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Blood Sugar Health & Milk Thistle
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a plant in the Asteraceae (daisy) family. Native to southern Europe, southern Russia, Asia Minor, and North Africa, the plant now grows in dry, sunny areas throughout the world, including North America. Other names of the plant include “St. Mary Thistle,” “Holy Thistle” and “Lady’s Thistle.”
Considered a weed in some parts of the word, this plant can grow up to ten feet tall. Flowering season is from June to August, with each stem bearing a single, large, purple to red flower ending in sharp spines. The plant’s stem bears large, alternating, prickly-edged leaves with white veins. The botanical gets its name from the milky white sap that comes from the leaves when they are crushed.
While Europeans were among the first to use milk thistle seeds as an herbal treatment for liver health, the plant has been used for over 2,000 years as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, particularly to support the health of the liver, kidneys, and gall bladder. In fact, the plant was mentioned by Theophrastus in the 4th century B.C. by the name of “Pternix” and was also referred to as “Sillybum” by Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder. His writings in the 1st century A.D., he described the plant as being “excellent for carrying off bile.”
Several scientific studies suggest that a substance in milk thistle called silymarin holds the key to its healing properties. Silymarin is a chemical that’s extracted from the seeds of the plant. This chemical is comprised of a group of flavonoids (silybin, silidianin, and silicristin), with silybin being the most biologically active. Silymarin may help the liver repair itself by growing new cells. It also promotes a healthy inflammatory response and is a powerful antioxidant.
The seeds of milk thistle also contain betaine, also known as trimethylglycine or TMG, and essential fatty acids. These substances may also contribute to silymarin’s protective and powerful health effects.
While the plant and its seeds are best known for their ability to support the liver, research is now demonstrating their effects on blood sugar. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of patients taking standardized milk thistle extract experienced a significant reduction in post-meal blood sugar readings and fasting blood glucose levels.
Our GlucoProtect 6X includes 600mg of standardized milk thistle seed extract to support your healthy blood sugar levels.