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Milk Thistle and Liver Formula Supplements Reviewed by ConsumerLab.comProduct Reviews

Milk Thistle and Liver Formula Supplements Review

Choose the Best Milk Thistle Supplements

80% of Milk Thistle Supplements Fail Tests of Quality: Many Contain Less Silymarin Thann Expected

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Brands compared in report

21st Century Milk Thistle Extract
Bluebonnet Herbals Milk Thistle
Country Life Milk Thistle Extract
Doctor's Best Milk Thistle
Douglas Laboratories Milk Thistle Max-V
Enzymatic Therapy Super Milk Thistle
Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle Seed
GNC Herbal Plus Milk Thistle
GNC Preventive Nutrition Liver Health Formula
Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle
Swanson Full Spectrum Milk Thistle
Trunature (Costco) Milk Thistle

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More about this report

Milk thistle supplements naturally contain silymarin compounds which may be helpful in certain liver diseases as well as type 2 diabetes. Most milk thistle supplements claim that 80% of their extracts are silymarin -- similar to products used in many clinical trials. However, found that most milk thistle extract supplements are not actually 80% silymarin.
We discovered that 5 milk thistle extract supplements claiming to provide "80% silymarin" provided much less -- only 51.7% to 60.4% silymarin. Three other milk thistle supplements did not list their silymarin content but were held to minimum standards, which they did not meet. Out of ten milk thistle supplements selected for testing by, only two gained's Quality Approval.
In this comprehensive review of milk thistle supplements, you'll get test results and quality ratings for 12 milk thistle supplements (including two that passed testing in our voluntary Quality Certification Program). You'll discover:
    • Potential benefits of milk thistle, as well as what it doesn't do
    • Which milk thistle supplements failed testing, which passed, and which are's Top Picks -- indicating the best milk thistle in quality and price  
    • Direct comparisons and quality ratings of milk thistle supplements
    • The evidence behind other ingredients in liver formulas such as artichoke extract, schizandra (schisandra) extract, and phyllanthus extract. 
    • How "silymarin," "silybin," and "flavonoids" differ as listed ingredients in milk thistle 
    • Dosage for specific uses of milk thistle 
    • Concerns, cautions, side effects, and drug interactions with milk thistle 

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