Healthy Q & A: Liver Health and Medications

Q:  I wonder if you can give me some advice.  My dad is in his early seventies and has taken a whole bunch of medications for years for cholesterol, blood pressure, and pain.  I know that he has to be so toxic from taking those medications for so long and that they have to be hurting his liver.  I’d really like to be able to give him something to take to protect his liver, but I’m worried about things interacting with his medications.  Do you have any ideas?

A: I understand your worry.  Often prescription medications are necessary, but they can take a toll on the body- often the most on the liver (which processes everything put into the body).  The best supplement I can recommend is milk thistle.  Milk thistle is probably the very best supplement that exists for supporting, cleansing, and healing the liver.  It’s very safe to take, and no drug interactions have ever been reported from it.  In fact, in the book A-Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions by Alan Gaby, milk thistle is mentioned quite a few times as an herb to take with medications known to damage the liver.  

Milk thistle has been the subject of numerous clinical trials due to its potent liver protecting qualities.  It’s one of the few herbs that really have no pharmaceutical equivalent, and has been shown useful in treating liver diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver poisoning, vital hepatitis, fatty liver, acne, and more.  Not only can it protect the liver against further damage, studies have documented its ability to regenerate the liver.

The liver performs so many important functions, and keeping the liver clean makes a huge impact in health, so I think it would be a great choice for your dad.