July 29, 2016

Milk Thistle

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How does Milk Thistle work?

Milk thistle seed might protect liver cells from toxic chemicals and drugs. It also seems to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Are there safety concerns?

Milk thistle extractis LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth for most adults. Milk thistle sometimes causes a laxative effect. Other less common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, intestinal gas, bloating, fullness or pain, and loss of appetite.

There isn't enough reliable information available to know if milk thistle is safe to apply to the skin or inject into the body.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking milk thistle if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Milk thistle may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking milk thistle.

Diabetes: Certain chemicals in milk thistle might lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Dosing adjustments to diabetes medications might be necessary.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Extracts from milk thistle PLANT might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use these extracts. In contrast, the more commonly used milk thistle SEED extracts do not seem to act like estrogen.


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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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