One of the active ingredients in milk thistle is silymarin, which herbalists extract from the plant’s seeds. Silymarin is a flavonoid believed to have antioxidant properties.

“Advancements in researching milk thistle for diabetes, especially type 2, are promising. Research published in Phytomedicine in 2015 shows a 45-day course of silymarin increased the antioxidant capacity and was more effective at reducing general inflammation than a placebo.”

WebMD is clear that “studies have shown a decrease in blood sugar levels and an improvement in cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. Researchers also have found milk thistle improved insulin resistance, a key characteristic of type 2 diabetes.”

“According to the National Institute of Health, there’s some compelling research that shows that taking silymarin, the main chemical found in milk thistle, along with conventional treatments, can help control symptoms of type 2 diabetes by promoting better blood sugar control.”

“The herbal supplement was also found to have significantly beneficial effects on glycosylated hemoglobin levels, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels on the diabetics who took part in the trial.”


PharmahubMG. “Health Benefits of Milk Thistle,” Pharmahub (July 22, n.y.). (accessed on 10/14/2020).

Steinbaum, Suzanne R., reviewed by. “Can milk thistle help people with diabetes?” WebMD (July 1, 2019).

Link, Rachael, MD, RD. “Milk Thistle: Good for the Liver or Too Many Side Effects?” Dr. Axe (September 20, 2019). (accessed on 8/3/2020).

“Milk Thistle Extract Helps with Diabetes Control,” Diabetes in Control (November 7, 2006). (accessed on 8/3/2020).

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Milk Thistle Extract Helps with Diabetes Control
Nov 7, 2006