Milk Thistle Protects the Brain and LiverMarch 4, 2011
(Article first published as Milk Thistle Protects Your Liver and Can Slow Signs of Brain Aging on Technorati.)
The liver and brain are two metabolically active organs that are under constant attack from disease promoting free radicals. Elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels combined with blood glucose abnormalities and obesity cause damage to the cellular matrix of the liver and brain that worsen with time.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects an estimated 20 to 40% of adults in western society and dementia can touch nearly half of those reaching their 85th birthday. Silymarin is the active compound found naturally in milk thistle that is shown to provide a significant degree of protection against NAFLD and abnormal brain aging.
Silymarin Shown to Prevent and Reverse Liver Damage
The liver is called upon to perform more than 300 critical metabolic functions within our body. One of those functions is the formation of cholesterol and essential lipids that are required for cellular synthesis and repair. A diet high in processed carbohydrates and synthetic hydrogenated fats can result in excess blood triglycerides that become lodged in the hepatic cells and NAFLD can develop.
NAFLD is a chronic disease that is characterized by inflammation of the organ that releases a flurry of free radicals and liver enzymes. Left unchecked, NAFLD can progress to cirrhosis, carcinoma and death. The result of research published in the journal Hepatitis Monthly demonstrates the effectiveness of treatment with silymarin for the treatment of NAFLD. Researchers noted a significant decline in liver enzyme markers that indicate reversal of the disease, and no serious side effects were reported as a result of the natural treatment.
Silymarin Found to Protect Nerves, Slow Brain Aging Process
Silymarin is one of a small number of compounds able to cross the blood-brain barrier and affect neural function and chemical neurotransmitters. Long known for its ability to detoxify the liver, silymarin also exerts a powerful protective edge against nerve damage and brain preservation.
Information from the journal Neurochemistry International shows that the nutrient is able to protect delicate glial cells in the brain against free radical damage that occurs as a result of low grade bacterial infection common in overweight and obese individuals.
Silymarin Inhibits Plaque Formation, Prevents Alzheimer`s Disease
One of the key indicators of Alzheimer’s disease are the protein amyloid plaques that form and prevent electrical and chemical signaling between neurons. It is known that plaque exists as a normal byproduct of metabolic activity in the brain and is not properly cleared in those exhibiting symptoms of dementia. The result of a study published in the journal Molecular Gerontology demonstrates that silymarin helps the brain to naturally clear amyloid plaque before it becomes tangled and restricts normal cellular communication.
Silymarin from milk thistle is shown to be a powerful nutrient that assists multiple biological pathways in the liver and brain to maintain optimal organ function. Milk thistle is available as an inexpensive nutritional supplement. Nutritional experts recommend 250 to 450 mg per day to provide optimal effectiveness. Take advantage of natural silymarin to boost liver detoxification, prevent NAFLD and prevent the damage from free radicals on the delicate brain matrix.