If you’re looking for a natural way to improve your liver health, you may have heard of milk thistle.
This herb has been used for centuries to treat liver problems, including hepatitis. But did you know that milk thistle might also make you pee more?
In this article, we’ll explore the potential benefits of milk thistle for liver health and examine whether it can have an impact on your urinary system.
So, grab a glass of filtered water and let’s dive in!
Does Milk Thistle Make You Pee More?
Milk thistle is known for its ability to support liver health and protect against liver damage. It contains a compound called silymarin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the liver.
But some people have reported that taking milk thistle supplements can also increase their urine output. This may be due to the fact that milk thistle has diuretic properties, meaning it can increase urine production and help flush out toxins from the body.
However, it’s important to note that not everyone will experience this effect. Some studies have shown that milk thistle extract may not have a significant impact on urine output or frequency.
What Is Milk Thistle And How Does It Work?
Milk thistle is a plant that is native to Europe and Asia but is now grown all over the world. It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for liver problems and is commonly used in traditional medicine.
The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin, a flavonoid that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Silymarin is believed to protect the liver by preventing damage to liver cells and promoting the growth of new liver cells.
Milk thistle also has diuretic properties, which means it can increase urine production and help eliminate excess fluids from the body. This can be beneficial for people with conditions such as edema or high blood pressure.
Milk Thistle And Liver Health: What The Research Says
Research has shown that milk thistle can be an effective remedy for liver-related conditions. A systematic review of 18 randomized clinical trials found that milk thistle had no significant effects on mortality in patients with alcoholic liver disease or chronic hepatitis B or C, but it did reduce liver-related mortality in all trials. However, the methodological quality of the trials was low, and high-quality trials did not show significant reductions in liver-related mortality.
Despite the mixed results, there is sufficient evidence to support the use of milk thistle as a complementary treatment for liver health. The active ingredient silymarin has been shown to promote the growth of liver cells, protect them from damage, and inhibit inflammation. Milk thistle can also help detoxify chemicals and toxins that accumulate in the body, accelerate the regeneration of liver cells, and improve liver function over time.
Milk thistle can be taken in several different forms, including teas, tinctures, capsules, or tablets. When purchasing a milk thistle supplement, look for the Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) logo to ensure that the product has been manufactured to a high standard of purity and quality and has a good concentration of silymarin. These supplements are safe to take long term when following label instructions.
It’s important to note that milk thistle should not be relied on as a sole treatment for liver-related conditions. For best results, it should be combined with a liver cleansing diet loaded with garlic, green tea, apples, avocados, olive oil, lemons and whole grains. Also, try to reduce intake of fatty, processed and refined foods that place further demands on the liver. Finally, drink plenty of water and avoid excessive toxins from coffee and alcohol.
Milk Thistle And Diuretic Properties: Can It Make You Pee More?
Diuretic herbs are known to promote urination, helping to stimulate the kidneys, remove waste, and reduce urinary irritation. Milk thistle is one such herb that has been found to have diuretic properties. The active ingredient in milk thistle seeds, silymarin, has been shown to promote cell regeneration in the kidneys and protect kidney cells from damage. It also appears to hinder the inflammatory response in kidney tissue.
Research has also shown that milk thistle has a protective effect on the liver and kidneys. Some physicians recommend taking milk thistle when a patient needs any drug that may potentially damage the kidneys. Milk thistle is especially recommended for alcohol-induced kidney disease.
A study conducted on rats found that Silybum marianum L. (milk thistle) increased urine volume and sodium and potassium excretion without affecting plasma sodium and potassium levels. The study also found that milk thistle increased creatinine clearance and had a significant diuretic effect without affecting serum electrolytes.
While some people may experience increased urine output after taking milk thistle supplements, it’s important to note that this effect may not be significant for everyone. More research is needed to fully understand the diuretic properties of milk thistle and its potential impact on urine output. As with any supplement, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before adding milk thistle to your regimen.
Potential Side Effects Of Milk Thistle
While milk thistle is generally considered safe for most people, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. These include:
1. Digestive issues: Some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea, bloating, gas, and diarrhea when taking milk thistle supplements.
2. Allergic reactions: Milk thistle can cause allergic reactions in some people, especially those who are allergic to plants in the same family as milk thistle, such as ragweed, daisies, and marigolds.
3. Interactions with medications: Milk thistle can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and some anti-anxiety medications. It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking milk thistle if you are on any medications.
4. Hormonal effects: Milk thistle may have estrogenic effects and could potentially interfere with hormone therapy or oral contraceptives. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid milk thistle.
5. Blood sugar control: Milk thistle may lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, which could be dangerous if not monitored closely.
It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking milk thistle supplements, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking any medications. They can help you determine if milk thistle is safe and appropriate for you, and can also advise you on the proper dosage and potential side effects.
How To Incorporate Milk Thistle Into Your Health Routine
If you’re interested in incorporating milk thistle into your health routine, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have a history of liver disease or are taking any medications.
When choosing a milk thistle supplement, look for one that contains a standardized amount of silymarin. This will ensure that you’re getting a consistent dose of the active compound.
Milk thistle supplements come in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. Choose the form that works best for you and follow the recommended dosage instructions on the label.
It’s also important to note that milk thistle supplements are not a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and staying hydrated can help support liver health and reduce toxin accumulation.
In addition to taking milk thistle supplements, you can also incorporate other liver-supporting practices into your routine. These may include getting enough sleep, reducing alcohol consumption, avoiding processed foods and added sugars, and engaging in regular exercise.
Conclusion: Is Milk Thistle Right For You?
If you are considering taking milk thistle supplements, it’s important to weigh the potential benefits against any possible side effects. While milk thistle has been shown to have numerous benefits for liver health and function, it may not be right for everyone.
If you have a history of kidney or bladder problems, or if you are taking medications that affect your fluid balance, you should talk to your doctor before taking milk thistle. Additionally, if you experience any unusual changes in urine output or frequency while taking milk thistle, you should stop taking the supplement and consult with your healthcare provider.