28 Jun Can Milk Thistle help you lose weight?
Milk Thistle is often promoted as a natural slimming aid, but is there any evidence to support claims that Milk Thistle tablets will in fact help you lose weight?
What is Milk Thistle?
Firstly, it is worth understanding what Milk Thistle is and where it comes from.
Milk Thistle is a herb with vibrant purple flowers. Related to the daisy and ragweed family, this spiky plant loves the sun and grows in sunny regions all over the world.
Milk Thistle’s enduring popularity largely lies in its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
HRI Milk Thistle tablets
Milk Thistle has been popular as a multipurpose herbal remedy for centuries and is used as a natural way to alleviate the symptoms of a huge variety of ailments from skin complaints like acne, to more serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
An extract from the Milk Thistle plant, Silybum Marinarum, is the active ingredient in HRI Milk Thistle™, our much-loved licensed herbal remedy for overindulgence.
HRI Milk Thistle tablets can be taken daily to help encourage a healthy digestive system and many swear by taking one or two tablets after the occasional heavy night to ward off upset stomachs and indigestion.
Milk Thistle for weight loss?
More and more, Milk Thistle is being promoted as a weight loss aid, but is there any scientific support for these claims?
If you search online for Milk Thistle and weight loss, you’ll see plenty of results.
However, when you dig deeper the majority of them point to a piece of research published in the US in 2020 about a small study on obsese mice. It looked at whether Silibinin (one of the compounds in Milk Thistle) has an effect on the inflammation of fat, and whether it can therefore reverse obesity and its complications.
The findings from the study were interesting, showing that “Silibinin as an anti-inflammatory therapy is a potential alternative to manage obesity.”
But notice the word ‘potential’.
Much more research is needed before anyone can say categorically that Milk Thistle can help with weight loss.
Having said all that, if you are looking to trim down a little, there are ways in which Milk Thistle could be your friend:
Milk Thistle may help curb cravings
Snacking tends to be one of the biggest challenges when it comes to losing weight. Many fans find that Milk Thistle can come to the rescue by putting a stop to cravings for sweet treats.
Usually, sugar cravings are the result of low blood sugar levels. Thanks to its ability to balance blood sugar, Milk Thistle can help to alleviate the cravings that a drop in blood sugar can cause.
Milk Thistle may beat the bloat
Aside from being uncomfortable, a swollen, bloated stomach can make us look bigger than we actually are. Again, Milk Thistle can help with this.
Bloating is a symptom of indigestion and Milk Thistle is a famously powerful digestive agent. See where this is going? So, Milk Thistle can help beat the bloat by keeping your digestive system running smoothly.
The bottom line
So whilst there isn’t yet any conclusive evidence to show whether Milk Thistle has a direct effect on weight loss, it can help keep sweet food cravings at bay and make you appear slimmer by reducing bloating caused by poor digestion.
To learn more about the wide range of ailments that Milk Thistle is popularly used to help with, read our article Milk Thistle, the multipurpose herbal remedy.
Staying safe with herbal medicines
If you do choose to use a herbal or natural remedy, it is vitally important to choose one that is licensed and has been checked for safety and quality under the Traditional Herbal Registration scheme. The THR logo on the pack shows you that the product has gone through rigorous checks based on a wide range of evidence to indicate its safety and that they are of pharmaceutical quality.