One of the keys ways in which milk thistle extract enhances detoxification is by preventing the depletion of glutathione in the liver. Glutathione,which occurs naturally in the body,is a crucial antioxidant.The higher the glutathione content,the greater the liver’s capacity to detoxify harmful chemicals.
But ironically,when we are exposed to chemicals that can demage the liver-including alcohol-typically the concentration of glutathione in the liver is substantially reduced. This makes liver cells susceptible to damage.
Milk thistle extract not only prevents the depletion of glutathione induced by alcohol and other toxic chemicals,but its has been shown in one study to increase the level of glutathione in the liver by up to 35 percent.Since the ability of the liver to detoxify is largely related to its glutathione levels,the results of this study seem to indicate that milk thistle extract can increase detoxification reactions by up to 35 percent.