Natural Antioxidant—Great for Liver Health

Keep Your Brain and Body Healthy with Milk Thistle

Milk thistle extracts can help prevent health conditions linked to aging, such as stroke, low testosterone, and symptoms of menopause.

Research shows milk thistle antioxidants can protect the brain and other organs from damage caused by aging and/or disease. Silymarin from milk thistle also seems to most effective in older brains.(188191193)

Milk thistle also demonstrates benefits in conditions linked to aging or found more commonly in older people:

Milk Thistle Table 9: Anti-Aging Effects in the Brain & Body
Condition Milk Thistle Effects

Alzheimer's disease(194)

Animal studies show that silymarin milk thistle extracts:(194195)

  • Memory function.
  • Anxiety linked to Alzheimer's.
  • Expression of proteins that form brain plaques.
  • Brain amyloid plaques.
  • Fibril formation.

Silibinin extracts from milk thistle showed the following in animal studies:(196197)

  • Energy metabolism in brain cells.
  • Acetylcholine levels.
  • Tolerance to stress.
  • Lifespan.
  • Memory impairment.
  • Free radical stress in the brain.

Interestingly, milk thistle extracts also reduce the risks of sepsis in the brain. Sepsis has been positively linked to higher incidence of dementia.(12198)

Silybin from milk thistle is also an effective iron chelating agent. Excess iron can contribute to plaque formation in the brain.(199200)


In an animal model for postmenopausal osteoporosis, milk thistle extract counteracted the negative effects of estrogen loss on bones:(92)

  • Bone density
  • Bone mineral content
  • Production of bone cells
  • Enzymes that promote bone degeneration

Interestingly, milk thistle also restored and preserved normal uterine size. Loss of estrogen can shrink the uterus in size and weight.(92)

Parkinson's disease(201)

Animal studies show that silymarin from milk thistle:(201202)

  • Balance.
  • Inflammation and free radicals in the brain.
  • Damage to neurons that produce dopamine.
  • Muscle stiffness.

Silymarin also protected beneficial estrogen receptors in the brain.(202)


Animal studies modeling stroke victims show that pretreatment with milk thistle silymarin extracts significantly:(203)

  • Antioxidant levels in stroke-damaged brain.
  • Grip strength, a sign of improved motor function.
  • Cognitive impairment (loss of memory and learning processes).

Research findings also suggest that milk thistle extracts may help restore neurons in areas of the brain damaged by stroke.(203204)

Low testosterone(191)

In aged mice, milk thistle seed extract:(191)

  • Testosterone levels.(191)
  • DHEA levels.(191)

Menopausal symptoms(86)

Phyto-Female Complex containing milk thistle (in combination with black cohosh, dong quai, red clover, American ginseng, and chaste tree berry) significantly reduced symptoms of menopause:(86)

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Poor quality of sleep
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