Milk thistle supplements naturally contain silymarin compounds which may be helpful in certain liver diseases as well as type 2 diabetes. Most milk thistle supplements claim that 80% of their extracts are silymarin -- similar to products used in many clinical trials. However, ConsumerLab.com found that most milk thistle extract supplements are not actually 80% silymarin.
We discovered that 5 milk thistle extract supplements claiming to provide "80% silymarin" provided much less -- only 51.7% to 60.4% silymarin. Three other milk thistle supplements did not list their silymarin content but were held to minimum standards, which they did not meet. Out of ten milk thistle supplements selected for testing by ConsumerLab.com, only two gained ConsumerLab.com's Quality Approval.
In this comprehensive review of milk thistle supplements, you'll get test results and quality ratings for 12 milk thistle supplements (including two that passed testing in our voluntary Quality Certification Program). You'll discover:
- Potential benefits of milk thistle, as well as what it doesn't do
- Which milk thistle supplements failed testing, which passed, and which are ConsumerLab.com's Top Picks -- indicating the best milk thistle in quality and price
- Direct comparisons and quality ratings of milk thistle supplements
- The evidence behind other ingredients in liver formulas such as artichoke extract, schizandra (schisandra) extract, and phyllanthus extract.
- How "silymarin," "silybin," and "flavonoids" differ as listed ingredients in milk thistle
- Dosage for specific uses of milk thistle
- Concerns, cautions, side effects, and drug interactions with milk thistle