Milk Thistle is a very useful supplement. It contains silymarin, which many believe has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that help protect the liver. Taking milk thistle may also reduce blood sugar and LDL cholesterol, and is thus especially helpful for people with diabetes. As a result, there is a large market for milk thistle, which studies suggest should be standardized for 70%-80% silymarin. Unfortunately, while most milk thistle supplements claim to meet that level of standardization, a recent report from the Consumer Lab shows that many of the most popular milk thistle supplements contain far less silymarin that advertised. In fact, Consumer Lab reported that 6 popular milk thistle supplements, all of which claimed to contain “80% silymarin” fell short of the that amount. Consumer Lab found that:
- Bluebonnet Herbals Milk Thistle Extract contained only 64.5% silymarin
- Natrol Milk Thistle Advantage 525 mg contained only 58% silymarin
- Natural Factors Milk Thistle Extract 80% Silymarin contained only 64.1% silymarin
- Nature’s Plus Herbal Actives Milk Thistle Extended Release contained only 48.3% silymarin
- NutriCology Innovative Nutrition Phyllanthus Complex contained only 46.9% silymarin
- Pure Encapsulations Silymarin Milk Thistle Extract contained only 61.9% silymarin
Many consumers need a milk thistle supplement to maintain their health, and it is unconscionable for supplement makers to mislead consumers about how much silymarin they actually provide. If you or someone you know has purchased any of these milk thistle extracts, please contact us to discuss your legal options.