Milk thistle contains multiple constituents with strong antioxidant activity that can protect liver cells from free radical damage, strengthen liver cell membranes, and help maintain the liver's built-in antioxidant system – glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD).* In numerous studies, the milk thistle constituent silybin – the most active flavonoid in milk thistle – has been utilized to prevent liver cell damage from carbon tetrachloride, ethanol, acetaminophen, mushroom toxins, and benzopyrene from automobile exhaust.* Thorne's Siliphos provides the benefits of silybin and phosphatidylcholine in one well-absorbed compound.* These ingredients likely provide the synergistic benefit of sparing liver cells from degradation.* Studies indicate this silybin-phosphatidylcholine complex provides superior absorption compared to conventional milk thistle products.*
Silybin, normally a water-soluble flavonoid, is converted into a lipid-soluble compound by complexing it with phospholipids, such as phosphatidylcholine, to make a phytosome. The phytosome preparation allows for better absorption of this liver-protective flavonoid into liver cell membranes.*
Silymarin has been shown to help maintain the liver's normal inflammatory response to liver-toxic compounds.* Of the three flavonoids that comprise silymarin, silybin predominates and is the most biologically active of the three.
Phosphatidylcholine is not merely a passive "carrier" for the active flavonoid silybin, but is itself an active ingredient with documented efficacy for promoting liver health.* Silybin protects the liver because of its significant antioxidant activity, while phosphatidylcholine helps repair and replace liver cell membranes.*