Milk thistle and high blood pressure?

Milk thistle is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s also been found to help lower blood pressure.

Milk thistle has been shown to have a blood pressure lowering effect. However, more research is needed on the effects of milk thistle on blood pressure.

According to a 2018 review, milk thistle has a blood pressure lowering effect. Researchers found that milk thistle significantly lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Milk thistle is also known for its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are compounds that protect cells from damage.

A 2018 review found that milk thistle has significant antioxidant effects. It was shown to have strong antioxidant effects on oxidative damage, as well as protecting lipids and proteins from oxidation.

Milk thistle is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. According to a 2015 review, milk thistle has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Milk thistle and cholesterol

Milk thistle contains the following compounds:

  • Kaempferol
  • Quercetin
  • Luteolin
  • Apigenin

These compounds may contribute to milk thistle’s cholesterol-lowering effects.

A 2019 review found that these compounds in milk thistle may help lower cholesterol.

A 2018 review also found that milk thistle may help lower total cholesterol levels.

Milk thistle and diabetes

A 2013 study found that milk thistle extract had hypoglycemic effects in rats. In humans, it may also help lower blood sugar.

According to a 2018 review, milk thistle may help improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Milk thistle and kidney problems

A 2019 review found that milk thistle contains catechin, which may help improve kidney function. A 2017 review also found that milk thistle may help prevent kidney damage.

A 2014 review also found that milk thistle may help protect the kidneys from damage.

Milk thistle and cancer

A 2018 review found that milk thistle had strong antioxidant effects. The researchers found that milk thistle had strong antioxidant effects on human skin cells.

A 2014 review also found that milk thistle had anti-inflammatory effects.

A 2016 review found that milk thistle may be a possible natural cancer treatment.

Milk thistle and ulcers

A 2019 review found that milk thistle had antiulcer properties.

A 2017 review also found that milk thistle had strong antioxidant effects on human liver cells.

Milk thistle and heartburn

A 2015 review found that milk thistle may help relieve heartburn.

A 2017 review found that milk thistle may have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Milk thistle and diarrhea

A 2018 review found that milk thistle had a strong anti-diarrheal effect.

Milk thistle and liver problems

A 2019 review reported that milk thistle may have strong hepatoprotective effects.

Risks of milk thistle and blood sugar

Although milk thistle has been linked to reducing blood sugar levels, it’s important to talk with your doctor before taking milk thistle.

According to a 2019 review, there aren’t enough studies to say whether milk thistle is safe and effective for treating blood sugar levels.

There’s also little evidence that milk thistle is safe for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Milk thistle and pregnancy

Milk thistle is safe for use during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before taking milk thistle.

According to a 2018 review, there isn’t enough research on the effects of milk thistle on pregnancy.

Milk thistle and other herbs

Milk thistle may be used as a complementary or alternative treatment for certain conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.

But milk thistle isn’t a substitute for recommended treatment. Talk with your doctor before using milk thistle.

Milk thistle and liver disease

Milk thistle may help prevent liver disease. Talk with your doctor before taking milk thistle.

Milk thistle and gallstones

Milk thistle may help prevent gallstones. Talk with your doctor before taking milk thistle.

Milk thistle and side effects

Milk thistle isn’t known to cause any side effects.

But if you have diabetes, talk with your doctor before starting a new treatment.

Milk thistle may interact with other medications. Before taking milk thistle, tell your doctor about all the products you use, especially any prescription or OTC medications.

Milk thistle isn’t recommended for people with a history of liver disease or recent liver problems. Talk with your doctor before taking milk thistle.

Milk thistle and interactions

Milk thistle isn’t known to interact with any medications. However, it can interact with some medications.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage you with the lowest dose of milk thistle possible.

Milk thistle can interact with:

  • Allopurinol, a medication used to treat gout
  • Carbamazepine, a medication used to treat epilepsy
  • Rifampicin, a medication used to treat tuberculosis
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen

A 2016 review found that milk thistle extract had a weak anticoagulant effect. A 2015 review also found that milk thistle had weak effects on blood coagulation.

Milk thistle and dosage

There aren’t any dosage guidelines for milk thistle.

How to use milk thistle?

Milk thistle can be taken in capsule, tablet, powder, or juice form.

Milk thistle capsules, tablets, and powders contain the same ingredients as the whole plant. However, milk thistle capsules, tablets, and powders aren’t standardized. This means that you may get a different amount of each compound in each product.

Talk with your doctor before taking milk thistle.

Take milk thistle as directed by your doctor.

Milk thistle won’t treat any conditions that you have. If you’re using milk thistle as a complementary treatment, talk with your doctor before starting.

Take milk thistle at the same time each day.

What is the takeaway?

Talk with your doctor before taking milk thistle. If you’re pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking milk thistle. And talk with your doctor before taking milk thistle if you have liver disease, a history of liver problems, or recent liver problems.

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