benefits of milk thistle for diabetes

Benefits Of Milk Thistle For Diabetes & How Does It Help With?

Milk thistle is known for its numerous health benefits, including its potential to help manage diabetes. In this article, we will explore the benefits of milk thistle for diabetes and how it can aid in managing the condition.


Is Milk Thistle Good For Diabetes?

Milk thistle may have some potential benefits for people with diabetes, but it's important to weigh the evidence carefully and not consider it a substitute for conventional treatment.

Silibin derived from milk thistle has shown positive effects on various complications associated with diabetes.

These include diabetic neuropathy, diabetic nephropathy, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, primarily due to its antioxidant properties.[1]

Studies About Milk Thistle And Diabetes

studies about benefits of milk thistle for diabetes

In a comprehensive study conducted on 60 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and diabetic macroalbuminuria, researchers made a significant discovery. Through administering a daily dosage of 140 mg of silymarin derived from milk thistle, the patients experienced remarkable outcomes.

Notably, there was a 50% decrease in urinary albumin excretion, substantial reductions in urinary tumor necrosis factor α concentrations, and urinary and serum malondialdehyde concentrations. [1]

These auspicious effects were observed in nearly half of the patients belonging to the treatment group. This groundbreaking research sheds light on the potential benefits of incorporating silymarin into the treatment regimen for individuals with diabetes. [1]

Furthermore, a comprehensive meta-analysis was conducted on seven different studies involving a total of 350 patients.

The compelling results revealed that silymarin supplementation has the potential to significantly reduce fasting blood sugar (FBS), hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. This suggests promising implications for the management of various health conditions.[6]

Another study on the effects of silymarin on Milk Thistle and diabetes and found promising results, suggesting the potential and benefits of Milk Thistle for diabetes.[7]

How Does Milk Thistle Help Diabetes?

the way milk thistle helps with diabetes

Milk Thistle Helps To Regular Blood Sugar

The study using experimental diabetic models has consistently demonstrated the positive effects of milk thistle seeds or extracts on weight management, blood glucose levels, and lipids.

The active compounds in milk thistle are believed to activate the intricate gut-brain-liver axis, offering promising potential in managing diabetes. [2]

Additionally, milk thistle administration has been shown to stimulate increased activity in specific brain regions and the expression of certain receptors while effectively reducing hepatic glucose production.

These findings highlight the multifaceted benefits of Milk Thistle for diabetes research and its potential for further exploration.[2]

Milk thistle compounds act as partial PPAR-γ agonists.

PPAR-γ is critical in fat cells' development, upkeep, and functioning. Interestingly, a component from milk thistle shows similarities to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ), a substance used in medical treatments to reduce blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes.

Studies indicate that these compounds from milk thistle act like partial activators of PPAR-γ, potentially providing positive therapeutic effects with fewer side effects than full activators.[2]

Milk Thistle Diabetes Dosage

dosage of milk thistle for diabetes

The recommended milk thistle dosage for individuals with diabetes is 420-600 mg/day of whole milk thistle, which contains 70-80% silymarin [3].

Clinical data from studies have demonstrated that taking 140 mg of milk thistle three times daily for 45 days resulted in a statistically significant 11% reduction in fasting glucose levels and a notable 14% improvement in Hemoglobin A1C (HBA1C), along with enhanced insulin resistance when compared to the baseline [4].

It is important to note that while milk thistle supplements can offer potential benefits for individuals with diabetes, caution should be exercised when considering their use.

It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or changing your current treatment plan.


In conclusion, the potential benefits of Milk Thistle for diabetes are enlightening. Studies show it can regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance, key factors in diabetes management. However, milk thistle is not a substitute for conventional treatment. Consult a healthcare professional before considering dietary supplements.


[1] ---. "The Therapeutic Potential of Milk Thistle in Diabetes." The Review of Diabetic Studies, vol. 11, no. 2, 2014, pp. 167–174,
[2] Saadh, Mohamed Jamal. "Hypoglycemic and Hypolipidemic Activity of Combined Milk Thistle and Fenugreek Seeds in Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Albino Rats." August-2020, vol. 13, no. 8, 2020, pp. 1732–1736, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.
[3] "Recommended Doses |", Accessed 23 Jan. 2024.
[4] Milk Thistle. (n.d.) TRC Natural Medicines Database. Retrieved 1/10/2020 from,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=138
[5] MacDonald-Ramos, K., Layla Michán Aguirre, Martínez-Ibarra, A., & Cerbón, M. (2021). Silymarin is an ally against insulin resistance: A review. Annals of Hepatology, 23, 100255–100255.
[6] Ravari, Seyed Sina, et al. "The Effects of Silymarin on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." Obesity Medicine, vol. 26, Sept. 2021, p. 100368,
[7] Stolf, Aline Maria, et al. "Effects of Silymarin on Diabetes MellitusComplications: A Review." Phytotherapy Research, vol. 31, no. 3, 25 Jan. 2017, pp. 366–374, Accessed 22 Apr. 2019.
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Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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