration of liver cells,” indicating that milk thistle’s compounds are excellent free-radical-scavenging antioxidants.
“Milk thistle can act as an antioxidant with many times more antioxidant activity than vitamin E, suggested AIBR Scientific Reviews in 1987.
“By combining our current understanding of the physiochemical properties of milk thistle, we can better understand why it can be a therapeutic substance in the treatment of liver disorders; milk thistle is a free-radical scavenger,” Murray explained in Better Nutrition (1990).”It interferes in the production of leukotrienes and stimulates protein synthesis.”
“Silymarin appears to be capable of lessening alcohol-induced liver damage when taken prior to alcohol consumption and is used clinically in the treatment of alcohol-induced liver damage,” Rob McCaleb explained in a Better Nutrition for Today’s Living article from 1991.
“In placebo-controlled experiments, silymarin had been shown useful in treating alcohol- and drug-induced liver disease. A study by H. Feber, et al., in 1990, showed that six months of treatment significantly improved liver function in 36 patients with alcohol-induced liver disease.”
“Compounds in milk thistle interfere with enterohepatic circulation. Since toxins are continuously cycled “between the gastrointestinal tract and the liver, Mowrey goes on, toxicity produced through what is called a “continuous enterohepatic circuit” usually takes quite a while to develop.”
“When milk thistle compounds are administered, the enterohepatic circuit is interrupted. The primary absorption of toxins is now blocked, and their re-absorption is mostly prevented, as well.”
“Cells not yet poisoned are protected from damage from circulation toxins,” Herbal Tonic Therapies says.
“These damage-protected cells now “act as centers for the generation of new liver cells. With time, complete restoration of the liver is possible.”
Better Nutrition, Feb, 1996 by James J. Gormley,
American Institue for Biosocial Research. “Milk Thistle,” AIBR Scientific Reviews Number 18, 1987.
Colgan, Michael, Ph.D. “Milk Thistle: Unique Protection for the Liver,” Nutrition and Fitness 8 (3), 1989
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