Does silymarin sound familiar? If not, you may recognize milk thistle, the plant from which silymarin is derived. Silymarin is a plant flavonoid and is an important support element for the liver, gallbladder, spleen and kidneys. In particular, silymarin is important for liver function. It enhances detoxification pathways and it prevents the depletion of glutathione, an antioxidant that is present within the liver cells. By preventing the depletion of glutathione, the liver’s cells are protected from free radicals and the detoxification mechanisms are enhanced.
Glutathione is a critical element for liver health and overall cellular health. It is an important part of many of the body’s chemical reactions, but it also helps detoxify the body of naturally-created byproducts as well as drugs and pollutants. Glutathione production diminishes with age; in fact, glutathione production greatly diminishes after age 45. Other conditions like smoking, alcohol use and excess body weight also contribute to glutathione depletion. However, even if you have sufficient glutathione, it is still important to have silymarin to prevent glutathione depletion.
Milk Thistle - Nature's Detoxification Aid
Silymarin has a well-established safety profile and a long history of medicinal use. Without silymarin, glutathione can deplete, and without glutathione, the liver cannot properly detoxify. While silymarin is important for detoxifying the body's natural liver detoxification pathways, it is also important to other organs like the spleen, gallbladder and kidneys to aid in overall body detoxification.