Milk Thistle, also known as Silybum marianum or Holy Thistle, has been used for over 2,000 years to support healthy liver and gall bladder function. The plant gets its name from the milky white fluid that is expressed from the leaves when they are crushed. The active ingredient in Milk Thistle, the one believed to help support liver health, is known as Silymarin . Silymarin has antioxidant properties and may help protect liver cells from damage by environmental toxins and support overall liver health. In fact, Milk Thistle is the world's most researched and #1-selling herb for liver health .
In addition to the mentioned side effects several others have been reported. In both males and females acne are frequently reported, as well as hypertrophy of sebaceous glands, increased tallow excretion, hair loss, and alopecia. There is some evidence that anabolic steroid abuse may affect the immune system, leading to a decreased effectiveness of the defense system. Steroid use decreases the glucose tolerance, while there is an increase in insulin resistance. These changes mimic Type II diabetes. These changes seem to be reversible after abstention from the drugs.