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Studies are ongoing about the relationship between milk thistle and weight loss, but some have shown that this herb can regulate the size of body fat cells. This plant is traditionally used to boost the functioning of the liver. It is often prescribed by doctors as a necessary supplement for individuals suffering from different types of liver disease. Individuals with these diseases are frequently diagnosed with a high rate for obesity, diabetes, and fatty blood cells.
The primary chemical contained in milk thistle is silymarin. This chemical, which is found in over 80% of the ripened seeds of this plant, contains a significant amount of antioxidants and is also an anti-inflammatory agent. Silymarin in the body can affect the absorption properties of body cells. It is known to protect the liver from the absorption of harmful toxins which may not be filtered out through the blood by those with cirrhosis of the liver.
The natural anti-inflammatory property of silymarin is the primary link between milk thistle and weight loss. Some fat and liver cells in those diagnosed with obesity remain large and inflamed, often despite the amount of diet and exercise undertaken. Adding milk thistle to this diet may help reduce those cells and encourage weight loss in these individuals. It may also aid in the reduction of fatty liver disease, which is commonly associated with diabetes and other forms of insulin resistance.
When researching the connection between milk thistle and weight loss, researchers noted that the chemical ingredients appeared to react with baby fat cells inside the body, and prevented them from further developing into adult fat cells. Baby fat cells have a greater ability to burn calories than adult fat cells, which tend to hold onto those calories and cause weight gain. Adult fat cells cannot be converted back into baby fat cells. They must be halted in their growth structure early in their development.
Those interested in studying the relationship between milk thistle and weight loss can purchase this product online or at local health food stores. It is available in capsule form, or as a powder that can be dissolved in liquid. Some liquid milk thistle formulas are also for sale in an already mixed, ready to drink packaging. A health care professional should typically be consulted prior to adding this supplement to a regular diet to receive dosage recommendations, and to ensure it will not react negatively with any other ongoing medications.