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Hi! I'm Stelios Pantazis. I'm a doctor and I specialize in medical nutrition and metabolic disorders. Today, I'm presenting the benefits of thistle. You've all seen thistle in the fields. It has a wonderful purple colour and a lot of prickles. Thistle is one of the herbs that you most often mention in the comments, this is why I decided to make a video about its benefits, according to the latest scientific research. Before I start, I'd like to point out that the benefits I'm presenting don't come from thistle tea, where you collect thistle and boil it in water. This won't help. The only way to properly consume thistle is in tablets. Therefore, the uses that I'll mention and the relevant studies exclusively concern the consumption of thistle in tablets. Protection of the liver. The most common effect of thistle is the protection of the liver. As I've mentioned in a previous video, the number of people suffering from some kind of liver damage, such as fatty liver disease, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, what we call fat in the liver, chronic hepatitis, as well as some serious illnesses, such as hepatic cirrhosis and cancer, is rather large. Thistle as a dietary supplement can help significantly, so that these illnesses don't develop at all or develop more slowly. Many studies claim that thistle protects the liver from toxins, which seems to be attributed to the fact that thistle has a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on the liver. Its liver-protecting effect is so significant and strong that in some clinical studies all over the world, it is used for the treatment of mushroom poisoning, as well as in acute hepatitis due to excessive consumption of substances that are toxic for the liver. Many studies have shown that thistle reduces the inflammation in the liver and its destruction by toxins. Even in one of the worst liver illnesses, cirrhosis, it has been proven that the consumption of thistle as a dietary supplement can improve life expectancy a little, namely it can increase the years that someone suffering from this illness will survive. In any case, however, it is important to remember two things. First, thistle is not a free pass for alcohol consumption and excessive eating. If you suffer from fat in the liver, what we scientifically call fatty liver disease, either because you drink too much alcohol or because you eat too much unhealthy food, you should deal with the problem starting from its root, namely reduce or even quit alcohol and improve your diet, so that you lose weight and stop eating foods that are harmful to your liver. It would be silly of someone drinking too much alcohol to start taking tablets with thistle and continue drinking too much alcohol. The second thing I'd like to point out is that if you suffer from any of the diseases I mentioned, before deciding to take a dietary supplement containing thistle, you should definitely speak with your doctor. In no case should you start taking any tablet before informing your doctor about it. Protection of the brain. There are some very early studies that show that thistle protects not only the liver, but also the brain. Contrary to the studies on the liver, the studies on the brain are really limited and, in most cases, they don't concern humans. Namely, they've been carried out in laboratories or on guinea pigs. However, some early data show that thistle may protect from neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Parkinson's disease. Protection of the bones. Studies mainly come from laboratories and guinea pigs here too, but some early data show that thistle possibly reduces bone loss that women suffer from after menopause. It may be useful in the treatment of cancer. The most significant help that has been studied concerning thistle in the treatment of cancer is that thistle may reduce the side-effects of chemotherapy. Some early data also show that thistle may help chemotherapy work better against cancer cells, which will make the treatment more effective. In this case too, however, studies on humans are limited. As we've said earlier, in no case should you take thistle, if you haven't informed your doctor. It may help in milk production during breastfeeding. Thistle is one of the herbs that have been used extensively in the past to increase milk production during breastfeeding. It has been shown in early studies that thistle increases the production of an hormone that is called prolactin, which helps increase milk production. However, studies on humans are very limited, but at least one study has shown that the consumption of thistle for two months increases milk production by 64% compared to the placebo. In any case, during breastfeeding, before taking anything, you should inform your doctor. It may help in acne. Acne is not a life-threatening health problem, but in some cases it may cause scars in the face, which is annoying aesthetically. A study has shown that thistle can reduce acne by 53% in just two months of treatment. Unfortunately, this is not a quality study, because there's no control group, but taking account of the safety of thistle, it wouldn't be a bad idea to try it, in cooperation with your dermatologist. It protects from diabetes. Many studies have shown that thistle is one of the many herbs that help in the regulation of blood sugar. A lot of studies have been carried out and it seems that the proper dosage of thistle in dietary supplements can reduce both blood glucose levels and glycosylated haemoglobin levels. It is also believed that the strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of thistle may also protect vessels from the harmful effect of blood sugar on them. All these sound really interesting and they are certainly very important, but two questions have to be answered. Is it safe? If so, are there some people that must never take it? The answer to the first question is rather simple, because it has been shown that even people taking very high doses of thistle suffer from side-effects very rarely. Moreover, these side-effects are very mild. Specifically, only 1 in 100 persons is expected to have any side-effects from the consumption of thistle in the form of dietary supplement, and the vast majority of these cases concerns mild gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, diarrhoea and bloating. Fortunately, nothing more serious has ever been mentioned. The groups of people that should think twice before deciding to take thistle are women during pregnancy and breastfeeding, who should always inform their gynaecologist before taking anything, either herbs, drugs or dietary supplements, people allergic to this plant, and people suffering from diabetes, because, as we've said earlier, thistle may reduce blood sugar levels, and people already taking drugs for diabetes may run the risk of hypoglycaemia. In any case, before deciding to take thistle, you should definitely discuss it with your doctor. If you thought this was interesting, please give us a thumbs up. Share it with people who you think might find it interesting and subscribe to our channel in order to get notified when we upload a video. You can also suggest subjects in the comment section. Thank you very much!

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