Best milk thistle supplement 2022: Our top herbal picks (2023)

Finding the best milk thistle supplements can be tricky at times if you're not sure what ingredients to look out for.

Fortunately, we've scoured the web to put together a list of our top picks based on their price, ingredients, customer reviews, and any other features that we think make these milk thistle supplements worth considering.

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Why take milk thistle? Well, like some of the best bitter orange supplements, milk thistle is said to contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, milk thistle is perhaps best known for its potential ability to protect your liver.

As a result, milk thistle is one of the most commonly used herbal remedies right now and, therefore, could be a supplement you're missing out on.

Best milk thistle supplement 2022: Our top herbal picks (1)

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With that in mind, if you're looking for some milk thistle capsules, like these from Nature's Bounty, or milk thistle in liquid form, like Nature's Answer Milk Thistle Extract, then we've got everything you need to kick off your search right here.

We've also answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding milk thistle to help you determine whether it's right for you and your diet. Before that though, here's our list of top picks...

Best milk thistle supplement

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Best milk thistle supplement capsules - Nature's Bounty Milk Thistle Capsules

Best milk thistle supplement 2022: Our top herbal picks (2)

(Video) Countdown of 10 Best Milk Thistle Supplements
Credit: Nature's Bounty

Brand: Nature's Bounty | Capsules: 200 | Amount per Serving: 250mg

Nature's Bounty Milk Thistle Capsules have been designed with milk thistles' traditional use of supporting your liver in mind.

The company has leaned into this potential health benefit by including 250mg of seed extract in one serving.

However, Nature's Bounty has made sure to keep any artificial sweeteners, flavours, and colourings out so you're only reaping the rewards of milk thistle when using this supplement.

Moreover, milk thistle is said to have anti-inflammatory properties due to the active ingredient silymarin, so taking just one of these capsules a day may help you recover if you pick up an injury during sports or exercise.

Ultimately, if you're searching for a quick and easy way to supplement your diet, then these milk thistle capsules could be for you.

Best liquid milk thistle supplement - Nature's Answer Milk Thistle Seed Fluid Extract

Best milk thistle supplement 2022: Our top herbal picks (3)

Credit: Nature's Answer

Brand: Nature's Answer | Size: 30ml | Amount per Serving: 2,000mg

Although capsules are popular, you can also find milk thistle in liquid form, evidenced by Nature's Answer Milk Thistle Seed Fluid Extract.

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Being a liquid, Nature's Answer has managed to pack the equivalent of 2,000mg of the dry herb into its supplement, giving your body a ton of silymarin which comes with several potential health benefits.

(Video) Does Milk Thistle Work for the Liver?

Nature's Answer recommends adding 1-2ml to water three times a day to see any potential improvements, and boasts its product is alcohol and gluten-free to make it suitable for more people.

On the whole, we feel this supplement extract is definitely worth considering if you're looking to add milk thistle to your diet in liquid form.

Best softgel milk thistle supplement - Puritan's Pride Milk Thistle 4:1 Extract

Best milk thistle supplement 2022: Our top herbal picks (4)

Credit: Puritan's Pride

Brand: Puritan's Pride | Capsules: 180 | Amount per Serving: 250mg (1,000mg equivalent)

Puritan's Pride is a brand we've featured before in our list of the best garlic supplements as it's one of the leading companies around right now producing herbal remedies.

The company's Milk Thistle Extract is a particularly interesting option to consider as its concentrated 4:1 ratio equates to 1,000mg of the whole herb from just 250mg of milk thistle extract.

Therefore, it seems as though you're getting a lot for your money if you opt for these particularly softgel tablets.

Moreover, Puritan's Pride says its products are tested as many as 15 times throughout the manufacturing process. This should give you a little more confidence that this particular product is likely safe to consume.

Coming in 180-capsule containers as well, Puritan's Pride Milk Thistle Extract looks as though it has you covered if you're looking to add milk thistle into your diet for a long period of time.

Best extra strong milk thistle supplement - NOW Supplements Double Strength Milk Thistle Extract

Best milk thistle supplement 2022: Our top herbal picks (5)

Credit: NOW Supplements

Brand: NOW Supplements | Capsules: 200 | Amount per Serving: 300mg

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(Video) Best Silymarin 2022 (TOP5)

We've featured NOW Supplements before in our list of the best cod liver oil capsules; however, we're focusing on the company's Double Strength Milk Thistle Extract in this article.

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One capsule contains 300mg of milk thistle extract, which is pretty impressive as far as tablets go, but also contains dandelion root and artichoke.

Like milk thistle, dandelion root and artichoke have been linked to improving liver health, with dandelion root, in particular, also containing a potent antioxidant known as beta carotene which is associated with protecting against cell damage and oxidative stress.

The result is a 450mg capsule that has been designed to deliver all the potential health benefits of milk thistle in just one extra-strong tablet.

Best vegan milk thistle supplement - E2H All-Natural Liver Support

Best milk thistle supplement 2022: Our top herbal picks (6)

Credit: E2H

Brand: E2H | Servings: 59ml | Amount per Serving: Unspecified

Milk thistle is a plant and, as such, is inherently vegan at its core; however, not all milk thistle supplements are suitable for a plant-based diet. E2H All-Natural Liver Support is one of the vegan options though despite containing more than just milk thistle in its formula.

In fact, this extract is designed to deliver exceptional liver support through ingredients such as turmeric root alongside the aforementioned artichoke and dandelion.

All six of the ingredients in the proprietary blend are herbal though, so, alongside vegetable glycerin and purified water, this particular liquid supplement is completely vegan-friendly.

E2H All-Natural Liver Support also boasts 48 servings per bottle of its extra-strength formula, giving you more than enough time to assess whether milk thistle is right for you.

Frequently asked questions about milk thistle supplements

Finding the right supplements to incorporate into your diet can be daunting. Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most frequently asked queries surrounding milk thistle to get you started.

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What does milk thistle do?

Milk thistle contains a group of plant compounds collectively known as silymarin which has been linked to antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.

(Video) MILK THISTLE🌱🌱 (Silybum Marianum)

However, milk thistle is perhaps best known for its apparent ability to protect your liver. In fact, some studies, including one of particular note by Polachi et al., have shown improvements in liver function in people with liver diseases who have taken a milk thistle as a supplement.

Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, milk thistle is also associated with slowing age-related decline. For instance, research by Neha et al. found silymarin significantly reversed high-fat-diet-induced cognitive deficits and subsequent biochemical changes.

The possible health benefits don't end there though. Some studies have shown it to stimulate bone mineralisation and, therefore, improve bone health, improve acne, and potentially lower blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.

Can you take milk thistle every day?

According to Healthline, milk thistle is safe to consume every day. More specifically, current evidence suggests that dosages as high as 420 mg should be safe to take three times per day.

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However, it's worth baring in mind that you may encounter a few adverse side effects to this kind of milk thistle intake. One of the most commonly reported issues is a disturbance in normal digestive function which, in turn, may induce nausea.

There's also not a ton of robust data out there to prove the absolute safety of milk thistle, which may put some people off taking it every day. That said, the Mayo Clinic has deemed it as generally safe to consume as part of your diet. As a result, it remains one of the most popular herbal supplements on the market right now.

How long does milk thistle take to work?

There's not really a true answer to this question as it will vary from person to person as to how long it will take to see any potential benefits.

The general consensus seems to be around a few months to see any significant results from using milk thistle. However, some may see improvements after just a few weeks.

The key to seeing improvements though seems to be regular intake, preferably daily, to provide your body with its nutrients regularly for it to then use.

How much should you spend on milk thistle supplements?

Milk thistle supplements tend not to be overly expensive, so you shouldn't need to break the bank to add them to your diet.

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In fact, you can pick up a good year's supply from just a couple of containers worth of capsules if you opt for the right one. Therefore, you really don't have to spend much on milk thistle at all.

How much you spend on a particular supplement will come down to you though and your available budget, and you can of course spend more opting for bigger, more well-known brands.

Just be sure to check the supplement you're looking to buy has been tested before purchasing, especially if you're looking at something from a lesser-known company.

Can milk thistle supplements be harmful?

The National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health (NCCIH), a US government agency that explores complementary and alternative medicine, believes milk thistle to be safe to use in recommended doses.

However, some people experience allergic reactions to it, which is typically more common among people who are allergic to plants in the same family.

Milk thistle may also lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, so the NCCIH also raises caution there.

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(Video) 4 Insane Benefits Of MILK THISTLE & concerns. A herbalist's favourite!

For more people though, milk thistle appears to be a safe supplement to add to your diet.

Read More: Best beef liver supplements

FAQs

What is the best brand of milk thistle to take? ›

Herb Pharm Milk Thistle Extract – Most Recommended Milk Thistle Brand For Liver Health. Herb Pharm Milk Thistle is a great supplement if you want a natural and organic supplement that offers a good dose of Silymarin.

What is the best milk thistle to take for liver? ›

Top Rated
  • Nature's Bounty Milk Thistle Capsules 250mg, 200CT. Nature's Bounty. ...
  • Nature's Truth Milk Thistle Seed Extract 1,000 mg. Nature's Truth. ...
  • Irwin Naturals Milk Thistle Liver Detox plus BioPerine Softgels, 60CT. Irwin Naturals. ...
  • CVS Health Milk Thistle Capsules, 200CT. ...
  • Nature's Bounty Milk Thistle Caplets 175mg, 100CT.

How do I choose a good milk thistle supplement? ›

The key to choosing the best milk thistle supplements is to look for a standardized silymarin phytosome. If you're a patient, consult your integrative healthcare practitioner before taking milk thistle extract supplements or other supplements.

Is it better to take milk thistle at night or morning? ›

Milk thistle is generally tolerated well by the body, meaning you can take it pretty much whenever you want. It won't keep you awake at night, it can be taken on an empty stomach or combined with meals as an added ingredient, and there isn't a particular time of day where it's more potent or effective.

What medications should not be taken with milk thistle? ›

Possible interactions include:
  • Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates. Taking milk thistle might affect this enzyme and drugs it processes, such as diazepam (Valium), warfarin (Jantoven) and others. ...
  • Diabetes medications. ...
  • Raloxifene (Evista). ...
  • Simeprevir. ...
  • Sirolimus (Rapamune).

What strength of milk thistle is best? ›

Although there is no standardized milk thistle dosage at this time, most people do best consuming between 20–300 milligrams daily. If you're taking milk thistle for the liver, the recommended daily intake of milk thistle is 150 milligrams, taken one to three times daily.

Can milk thistle hurt your liver? ›

It may have protective effects on the liver, preventing damage. There's some evidence that milk thistle can treat cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis, which can be caused by alcohol abuse, autoimmune disease, or viruses.

How much milk thistle should I take for fatty liver? ›

Milk thistle is marketed as capsules or tablets containing ethanol extracted silymarin in amounts of 250 to 750 mg and is purported to be beneficial for liver disease, including alcoholic and viral liver disease. The daily dosage varies but it is typically taken 2 to 3 times daily.

Can milk thistle reverse liver damage? ›

Milk thistle will not reverse existing liver damage, and it will not cure infection with the hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus. Milk thistle should not be used by people who have complications from cirrhosis (such as variceal bleeding or ascites).

What is the safest brand of milk thistle? ›

The Best Milk Thistle Supplements
  • Best Overall. Puritan's Pride Milk Thistle. Affordable Six Month Supply. ...
  • Best Antioxidant Formula. Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle. ...
  • Strongest Dose. Fresh Nutrition Milk Thistle Capsules. ...
  • Best for Liver Health. FarmHaven Milk Thistle Capsules. ...
  • Most Trusted. Nature's Bounty Milk Thistle Capsules.
13 Feb 2020

What happens if you take milk thistle everyday? ›

Milk thistle is generally considered safe for most people at dosages up to 420 mg 3 times a day. However, it may cause allergic reactions, such as itching, headaches, and joint pain, or gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea or diarrhea.

How long should you take milk thistle for? ›

Dosing. BY MOUTH: For diabetes: Milk thistle extract 210-600 mg has been used daily for up to 6 months. 200 mg of milk thistle extract has been taken once daily or three times daily for 4 months to one year.

What organ is milk thistle good for? ›

Historically, people have used milk thistle for liver disorders and gallbladder problems. Milk thistle is promoted as a dietary supplement for hepatitis, cirrhosis, jaundice, diabetes, indigestion, and other conditions.

Can I take milk thistle with vitamin d3? ›

No interactions were found between milk thistle and Vitamins.

How does milk thistle affect the kidneys? ›

Milk thistle extract can attenuate diabetic renal damage (by decreasing urinary protein excretion), possibly due to its antioxidant action. This effect was also shown with silymarin, the most dominant flavonolignan in milk thistle extract, but to a lesser extent.

Is milk thistle good for your kidneys? ›

Milk thistle (Silymarin marianum) is a well-known herbal therapeutic commonly used for liver support. It supports detoxification through enhancing liver as well as kidney and pancreatic function.

Can milk thistle reverse fatty liver? ›

Medical research on milk thistle and liver health has led to mixed results. Studies show that silymarin may help ease inflammation and promote cell repair. This may help ease symptoms from liver diseases like jaundice, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and fatty liver disease.

Does milk thistle improve fatty liver? ›

Since then, a number of systematic reviews & meta-analysis of experimental studies on milk thistle supplementation have been completed. These include: A 2021 paper out of the Nutrition journal which concluded that silymarin was effective at reducing transaminase (liver enzymes AST, ALT) levels in people with NAFLD.

What are the negative side effects of milk thistle? ›

Side effects of milk thistle include:
  • Abdominal bloating/pain.
  • Allergic reactions.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Gas.
  • Indigestion.
  • Itching.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea.

Is 500mg of milk thistle too much? ›

Milk thistle supplements are commonly sold as in capsule form but are also available as tablets, tea bags, and liquid extracts. Doses range from 175 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams. Milk thistle is considered safe to take daily at doses of 150 to 175 mg, three times a day.

Is milk thistle best taken on an empty stomach? ›

How do I take milk thistle? Milk thistle can be taken on an empty stomach. Some believe this makes it work faster; however, very sensitive individuals should consider taking milk thistle with a meal instead. Milk thistle can be taken in herbal capsules or liquid extracts.

Can a damaged liver regrow? ›

The liver has a unique capacity among organs to regenerate itself after damage. A liver can regrow to a normal size even after up to 90% of it has been removed. But the liver isn't invincible. Many diseases and exposures can harm it beyond the point of repair.

How can I quickly repair my liver? ›

Focus on a healthy diet

getting sufficient fiber from sources like whole grains as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. choosing lean protein sources, such as seafood, skinless poultry, or legumes, as opposed to fattier meats. reducing your intake of foods or drinks that are high in sugars, salt, or unhealthy fats.

Is coffee good for your liver? ›

And studies show coffee may protect against liver disease. Most of the benefits are thanks to antioxidants. A large 2021 study found that drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of liver disease. Effects were similar for both regular and decaf coffee.

How much milk thistle is recommended daily? ›

For diabetes: Milk thistle extract 210-600 mg has been used daily for up to 6 months. 200 mg of milk thistle extract has been taken once daily or three times daily for 4 months to one year.

Is it best to take milk thistle on an empty stomach? ›

How do I take milk thistle? Milk thistle can be taken on an empty stomach. Some believe this makes it work faster; however, very sensitive individuals should consider taking milk thistle with a meal instead. Milk thistle can be taken in herbal capsules or liquid extracts.

Does milk thistle affect sleep? ›

Sleep quality also improves. The effect of taking milk thistle by itself is not known. Multiple sclerosis. Early research suggests that taking a combination supplement containing silymarin, a chemical found in milk thistle, can improve mental function and promote disease stabilization in people with multiple sclerosis.

Can you take milk thistle with other vitamins? ›

No interactions were found between milk thistle and Vitamins.

Does milk thistle get rid of fatty liver? ›

Medical research on milk thistle and liver health has led to mixed results. Studies show that silymarin may help ease inflammation and promote cell repair. This may help ease symptoms from liver diseases like jaundice, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and fatty liver disease.

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