Is Milk Thistle Bad For Your Kidneys?

The well-known herbal remedy milk thistle (Silymarin marianum) is frequently used to assist the liver. By improving liver, kidney, and pancreas function, it aids in detoxification.

Detoxification, or “detox,” frequently conjures up images of a time when one must follow a severely restricted diet or endure unpleasant procedures to make one throw up or experience diarrhea. Successful detox doesn’t require a drastic change in lifestyle. In both daily maintenance and more delicate patients, such as the elderly or those receiving chemotherapy, slow and steady can win the race. All living things naturally go through a process of detoxification, and the liver and kidneys are the main organs responsible for this process. The best elimination of toxins from the body takes place when these organs are operating at maximum capacity. This crucial work is supported by several herbs that protect and maintain renal and hepatic function. The milk thistle is one of these herbs, along with ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa), bupleurum (Bupleurum falcatum), schisandra (Schisandra chinensis), turmeric (Curcuma longa), and a number of others.

These flavonoid complexes are strong antioxidants that significantly contribute to milk thistle’s effectiveness. Additionally, milk thistle has anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, immune-modulating, antifibrotic, and liver regen properties. It is most famous for its hepatoprotective effects and is a member of the Asteraceae family. It has white veining in its green leaves and the traditional purple thistle flower.

For severe toxin exposures, the body is ready to respond dramatically with diarrhea and vomiting, but most of the time, toxic exposures are more undetectable and sneaky. The primary organs for detoxification are the liver and kidneys, and they toil silently and diligently every day to complete this vital task. We have the ability to gently support the body’s ongoing detoxification and healing processes by carefully choosing high-quality sources of specific herbs, such as milk thistle.

How does milk thistle impact kidney function?

Due to its antioxidant properties, milk thistle extract may be able to reduce the kidney damage caused by diabetes (by reducing urine protein excretion). The most prevalent flavonolignan in milk thistle extract, silymarin, likewise demonstrated same action, but to a lower degree.

Another trial should be planned to assess the effects of larger silymarin dosages and, if feasible, longer treatment durations on renal function and oxidative stress. Additionally, rather than waiting for DN to form over the course of four weeks, it would be interesting to investigate the impact of pretreatment with silymarin or extract. It would also be useful to find out how silymarin and milk thistle extracts affect the levels of tumor growth factor (TGF) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), two markers of fibrosis and inflammation, respectively, in the kidney of diabetic nephropathic rats.

TABLE 1 shows the impact of silymarin and milk thistle extract on blood sugar levels and renal function in diabetic nephropathic rats (n = 10).

Data are presented as meanSEM, please note. eGFR, or estimated glomerular filtration rate, values in each column that have a different superscript letter are substantially different from each other at p 0.05.

TABLE 2 shows how kidney thiobarbituric acid reactive species (TBARS) and antioxidant enzyme activities were affected by milk thistle extract and silymarin gavage feeding in diabetic nephropathic rats (n = 10).

Data are presented as meanSEM, please note. Values with various letter superscripts in each column differ significantly at p 0.05. A catalase (CAT) international unit (U) is equal to one mole of H2O2 consumed each minute. One mol of NADPH is oxidized each minute by one U of glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme that inhibits the autooxidation of adrenaline by 50% in one unit (U). Not Decided, or ND.

In whom should milk thistle not be used?

A tried-and-true method for boosting the body and healing disease is the usage of herbs. Herbs, however, can cause adverse reactions and combine with other herbs, dietary supplements, and pharmaceuticals. For these reasons, you should use herbs cautiously and under a doctor’s supervision.

Milk thistle is typically thought to be secure. The following are examples of moderate side effects:

  • upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • nausea and diarrhoea
  • Rash (from touching milk thistle plants)

Milk thistle should not be taken by anyone who has a history of hormone-related malignancies, such as breast, uterine, or prostate cancer.

If you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, chamomile, yarrow, or daisies, DO NOT consume milk thistle.

Does milk thistle affect the level of creatinine?

Blood cholesterol levels were significantly lowered by milk thistle (p

The impact of milk thistle on uric acid and creatinine levels was substantial (p

Which vitamins benefit the kidneys?

The Institute of Medicine states that the human body need a minimum of 13 vitamins to function effectively. The best approach to consume the recommended quantity of these vitamins is through a balanced diet, however individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) frequently do not do so for a variety of medical conditions. Some water soluble vitamins are more important for people with CKD. To give additional water soluble vitamins that are required, special renal vitamins are typically administered. Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and a trace amount of vitamin C are all components of renal vitamins.

A list of the essential water- and fat-soluble vitamins, as well as dietary advice for those with chronic kidney disease, is provided below.

Fat-soluble vitamins

1. A vitamin

Levels are typically high; supplementation is not advised. Limit to the Daily Reference Intake (DRI) of 700–900 ug/day if necessary.

2. Calcium

controls parathyroid hormone, deposits calcium and phosphorus in the body’s bones and teeth, and aids in their absorption (PTH).

The kidney’s capacity to produce active vitamin D is lost in CKD. Calcium, phosphorus, and PTH levels dictate the need for special active vitamin D supplements, which are only accessible with a prescription.

Vitamin E 3.

aids in shielding cells from oxidation and free radicals to stave off heart disease and some cancers.

Vitamin K 4.

Unless long-term inadequate intake is accompanied with antibiotic medication, supplements are typically not necessary.

Supplements can interfere with blood thinners and increase blood clotting.

Water-soluble vitamins

5. B1 vitamin (thiamin)

aids in the proper functioning of the neurological system and helps cells make energy from carbs.

6. B2 vitamin (riboflavin)

Niacin 7.

aids in the body’s utilization of sugars and fats, the production of energy by cells, and the operation of the body’s enzymes.

For CKD patients, a daily dose of 14 to 20 mg is advised (dialysis and non-dialysis).

8. B6 vitamin

produces red blood cells and aids in the body’s production of protein, which is utilized to build cells.

When used with folic acid and vitamin B12, 50 mg/day is recommended to lower homocysteine levels.

Folate 9.

Check your blood levels or add vitamin B12; folate pills might hide a vitamin B12 shortage.

10. B12 vitamin

helps create new cells, keeps nerve cells healthy, and collaborates with folate to create red blood cells.

For CKD (dialysis and non-dialysis), a supplement of 2-3 ug/day is advised; a deficiency can result in irreversible nerve damage.

11. Calcium

preserves healthy gums, speeds the healing of wounds and cuts, aids in the body’s ability to absorb iron, produces collagen, forms and repairs red blood cells, bones, and other tissues. It also helps the immune system remain strong.

For those with CKD, a daily dose of 60–100 mg is advised (dialysis and non-dialysis).

Biotin 12

For CKD patients (on dialysis and without); food intake may be insufficient on a low-protein diet. 30-100 ug/day supplement advised.

Pantothenic Acid 13.

The fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) should be avoided unless your kidney doctor prescribes them since they are more likely to accumulate in your body. Particularly dangerous quantities of vitamin A may develop with daily supplementation.

The suggested dose of vitamin C supplements is between 60 and 100 mg. There is concern that taking extremely high dosages of vitamin C while having CKD may lead to an accumulation of oxalate, which may accumulate in the bones and soft tissues.

Ask your doctor if you would benefit from taking a vitamin supplement if they have not already recommended one. Use only the vitamin supplements that your nutritionist or kidney doctor has recommended.

Do you need to take milk thistle daily?

Up to 420 mg of milk thistle taken three times per day is often regarded as safe for the majority of people. However, it could result in gastrointestinal issues like nausea or diarrhea as well as allergic reactions like itchiness, headaches, and joint discomfort.

Do milk thistle’s side effects exist?

Risks. A reaction to milk thistle may be allergic. At greater risk are those who are allergic to artichokes, kiwi, ragweed, daisies, marigolds, and chrysanthemums. Before using milk thistle, people with diabetes or endometriosis should consult a doctor. Although milk thistle has historically been used by expectant and nursing mothers, its safety is unknown. Before using milk thistle, see your doctor if you’re pregnant or nursing. Children should not consume milk thistle.

Side effects. Even when consumed for a long period of time, milk thistle appears to have few adverse effects. Some people experience bloating, itching, nausea, and diarrhea.

Interactions. Before beginning to use milk thistle, discuss with your doctor if you regularly use any medications. Numerous medications, including those used to treat excessive cholesterol, infections, sleeplessness, and blood pressure, may interact with it. People with diabetes should consult their doctor before taking milk thistle since it may cause their blood sugar to fall too low. Milk thistle may drop blood sugar.

Does milk thistle affect the liver?

According to reports, silymarin prevents poisons from adhering to liver cells. Additionally, it controls free radicals. These unstable compounds are leftovers from bodily processes. However, they may cause health problems and injure healthy cells.

Mixed findings have come from medical study on milk thistle and liver health. According to studies, silymarin may reduce inflammation and encourage cell healing. This could reduce the symptoms of disorders of the liver like jaundice, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and fatty liver.

The viral illness hepatitis C, which is a different liver disease, is not affected, according to other studies. In a significant study, silymarin was found to have no therapeutic benefit in hepatitis C patients, even at doses higher than usual. In comparison to individuals who took a placebo, researchers observed no differences in virus levels or quality of life in those who took milk thistle.

No herbal supplement has, to now, been demonstrated to be efficient against hepatitis C.

Silymarin does have a decent track record when it comes to treating a particular type of mushroom poisoning, though more research is required in that area.

For good reason, Amanita phalloides is also known as the death cap. The majority of annual deaths caused by foraged mushrooms are caused by it. It can cause liver damage and even liver failure when consumed. However, silymarin has shown useful, and at least one clinical investigation is now being conducted.

Can milk thistle heal a damaged liver?

Infection with the hepatitis B or C virus cannot be cured by milk thistle, nor will it restore any existing liver damage. People with cirrhosis issues shouldn’t use milk thistle (such as variceal bleeding or ascites).

How much milk thistle should I take to cleanse my liver?

According to the previously cited study, milk thistle is generally regarded as safe to ingest over a prolonged period of time—up to 41 months.

If you’re wondering how long milk thistle should be taken for a liver cleanse, the answer is identical to that in the preceding section: you should start to experience health advantages after about 3 to 4 months. However, there isn’t much scientific evidence to support whether liver detoxes or cleanses actually work, so use them with the understanding that they aren’t a proven way to treat liver damage.