Are you someone who is looking for alternative treatments to help manage your diabetes or colorectal cancer?
Have you heard about the potential benefits of using milk thistle and metformin together?
While both of these natural remedies have been shown to have anticancer and antidiabetic properties, it’s important to understand the potential risks and benefits of combining them.
In this article, we’ll explore the latest research on milk thistle and metformin, and whether it’s safe to take them together.
So, if you’re curious about whether you can take metformin with milk thistle, keep reading!
Can I Take Metformin With Milk Thistle?
Metformin is a widely used antidiabetic medication that works by activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which helps to lower blood glucose levels. Milk thistle, on the other hand, is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries to treat liver diseases and has been shown to have anticancer properties.
While both metformin and milk thistle have been shown to be effective in managing diabetes and colorectal cancer, there are potential risks associated with taking them together.
One of the main concerns is that milk thistle can lower blood sugar levels, which can be dangerous if you’re already taking medications like metformin that also lower blood sugar. This can increase the risk of hypoglycemia, which can cause symptoms like dizziness, confusion, and even loss of consciousness.
Additionally, there is limited research on the safety and efficacy of combining metformin and milk thistle. While some studies have shown that the combination may have anticancer effects, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks.
The Benefits Of Milk Thistle And Metformin For Diabetes And Colorectal Cancer
Despite the potential risks, there are some potential benefits to combining milk thistle and metformin for diabetes and colorectal cancer.
Milk thistle has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help protect against liver damage caused by toxins, including certain medications like metformin. In addition, milk thistle has been shown to increase the expression of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), a tumor suppressor gene that can help prevent the growth of cancer cells.
Metformin, on the other hand, has been shown to activate AMPK, which can help lower blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity. This can be especially beneficial for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing the disease. Some studies have also suggested that metformin may have anticancer effects, particularly in colorectal cancer.
While more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of combining milk thistle and metformin for diabetes and colorectal cancer, early studies suggest that the combination may have some potential benefits. However, it is important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new treatment regimen, especially if you are already taking medication for diabetes or cancer. Your doctor can help you determine if the combination is safe and appropriate for your individual needs.
Understanding How Milk Thistle And Metformin Work
Metformin works by activating AMPK, which is an enzyme that helps to regulate glucose metabolism in the liver and muscles. By activating AMPK, metformin helps to increase insulin sensitivity, reduce glucose production in the liver, and increase glucose uptake in the muscles.
Milk thistle contains a flavonoid called silymarin, which has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Silymarin has also been shown to protect the liver from toxins and help it repair itself by growing new cells. Additionally, silymarin may work similarly to some diabetic medications by improving insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood sugar levels.
While both metformin and milk thistle have different mechanisms of action, they both ultimately help to lower blood glucose levels. However, it is important to note that there is limited research on the safety and efficacy of combining these two treatments.
Potential Risks Of Combining Milk Thistle And Metformin
When combining milk thistle and metformin, there is a potential risk of hypoglycemia, especially if you’re taking other medications that also lower blood sugar levels. This can be particularly dangerous for people with diabetes who are already at risk of hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shaking, sweating, increased heart rate, nervousness, dizziness, and irritability.
Another potential risk is the limited research on the safety and efficacy of combining milk thistle and metformin. While some studies have shown that the combination may have anticancer effects, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks.
It’s important to note that milk thistle may interact with other medications as well. For example, milk thistle can affect the way the liver processes certain drugs, so it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking it with any other medications.
Latest Research On Milk Thistle And Metformin
Recent studies have investigated the potential synergistic effects of combining metformin and milk thistle for the treatment of colorectal cancer. One study found that the combined treatment of human colorectal cancer cells with silibinin (the active compound in milk thistle) and metformin may induce apoptosis (cell death) at a dose that does not affect human colonic epithelial cells. This suggests a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of colorectal cancer.
Another study evaluated the effects of milk thistle extract and metformin on liver function tests in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The study found that the combination of milk thistle extract and metformin improved liver function tests and reduced insulin resistance compared to metformin alone.
However, it is important to note that there is limited research on the safety and efficacy of combining these two medications. More studies are needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of taking metformin with milk thistle.
Safe Dosages And Recommendations For Taking Milk Thistle And Metformin Together
If you are considering taking milk thistle and metformin together, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider first. They can help you determine if this combination is safe and appropriate for your individual needs.
In general, it’s recommended that you take milk thistle and metformin at different times of the day to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia. For example, you could take metformin in the morning and milk thistle in the evening.
When it comes to dosages, there is no standard recommendation for taking milk thistle and metformin together. However, it’s important to follow the recommended dosage guidelines for each individual supplement.
According to Natural Medicines, milk thistle has been rated as “likely safe” when taken orally long-term at doses of up to 2100mg per day. However, if you are taking other medications or have a medical condition, your healthcare provider may recommend a lower dosage.
Similarly, the recommended dosage for metformin will depend on your individual needs and medical history. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine the appropriate dosage based on factors such as your age, weight, and blood sugar levels.