Silymarin is extracted from the seeds of the milk thistle plant and one of its components, silybin is the most biologically active constituent.4
The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin.5 Silymarin is composed of 6 compounds and Silybin is the one identified in providing its health benefits:5
- Increases the strength of cell walls, making it more difficult for toxins to cross into the cell
- Promotes the breakdown of toxins especially in the liver
- Acts as an anti-oxidant, blocking cell wall damage from free radicals
Silybin has a higher bioavailability than milk thistle. Most studies show the absorption difference between the two is approximately 10:1.
This means the health benefits found in 100 mg of silybin is equal to taking 1000 mg of milk thistle.5