Tudca Vs Milk Thistle: Choosing One Or Taking Them Together?

Tudca Vs Milk Thistle: Choosing One Or Taking Them Together?

When it comes to liver health, many supplements on the market claim to promote detoxification and protect against damage. Two popular options are Tudca and Milk Thistle. While both have been used for centuries in traditional medicine, they differ in their origin and mechanism of action. In this document, we will explore the similarities and differences between Tudca vs Milk Thistle and whether it is safe to take them together.


Tudca Vs Milk Thistle

Tudca Benefits

TUDCA, short for Tauroursodeoxycholic acid, is a bile salt naturally produced in the liver and found in bile. Extensively researched, TUDCA shows promise in promoting liver health and supporting metabolic functions. Additionally, it serves as a supplement, boasting anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Here are some main benefits of Tudca:

  • Ameliorating retinal disorders. [2]
  • Helping improve high blood sugar levels associated with both types of diabetes. [2]
  • It has the potential to enhance cardioprotection by inhibiting ER stress. [2] (ER stress is a cellular condition that occurs when there is an imbalance between the folding capacity of the endoplasmic reticulum, responsible for protein synthesis, and the demand for proper protein folding)
  • Enhancing the overall well-being of the liver.
  • Managing cholesterol: The management of cholesterol gallstones facilitates their dissolution to a size suitable for passage. [3]
  • Decreasing serum and hepatic cholesterol levels and improving liver fat infiltration. [4]
  • Increasing bile acid content in the gallbladder bile. [4]

milk thistle

Milk Thistle Benefits

Milk thistle, scientifically named Silybum marianum, is a flowering herb native to the Mediterranean region that has now spread to various parts of the world.

Within milk thistle lies a group of plant compounds collectively called silymarin, serving as its active ingredient. This herb has a long history of traditional use due to its potential medicinal properties, particularly in supporting liver health.

Here are some main benefits of Milk Thistle:

  • Protecting heart muscle cells from doxorubicin-induced harm. [1] (Doxorubicin is a chemotherapy drug used for various cancers that interferes with the DNA of cancer cells, impeding their growth).
  • Possessing anti-cancer properties against human prostate carcinoma. [1]
  • Demonstrating potent anti-cancer effects on breast cancer. [1]
  • Soothing an inflamed gallbladder and simultaneously eliminating any stagnation that may be present. [1]
  • It serves as a remedy for both liver disease and the sole antidote for Death Cap mushroom poisoning. [1] (The Death Cap is a highly toxic mushroom (Amanita phalloides) responsible for the majority of mushroom poisoning deaths globally due to its severe liver and kidney damaging effects)

Tudca Vs Milk Thistle: Which One Should You Choose?

TUDCA and Milk Thistle serve different purposes, and choosing between them depends on your specific health needs.

While TUDCA (Tauroursodeoxycholic acid) has its potential to support liver health, particularly in conditions involving bile acids and liver stress, Milk Thistle, specifically its active compound silymarin, is its antioxidant properties, which can help protect the liver from oxidative damage and promote overall liver function.
Alternatively, if you still need to decide the best choice, consider a combination of Tudca and Milk Thistle.

However, many need to be more patient with potential side effects and safety concerns associated with this combination, raising questions about whether the benefits outweigh the risks.

Stay tuned for the next section to discover the answer!

Can You Take Tudca And Milk Thistle Together?

TUDCA and Milk Thistle are considered safe to use together as they have no reported interaction. Their distinct mechanisms of action make them compatible for concurrent use.

At their essence, both TUDCA and Milk Thistle serve as hepatoprotective supplements, promoting liver health. Combined, they synergistically enhance each other's effects, offering comprehensive bodily benefits.

TUDCA and milk thistle for liver

How Do Tudca And Milk Thistle Help With Your Liver Health?

TUDCA (Tauroursodeoxycholic acid) and Milk Thistle support liver health through different mechanisms:


  • Bile Acid Regulation: TUDCA is crucial in maintaining bile acid homeostasis, effectively reducing the build-up of harmful bile acids in the liver. [5]
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) Stress Reduction: TUDCA helps to alleviate stress on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a crucial cellular organelle. By doing so, it promotes cell survival and effectively reduces inflammation. [6]
  • Anti-Inflammatory: It possesses anti-inflammatory properties that aid in safeguarding the liver as a whole. [7]

Milk Thistle (Silymarin):

  • Antioxidant Action: Silymarin, the active compound, is a potent antioxidant that shields liver cells from oxidative damage inflicted by free radicals. [8]
  • Liver Cell Regeneration: Milk Thistle promotes liver cell regeneration and facilitates the repair process, aiding in the overall health and vitality of the liver. [9]
  • Support for Detoxification: It aids in detoxifying the liver by boosting its capacity to eliminate harmful toxins, promoting optimal liver function and overall well-being.

By combining the powers of TUDCA and Milk Thistle, we can unlock a synergistic enhancement of their benefits, resulting in comprehensive support for liver health.

Potential Side Effects When Taking Tudca And Milk Thistle

Although TUDCA (Tauroursodeoxycholic acid) and Milk Thistle are generally safe, it is essential to be mindful of potential side effects.


  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Certain individuals may encounter minor gastrointestinal problems like nausea or diarrhea. [10]
  • Allergic Reactions: In rare cases, allergic reactions may occur, leading to symptoms like itching or swelling.[11]

Milk Thistle

  • Laxative Effect: Consuming Milk Thistle can cause a mild laxative effect, which may lead to digestive discomfort.[12]
  • Allergic Reactions: While uncommon, allergic reactions can manifest as a skin rash or respiratory distress

Usage Guideline For Maximum Effects Of Tudca And Milk Thistle

Optimizing liver and overall health can be achieved by incorporating TUDCA and Milk Thistle into your routine. To harness their full benefits, it's crucial to adhere to recommended dosages: TUDCA at 500-1500 mg per day and Milk Thistle ranging from 80-420 mg per day.

It is crucial to ensure you take all the recommended supplements with meals, preferably during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is not necessary to take both supplements simultaneously; in fact, it is better to distribute the doses throughout the day.

Additionally, given the strength of Milk Thistle, it is advisable to administer it with a minimum four-hour gap from any other medications. Through consistent and proper dosing over time, TUDCA and Milk Thistle can contribute to optimal liver and overall health.


Are Tudca And Milk Thistles Safe For Long-Term Use?

Clinical studies have shown that TUDCA is well-tolerated and can promote positive outcomes for liver health when used long-term. Similarly, Milk Thistle has a longstanding history of safe and effective long-term use. When combined, TUDCA and Milk Thistle work synergistically to provide comprehensive support for liver health.

Does Tudca Have Milk Thistle In It?

TUDCA (Tauroursodeoxycholic acid) and milk thistle are distinct substances. TUDCA is a natural bile acid found in the body and is also available as a dietary supplement. On the other hand, milk thistle is an herbal supplement derived from the milk thistle plant (Silybum marianum) and contains a complex of flavonoids known as silymarin.

What Should You Not Mix With Milk Thistle?

While Milk Thistle is generally considered safe, there are some considerations for potential interactions, such as anticoagulant medications [13], antidiabetic medications, hormonal medications, allergy medications, cytochrome P450 substrates [14]

How Long Should I Take Milk Thistle And Tudca To Detox My Liver?

The duration of taking Milk Thistle and Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) to enhance liver health can vary based on individual requirements, health conditions, and goals. Users often notice improvements after at least two weeks of using Tudca and Milk Thistle.


TUDCA and Milk Thistle are potent supplements that synergistically support liver health through different mechanisms. By regulating bile acid levels, reducing ER stress, possessing anti-inflammatory properties, and promoting liver cell regeneration and detoxification, TUDCA and Milk Thistle provide comprehensive support for optimal liver function. While generally safe, being mindful of potential side effects and adhering to recommended dosages for maximum benefits is essential.


[1] Kaur, Ajit Kiran, et al. “MILK THISTLE (SILYBUM MARIANUM) : A REVIEW.” International Journal of Pharma Research and Development – Online, vol. 3, no. 2, Apr. 2001.
[2] Vang, S. (2014). The Unexpected Uses of Urso- and Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid in the Treatment of Non-liver Diseases - Sheila Vang, Katie Longley, Clifford J. Steer, Walter C. Low, 2014. Global Advances in Health and Medicine. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.7453/gahmj.2014.017
[3] Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid (TUDCA). (n.d.). https://www.alzdiscovery.org/uploads/cognitive_vitality_media/Tauroursodeoxycholic-Acid-Cognitive-Vitality-For-Researchers.pdf
[4] Lu, Q., Jiang, Z., Wang, Q., Hu, H., & Zhao, G. (2021). The effect of Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) and gut microbiota on murine gallbladder stone formation. Annals of Hepatology, 23, 100289–100289. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aohep.2020.100289
[5] Zangerolamo, L., Jean Franciesco Vettorazzi, Lucas, Carneiro, E. M., & Helena C.L. Barbosa. (2021). The bile acid TUDCA and neurodegenerative disorders: An overview. Life Sciences, 272, 119252–119252. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119252
[6] Yeon Yi Lee, Shin Hee Hong, Lee, Y.-J., Sung Soo Chung, Hye Seung Jung, Sang Gyu Park, & Kyong Soo Park. (2010). Tauroursodeoxycholate (TUDCA), chemical chaperone, enhances function of islets by reducing ER stress. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 397(4), 735–739. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.06.022
[7] Yanguas‐Casás, N., María Asunción Barreda-Manso, Nieto‐Sampedro, M., & Romero‐Ramírez, L. (2017). TUDCA: An Agonist of the Bile Acid Receptor GPBAR1/TGR5 With Anti‐Inflammatory Effects in Microglial Cells. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 232(8), 2231–2245. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcp.25742
[8] O. Adetuyi, Babatunde, et al. “Pharmacological, Biochemical and Therapeutic Potential of Milk Thistle (Silymarin): A Review.” World News of Natural Sciences, vol. 37, 2021.
[9] Tickerhoof, L. (2016). Alternative Therapy Use in Liver Transplant Recipients - Lisa Tickerhoof, Marilyn M. Wagener, Thomas V. Cacciarelli, Nina Singh, 2006. Progress in Transplantation. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/152692480601600307
[10] Ma, H., Zeng, M., Han, Y., Hu, Y., Tang, H., Sheng, J., Hu, H.-P., Cheng, L., Xie, Q., Zhu, Y., Chen, G., Gao, Z., Xie, W., Wang, J., Wu, S., Wang, G., Miao, X., Fu, X., Duan, L., & Xu, J. (2016). A multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial comparing the efficacy and safety of TUDCA and UDCA in Chinese patients with primary biliary cholangitis. Medicine, 95(47), e5391–e5391. https://doi.org/10.1097/md.0000000000005391
[11] Gao, W., Li, Z., Chu, H., Yuan, H., Hu, L., Yao, L., Zhang, L., Wang, W., Lin, R., & Yang, L. (2022). Ursodeoxycholic Acid in Liver Cirrhosis: A Chinese Perspective. 81–111. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-2615-0_6
[12] Bhattacharya, S. (2020). Milk Thistle Seeds in Health. Elsevier EBooks, 429–438. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-818553-7.00030-9
[13] Brantley, S. J., Oberlies, N. H., Kroll, D. J., & Paine, M. F. (2009). Two Flavonolignans from Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Inhibit CYP2C9-Mediated Warfarin Metabolism at Clinically Achievable Concentrations. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 332(3), 1081–1087. https://doi.org/10.1124/jpet.109.16192
[14] Kawaguchi‐Suzuki, M., Frye, R. F., Zhu, H., Brinda, B. J., Chavin, K. D., Bernstein, H. J., & Markowitz, J. S. (2014). The Effects of Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) on Human Cytochrome P450 Activity. Drug Metabolism and Disposition, 42(10), 1611–1616. https://doi.org/10.1124/dmd.114.057232
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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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