Is there a good alternative to milk thistle? rop | ProHealth Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and Lyme Disease Forums

Is there a good alternative to milk thistle? rop

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New Member
I am really sensitive and seem increasingly allergic to stuff, plus I have chemical sensitivities. I was thinking of trying milk thistle to help detoxify my liver as I have read it's helped some people in this respect. I am also going to start an anti-histamine as all the natural things I have tried haven't made a dent in my horrible allergy symptoms. However, I have read that anti-histamines can be hard on the I want to do what I can to minimise negative effects on the liver...

However, I was just researching milk thistle and discovered it is part of the sunflower family. I was tested a few years back for intolerances (endorsed by The British Allergy Foundation so trustworthy, I would think) and reacted to sunflower and was told to avoid it.

I would love the benefits of milk thistle but don't want to take something closely related to a food I know I am reactive to.

Is there a good alternative I could try that would be gentle but equally tough on cleaning up the liver?

Thanks! :)


New Member
N-acetyl-cysteine(NAC) and R-alpha lipoic acid(R-ALA) are my suggestions as powerful yet safe anti-oxidants and liver cleansers/detoxifiers. You may also want to look at the Metagenics line of supplements for a liver cleanser/detoxifier. Also, no alcohol, no cigarettes, no meds that "harm" the liver.



Hi Shelbo...

I had recently done some research on my own looking for something to help my liver (it tests fine but I've been taking tylenol or limited amounts of Vicodin almost daily and wanted to research it).
This article suggests Grape Seed extract...I am including the link and article below. I haven't verified this, just my own research...pretty interesting. And much cheaper than milk thistle as well.

Acetaminophen-Induced Liver Damage May Be Thwarted By Grape Seed Extract

BROOKLYN, NY -- April 13, 1998 -- Acetaminophen, the well-known and reliable over-the-counter analgesic, can cause serious damage to liver cells and tissues when an overdose is taken or it is used in combination with alcohol. In 1996 alone, 74,000 cases of acetaminophen toxicity were reported in the United States, according to United States Poison Control Centers figures.

A possible antidote to toxic doses of acetaminophen has been discovered by a professor at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus. Sidhartha D. Ray of the University’s Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has found that a novel grape seed extract (proanthycyanidin), known to have strong antioxidant properties, protects against acetaminophen-caused liver damage.

Working with colleagues at Creighton University, Ray pre-exposed male mice to non-toxic doses of the grape seed extract, followed either three or seven days later by acetaminophen at dose levels known to be toxic to the liver. Using several different blood, tissue and DNA measures, the seven-day pre-exposure to the grape seed extract appeared to afford what Ray describes as "dramatic protection" against liver damage caused by the toxic doses of acetaminophen.

Ray, who will present his results on April 21 at the Experimental Biology 98 meetings in San Francisco, conducted previous research to help define how acetaminophen causes cell death in the liver by affecting the DNA of the cells, contributing both to apoptosis (programmed cell death that occurs during cell renewal and the aging process) and necrosis (accidental or unprogrammed death of cells in response to physical injury or exposure to toxic substances.

"The results of this study show that the novel grape seed proanthycyanidin extract is a natural chemoprotectant and may be useful in defending cells against various environmental toxins," Ray explained.

An active researcher in the study of apoptosis, Ray is an active member of the Society of Toxicology, Research Society on Alcoholism and the Internal Society of Biomedical Research on Alcoholism. His laboratory received the prestigious American Academy of Clinical Toxicology Research Award (1995-96).