General Questions about Milk Thistle
What is milk thistle?
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) is a plant native to the Mediterranean region that is often characterized by its bright purple flowerheads and sharp, prickly leaves. Milk thistle has a long history of safe use and has been recognized as medicine since Greco-Roman times. Today, standardized preparations from the seeds of milk thistle are often taken as a supplement to support liver health*.
What health benefits does milk thistle provide?
Milk thistle extracts standardized to silymarin and its isomers help support liver detoxification, antioxidant defense for healthy liver function, digestive health, and healthy blood sugar levels already within the normal range*.
What is silymarin?
Silymarin is a group of antioxidant bioflavonoids naturally present in milk thistle seed that are thought to be primarily responsible for the health-promoting benefits of milk thistle extract. Researched forms of silymarin include silybinin, silychristin, and silydianin.
What are some factors to consider when choosing a milk thistle supplement?
Depending on your reason(s) for supplementing with milk thistle and your personal preferences, it may be helpful to consider one or more of the following factors when making a purchasing decision—
- Does the product contain just milk thistle whole powder or an extract standardized to provide a consistent and guaranteed amount of silymarin in each serving?
- Is the milk thistle extract clinically-proven to provide intended benefits?
- Is the recommended dosage supported by science and sufficient to provide intended benefits?
- What is the amount or percentage of silymarins per serving of the product?
- Is the product independently verified to meet identity, potency & purity standards?
- What assurance, if any, is available that what’s on the product label is, in fact, in the bottle?
- Is the project Non-GMO Project Verified?
- Does the product contain any chemical additives or preservatives?
Can milk thistle supplements be taken with OTC or prescription medications?
If you are taking or planning to take an OTC or prescription medication or planning a medical procedure, please consult a licensed pharmacist or your healthcare provider before beginning supplementation to minimize risk of side effects associated with potential supplement-drug interactions.
Still have questions?
For general information about milk thistle, check out the resources below—
Milk Thistle Overview — NIH National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health
Milk thistle — Excerpt from Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs.
For specific guidance on the suitability of milk thistle to support your particular health goals, please talk to your healthcare provider.
Questions about Milk Thistle Gold
How does Milk Thistle Gold compare with other milk thistle supplements?
While milk thistle products are available in multiple formats (e.g. powders, extracts, teas), it is important to note that the vast majority of completed research on milk thistle demonstrates that a concentrated, standardized extract of milk thistle seed is necessary in order for the active constituents (silymarin) to be properly absorbed and utilized by the body. (Source)
- Milk Thistle Gold features the most clinically-studied milk thistle extract currently available.
- The extract in Milk Thistle Gold has been used in over 100 clinical studies and was developed using a patented process to allow for optimal stability and bioavailability.
- The extract in Milk Thistle Gold is standardized for 80% silymarin by HPLC, which is the same dosage used in clinical studies.
- The extract in Milk Thistle Gold is standardized to all six isomers of silymarin, including > 50% silybinin, the most biologically active silymarin isomer.
- The extract in Milk Thistle Gold is certified organic and Non-GMO Project verified.
Does Milk Thistle Gold contain Silybinin?
Yes, Milk Thistle Gold is guaranteed to contain greater than 50% of silybinin, the most biologically active isomer of silymarin.
What is the best time of day to take Milk Thistle Gold?
Milk thistle can generally be taken anytime. However, for those with a sensitive GI tract, milk thistle is often best taken with food. As a matter of principle and in the interest of your health and safety, we encourage you to consult your healthcare provider prior to supplementation to determine what use, if any, is best for your individual needs.
Can I take more than what is suggested on the label?
Because we are not licensed medical professionals and individual needs can vary, we regret that we cannot recommend a dosage beyond what is suggested on the product label. It may be important to note that the dosing range provided in the suggested use on the label is based on amounts of the extract used in clinical investigations. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to supplementation to determine what dosage, if any, is best for your individual needs.
Why does Milk Thistle Gold contain tapioca maltodextrin and rice concentrate?
At NutriGold, we are philosophically opposed to the use of chemical additives and synthetic preservatives in our products, which is why we avoid magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, and other commonly-used additives derived from GM ingredients like corn starch, corn maltodextrin, and soy lecithin. The tapioca maltodextrin and rice concentrate are plant-derived alternatives to chemical additives and added to the product to ensure finished product quality and integrity.
How does NutriGold ensure the purity of the ingredients used in its Milk Thistle Gold product?
At NutriGold, our first priority is consumer safety, which is why we verify that raw materials used in our products as well as the finished products themselves meet industry-defining quality and purity standards. Depending on the complexity of the testing involved, including determining what needs to be tested, what methods are fit-for-purpose, and which lab is most qualified to perform the testing, we sometimes have results from as many as 4 or 5 different independent, ISO-accredited labs for each product. We take these results from third-party labs and summarize them in lot-specific Certificates of Analysis that are freely available in the spirit of authentic transparency on the product pages on our website so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions.
What assurance can you provide that the amount of silymarins listed on the label is actually in the product?
All of our products are verified by independent third-party labs to meet identity, purity, and potency label claims. We take these results from third-party labs and summarize them in lot-specific Certificates of Analysis (C of A) that are freely available in the spirit of authentic transparency on the product pages on our website so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions. The C of A provides assurance that the claims made on the label accurately reflect the contents of the product inside the bottle. If interested, more information on our our commitment to independent, third party quality testing can be found at this link - https://nutrigold.com/pages/accountability
Can I break apart the capsule and add the contents to liquid/food to consume?
All of our products are formulated to be taken as capsules and our purity and potency claims are based on the product being taken as recommended. We generally do not recommend breaking apart the capsules because it can introduce contaminants or otherwise compromise product potency and effectiveness.
Is Milk Thistle Gold suitable for children (under 18 years of age)?
Milk Thistle Gold is formulated for individuals over 18 years. Because children are considered a vulnerable population, we regret we cannot make any recommendations regarding the use of our products by or for children under the age of 18. We ask that you talk to your pediatrician or family practitioner about whether or not Milk Thistle Gold is suitable and safe for your child’s particular healthcare needs prior to supplementation.