Best Milk Thistle Supplement 2023

A  green vitamin container with gold and white branding on the label next to a green leaf.
Credit: Nature's Bounty

A  green vitamin container with gold and white branding on the label next to a green leaf.
Credit: Nature's Bounty

Finding the best milk thistle supplements can be tricky at times if you're not sure what ingredients to look out for. The good news is that we have scoured the web to find out which milk thistle supplements are worth considering according to their price, ingredients, and customer reviews.

Why take milk thistle? Well, like some of the best bitter orange supplements, milk thistle is said to contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, milk thistle is perhaps best known for its potential ability to protect your liver.

As a result, milk thistle is one of the most commonly used herbal remedies right now and, therefore, could be a supplement you're missing out on if you're not taking a top multivitamin on a regular basis.

With that in mind, if you're looking for some milk thistle capsules, like these from Nature's Bounty, or milk thistle in liquid form, like Nature's Answer Milk Thistle Extract, then we've got everything you need to kick off your search right here.

We've also answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding milk thistle to help you determine whether it's right for you and your diet. Before that though, here's our list of top picks...

Best milk thistle supplement

  1. Nature's Bounty Milk Thistle Capsules
  2. Nature's Answer Milk Thistle Seed Fluid Extract
  3. Puritan's Pride Milk Thistle 4:1 Extract
  4. NOW Supplements Double Strength Milk Thistle Extract
  5. E2H All-Natural Liver Support
Nature's Bounty Milk Thistle Capsules product image of a green bottle with a white and gold label.
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Credit: Nature's Bounty

1. Nature's Bounty Milk Thistle Capsules

Best milk thistle supplement capsules

Brand: Nature's Bounty | Capsules: 200 | Amount per Serving: 250mg

Nature's Bounty Milk Thistle Capsules are specially formulated to support your liver, drawing upon the traditional benefits of milk thistle.

Each serving contains 250mg of milk thistle seed extract, carefully excluding any artificial sweeteners, flavours, or colourings, ensuring you receive only the pure rewards of milk thistle.

Read More: Best vitamin B12 supplements

The active ingredient silymarin in milk thistle is believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties, which may aid in your recovery from sports or exercise-related injuries. With just one capsule per day, you can conveniently incorporate this supplement into your diet.

So, if you're seeking a convenient and natural way to enhance your liver health and overall well-being, these milk thistle capsules could be an excellent addition to your routine.

Nature's Answer Milk Thistle Seed Fluid Extract product image of a brown bottle with a white and green label featuring the purple plant.
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Credit: Nature's Answer

2. Nature's Answer Milk Thistle Seed Fluid Extract

Best liquid milk thistle supplement

Brand: Nature's Answer | Size: 30ml | Amount per Serving: 2,000mg

Although capsules are popular, you can also find milk thistle in liquid form, evidenced by Nature's Answer Milk Thistle Seed Fluid Extract.

Being a liquid, Nature's Answer has managed to pack the equivalent of 2,000mg of the dry herb into its supplement, giving your body a ton of silymarin which comes with several potential health benefits.

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Nature's Answer recommends adding 1-2ml to water three times a day to see any potential improvements, and boasts its product is alcohol and gluten-free to make it suitable for more people.

On the whole, we feel this supplement extract is definitely worth considering if you're looking to add milk thistle to your diet in liquid form.

Puritan's Pride Milk Thistle 4:1 Extract product image of a green bottle with a purple and blue label.
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Credit: Puritan's Pride

3. Puritan's Pride Milk Thistle 4:1 Extract

Best softgel milk thistle supplement

Brand: Puritan's Pride | Capsules: 180 | Amount per Serving: 250mg (1,000mg equivalent)

Puritan's Pride is a brand we've featured before in our list of the best garlic supplements as it's one of the leading companies around right now producing herbal remedies.

The company's Milk Thistle Extract is a particularly interesting option to consider as its concentrated 4:1 ratio equates to 1,000mg of the whole herb from just 250mg of milk thistle extract.

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Therefore, it seems as though you're getting a lot for your money if you opt for these particularly softgel tablets.

Moreover, Puritan's Pride says its products are tested as many as 15 times throughout the manufacturing process. This should give you a little more confidence that this particular product is likely safe to consume.

Coming in 180-capsule containers as well, Puritan's Pride Milk Thistle Extract looks as though it has you covered if you're looking to add milk thistle into your diet for a long period of time.

NOW Supplements Double Strength Milk Thistle Extract product image of a white container with an orange and green label.
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Credit: NOW Supplements

4. NOW Supplements Double Strength Milk Thistle Extract

Best extra strong milk thistle supplement

Brand: NOW Supplements | Capsules: 200 | Amount per Serving: 300mg

This Double Strength Milk Thistle Extract looks to be an excellent supplement addition if you're looking to give milk thistle a try.

One capsule contains 300mg of milk thistle extract, which is pretty impressive as far as tablets go, but also contains dandelion root and artichoke.

Read More: Best cod liver oil capsules

Like milk thistle, dandelion root and artichoke have been linked to improving liver health, with dandelion root, in particular, also containing a potent antioxidant known as beta carotene which is associated with protecting against cell damage and oxidative stress.

The result is a 450mg capsule that has been designed to deliver all the potential health benefits of milk thistle in just one extra-strong tablet.

E2H All-Natural Liver Support product image of a brown bottle with a blue label.
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Credit: E2H

5. E2H All-Natural Liver Support

Best vegan milk thistle supplement

Brand: E2H | Servings: 59ml | Amount per Serving: Unspecified

Milk thistle, being a plant, is inherently aligned with being vegan. However, it's important to note that not all milk thistle supplements adhere with a plant-based diet. One suitable vegan option is E2H All-Natural Liver Support though, which incorporates more than just milk thistle in its formulation.

This extract is intelligently crafted to provide outstanding liver support, harnessing the benefits of ingredients like turmeric root, in addition to the aforementioned artichoke and dandelion components.

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The proprietary blend comprises all six herbal ingredients, and when combined with vegetable glycerin and purified water, results in a liquid supplement that fully aligns with a vegan lifestyle.

You also get 48 servings per bottle of the extra-strength formula, giving you more than enough of a supple to figure out whether milk thistle is right for you. As a result, we'd say it's a great pick.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Finding the right supplements to incorporate into your diet can be daunting. Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most frequently asked queries surrounding milk thistle to get you started.

What does milk thistle do?

Milk thistle contains a group of plant compounds known as silymarin, which has been linked to various health benefits such as antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.

One of the most well-known advantages of milk thistle though is its potential to protect the liver. Notably, studies, including the work of Polachi et al., have shown improvements in liver function among individuals with liver diseases who have supplemented with milk thistle.

Moreover, its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may also contribute to slowing age-related decline. Neha et al. conducted research that found silymarin to significantly reverse high-fat-diet-induced cognitive deficits and associated biochemical changes.

However, the potential health benefits of milk thistle extend beyond liver protection and cognitive support. Some studies have indicated its ability to stimulate bone mineralisation, leading to improved bone health. Additionally, milk thistle may have positive effects on acne and could potentially help lower blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes, hence why many people turn to taking it as a dietary supplement.

Can you take milk thistle every day?

Current evidence, specifically one by Karimi et al., suggests that doses of up to 420 mg taken three times a day should be safe.

Nevertheless, it is important to be aware that some individuals may experience adverse side effects from such high milk thistle intake, commonly manifested as disturbances in normal digestive function leading to nausea.

However, it's worth noting that there is limited robust data available to conclusively prove the absolute safety of milk thistle, which may deter some people from taking it daily. Nonetheless, the Mayo Clinic has categorised it as generally safe, contributing to its popularity as one of the most widely-used herbal supplements on the market today.

How long does milk thistle take to work?

It's difficult to provide a definitive answer to this question because the time it takes to experience potential benefits from using milk thistle varies from person to person.

Typically, it may take a few months of consistent use before significant results are observed, although some individuals may notice improvements in just a few weeks.

Consistent daily intake of milk thistle appears to be the key to achieving noticeable benefits. This ensures that the body receives a steady supply of nutrients to utilise.

How much should you spend on milk thistle supplements?

Milk thistle tends not to be overly expensive, so you shouldn't need to break the bank to add them to your diet.

In fact, you can pick up a good year's supply from just a couple of containers worth of capsules if you opt for the right one. Therefore, you really don't have to spend much on milk thistle at all.

How much you spend on a particular supplement will come down to you though and your available budget, and you can of course spend more opting for bigger, more well-known brands.

Just be sure to check the supplement you're looking to buy has been tested before purchasing, especially if you're looking at something from a lesser-known company.

Can milk thistle supplements be harmful?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health (NCCIH), an agency of the US government that studies alternative medicine, milk thistle is generally considered safe to use when taken in recommended doses.

However, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to milk thistle, particularly if they are allergic to other plants in the same family.

Moreover, for individuals with type 2 diabetes, it is important to exercise caution while taking milk thistle since it may lower blood sugar levels.

Nevertheless, for the majority of people, milk thistle is a safe dietary supplement to incorporate into their routine.

How should milk thistle supplements be stored?

Typically speaking, milk thistle supplements should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture. It is recommended to keep them in their original packaging or in a tightly sealed container to maintain their freshness and potency.

Avoid storing milk thistle supplements in places with high humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchen cabinets near the sink. Additionally, be sure to check the product label or consult the manufacturer's instructions for any specific storage recommendations for the particular brand or formulation of milk thistle supplement you are using.

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