“Milk thistle is one that I think is really important to take,” says Rawls. “It’s really important for protecting the liver.” (Quick note: Milk thistle supplements typically utilize the seed, but milk thistle leaves can also be used as a digestive bitter that’s helpful for supporting digestion, detoxification, elimination, longevity, and more.)
“As we age, we lose the ability to process toxins [as efficiently] but also manage cholesterol and blood sugar,” says Rawls. As it turns out, a healthy liver over the long term is pivotal for effective detoxification, as well as glucose and lipid balance, he explains. A review from Phytocology Research found that silymarin (aka, the phytonutrient bioactive responsible for milk thistle’s many benefits in the body) largely supports the liver by protecting it and acting as a toxin blockage agent by inhibiting toxins from binding to liver cells.