Monday, November 14, 2011

Milk Thistle Protects the Liver, Heart and Brain

The liver is one of the mostcritical organs essential to human health. It serves more than 300 functions inthe body to detoxify against chemical and environmental intrusions, andpromotes metabolic function as well. Silymarin is commonly known as milkthistle and new science is emerging to validate the healing potential of thispowerful plant.

Publishing in the journalHepatitis Monthly, researchers providesolid evidence that natural milk thistle extracts can halt and even reverse theeffects of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), an affliction affecting asmuch as a third of the adult population. Supplementation with milk thistle willdramatically lower the risks associated with fatty liver disease,atherosclerosis and cognitive dysfunction.

Milk Thistle is a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Agent
NAFLD is a significant healthconcern that is growing at an unprecedented rate due to the obesity anddiabetes epidemic currently gripping most western societies. The condition iscaused in part by excess accumulation of fats (triglycerides) in the cellularmatrix of the liverthat result in suboptimal function of the organ. Left unchecked, the diseasecan result in cell injury and damage, inflammation and ultimately to cirrhosisas the liver becomes less able to perform the multitude of tasks essential tolife.

Researchers found that the plant extract has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and becomes concentrated in hepatic tissue soon after ingestion. They found that silymarin promotes liver tissue regeneration by supporting multiple critical metabolic functions including lower oxidized LDL cholesterol levels, regulation of membrane permeability and stability and preventing the deposition of collagen fibers, leading to cirrhosis. In addition, milk thistle inhibits the absorption of many toxins, effectively preventing them from entering circulation through the bloodstream.

Silymarin from Milk Thistle Fight Arterial Hardening and Cancer
Silymarin is known to be apowerful cellular antioxidant with specific properties that can prevent excessoxidation of LDL cholesterol. Oxidized LDL cholesterol particles are sticky andbecome lodged in the delicate endothelial layer of coronary artery vessels wherethey combine with other blood-borne compounds to form plaque. Natural milkthistle extracts (570 mg per day) have proven effective to lower risk factors thatpromote arterial hardening.

Milk thistle has been used as achemopreventive agent in the fight against certain cancer lines, most notablymetastatic cancers of the prostate. Silymarininterferes with cancer growth and immortality, and exhibits anti-inflammatoryand anti-metastatic activity (preventscancer spread). Extracts of milk thistle have also been used as an agent in thewar against numerous malignancies including those of the liver, colon and skin.

Our body is continually underassault from a barrage of more than 70,000 chemicals and 900 drugs known toinduce liver damage. Milk thistle supplementation provides an effective tool toprotect and heal our primary filtration organ, the liver. Silymarin is alsoproving to be an important tool that can naturally lower cancer risk, whileproviding critical support for the heart and prostate.

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