This is our official list of the best milk thistle products on the market today. Scroll further down or click “More Info” for full details on each product.
|#1||Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle||Lowest Price More Info|
|#2||Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle Seed||Lowest Price More Info|
|#3||Solaray Milk Thistle Extract||Lowest Price More Info|
|#4||Solgar Milk Thistle Herb Extract||Lowest Price More Info|
|#5||GNC Herbal Plus Milk Thistle||Lowest Price More Info|
|#6||Herb Pharm Milk Thistle||Lowest Price More Info|
|#7||Pure Encapsulations Silymarin||Lowest Price More Info|
|#8||Bluebonnet Standardized Milk Thistle||Lowest Price More Info|
|#9||Paradise Herbs Milk Thistle||Lowest Price More Info|
|#10||NutraBio Milk Thistle||Lowest Price More Info|
Most Effective Milk Thistle Products Reviewed
Jarrow Formulas is somewhat famous for being the only milk thistle supplement to pass the ConsumerLabs Survey that tested what was actually in milk thistle products. This product requires a single pill each day. Each pill contains 150 mg, which is lower than any other supplement on this list so far. Some people like to open these capsules and pour the powder into applesauce, an effective way to consume it. People have reported this product helping them with myofascial pain syndrome and acid reflex.
- Milk Thistle Seed 30:1 Extract 150 mg
- Magneasium stearate
- Silicon dioxide
- Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (for the capsule)
Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle seed supplements are 100% vegan, they are fully potent and come in the form of a liquid phyto-cap for better bioavailability. One serving is 3 capsules, taken throughout the day. This is the most effective way to take milk thistle. It contains soy, so those with a soy allergy should avoid it. People who are allergic to ragweed should avoid this as well. The pills are quite large, which some people don’t like.
- Milk Thistle seed extract 450 mg
- Vegetable glycerin
- Lecithin (non-GMO)
- Capsule (chlorophyll vegetable cellulose
Solaray milk Thistle extract capsules are not too big and they contain 175 mg, which is a bit on the low side. This one has helped a lot of people with liver issues, including those with elevated liver enzymes, fatty liver disease, and liver cysts.
- Milk Thistle (seed extract) 350 mg
- Milk Thistle Seed 110 mg
- Vegetable cellulose capsule
- Magneium tearate
These are a little more expensive than other milk thistle supplements, but people generally report being satisfied with them. The ingredient list might ward off some because it contains some chemicals that the others don’t, but the people who take it seem to love it and are very devoted to Solgar products.
- Standardized Milk Thistle Extract (aerial seeds) (total flavonoids including silymarin 140 mg)175 mg
- Raw milk thistle powder
- Vegetable cellulose
- Vegetable magnesium stearate
- Microcystalline cellulose
- Phyt02 X Blend (L-ascorbic acid, natural betacarotene)
The big benefit to the GNC Herbal Plus milk thistle supplements is that the bottle will last an extremely long time. There are 300 pills in the bottle and you only need to take one per day. That makes this a great choice for those who intend to take milk thistle over a long period of time. The downside to this is that these pills contains corn starch, a filler.
- Milk Thistle Seed Extract 200 mg
- Vegetable cellulose capsule
- Magnesium stearate
- Corn starch
Unlike the other products on this list, Herb Pharm milk thistle comes in liquid form. They use Silybum marianum plants that are certified organically grown and free of pesticides. This needs to be shaken before using and it is suggested to take two to four doses of this throughout the day between meals. While this product has much more milk thistle in it, the bottle will only last two weeks if it is taken as directed. One issue that some people have with this is that it contains alcohol, which is a no-go for those who have liver problems caused by excessive alcohol use.
- Promotes liver functions
- Certified organic grain alcohol (62-72%)
- Distilled water
Pure Encapsulations Silymarin is another supplement meant to be taken multiple times per day. This one has helped people with kidney problems go to the bathroom less. If taken over a long period of time it can interfere with the absorption of other medication. This product is not organic, which is part of the reason why it is on the low end of his list.
- Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) extract (seed) 250 mg (
- Vegetarian capsule (cellulose, water)
These come in capsule form and contain kosher ingredients. Bluebonnet milk thistle supplements have a very solid reputation and there really aren’t any downsides to them other than they contain 175 mg, which is lower than many others on this list.
- Milk thistle seed extract 175 mg
- Kosher vegetable capsules
- Vegetable cellulose
- Magnesium stearate
The Paradise Herbs milk thistle supplement is very popular because, unlike the first two on the list, these pills are small and you only need to take one pill per day instead of three. People have reported that this supplement has helped them recover from fatty liver disease, helped their dog get through cancer and it helps the skin to look clear and vital.
- Milk Thistle seed extract (80%) silymarin) 250 mg
- Vegetarian Capsule
NutraBio milk thistle is an extremely straightforward product. The vegetable capsule contains milk thistle extract and nothing else, no fillers and no artificial substances. Some feel strongly that this is the best milk thistle supplement out there.
- Milk Thistle Extract (Silybum Marianum 175 mg
- Vegetable capsule
Milk Thistle Supplements Guide
What is Milk Thistle?
Milk Thistle comes from the Silybum Marianum, a plant recognized by its prickly purple flower head. This edible plant is believed to have been first used for medicinal purposes 1,900 years ago.
Derived from the Silybum Marianum is milk thistle, a substance that protects the liver by aiding in the detoxification process. It contains Silymarin, which helps to produce healthy liver cells and can help people who have low cholesterol. Silymarins offer antioxidant protection and protects the body from free radicals and toxins. It also contains silibrin, which helps the liver to synthesize cholesterol in a healthy manner.
The liver can regenerate on its own, but silymarin greatly enhances this effect by replacing damaged cells and stimulating protein synthesis. It is not linked to malignant liver cell growth and there is evidence to suggest that milk thistle benefits the kidneys in a similar fashion.
There is some reason to believe that Milk Thistle supports the prostate by protecting a vital gastrointestinal tract from free radicals. The FDA has not established a daily value of Milk Thistle. Many people take about 600 mg a day for various ailments, and there are no known side effects.
Things to Look for in a Good Milk Thistle Supplement
The most important thing to keep in mind is that there are milk thistle supplements out there that give misleading statements on what their supplements actually contain. There was a study done by consumerlab.com that tested what was actually in the capsules of different milk thistle brands. Only one supplement passed. It was Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle Extract 30:1, number 1 on our list.
This consumer lab report points out that all of the tested products were approved by the Food and Drug administration’s labeling requirements. Almost all of them had much less silymarin than advertised, and one supplement had grossly inaccurate information on the label.
How to Take Milk Thistle Supplements
Mot milk thistle is taken with a meal or between meals. Some are taken three times per day, while the majority of them is taken once per day. Many people advise taking milk thistle in cycles for maximum effect. Some people take these supplements every other month. Many people take milk thistle with artichoke extract as part of a detoxification program.
The thing about milk thistle is that a lot of people take it, but they are not sure if it has any effect. They will report that they feel better, they are less bloated, and that their skin looks great. The best way to check to see if it is helping is to have your cholesterol checked, as milk thistle is supposed to help level out your cholesterol count.
If you have liver issues, have a doctor check your liver enzyme count. In many cases, your count should be returned to the normal range after taking milk thistle for 1 to 3 months. At the very least, there should be some kind of improvement.
These supplements should not be taken during pregnancy or while lactating, Milk thistle supplements should not be ingested by children and should be stored in a cool, dry place. Those with a medical condition should consult their physician before taking a milk thistle supplement.