We all know that using exogenous anabolic hormones is the best way to enhance performance and increase muscle growth. That is a fact that every athlete and coach has already accepted since these hormones were first made available to the public in the 1960s. However, adding all of this anabolic power to your body comes with a level of stress on some organs, like your liver. Liver protection is why bodybuilders have been using Milk Thistle for decades during their methylated anabolic steroid cycles, and even when using the safer non-methylated hormones, Milk Thistle is always a staple of any responsible cycle plan.
The prohormones you can buy from Vintage Muscle are non-methylated, so their impact on your liver is minimal compared to the methylated black market oral steroid. We at Vintage Muscle want to ensure our formulas contain the very best ingredients to help your organs function optimally during and after your cycle. We've included Milk Thistle in three of our popular formulas. In this article, I will explain why Milk Thistle holds this place as a much-needed compound in your prohormone stack and why you should use the Vintage Muscle products as your source of this all-too-important part of your cycle stack.
Table of contents
1 What is Milk Thistle2 Milk Thistle Active Ingredient Silymarin3 Milk Thistle during a prohormone cycle4 Vintage Muscle supplements featuring Milk Thistle5 Other names for Milk Thistle6 Video about Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle is a plant known scientifically as Silybum marianum. Milk Thistle is native to the Mediterranean region. However, it has been naturalized in many other parts of the world, including North America and Europe. It typically thrives in sunny and dry regions, often along roadsides, fields, and waste grounds.
It's a tall herbaceous plant with an erect stem and broad, spiny leaves with white veins, which is where it gets its name - the milky white sap that emerges when the leaves are crushed. The plant also bears reddish-purple thistle-like flowers and hard-skinned fruit, which contains the seeds from which the active compound Silymarin is extracted.
Milk Thistle has a long history of medicinal use, dating back over 2,000 years. It was traditionally used in European herbal medicine to treat liver and gallbladder disorders. Some of the traditional uses include:
Liver Protection: It's most well-known for its hepatoprotective properties, meaning it can protect the liver from damage caused by toxins, alcohol, and other harmful substances.
Gallbladder Disorders: It has also been used to treat gallbladder disorders due to its potential to improve bile flow.
Digestive Health: Traditionally, it has been used to alleviate digestive issues such as indigestion and dyspepsia.
Detoxification: It's often been utilized as a detoxifying agent, helping to cleanse the liver and body of harmful substances.
Antioxidant: The active compounds in Milk Thistle have antioxidant properties, which can help to combat oxidative stress and inflammation.
The use of Milk Thistle for these traditional purposes is supported to varying degrees by modern scientific research, particularly its use for liver disorders.
The active compound is a bioflavonoid complex known as Silymarin, which belongs to a group of compounds called flavonolignans and has been extensively studied for its potential therapeutic effects on the liver and other organs. Silymarin exhibits hepatoprotective, antioxidant, detoxifying, and regenerative effects. However, the most common use among bodybuilders is for its liver-protective benefits, especially during PCT, to help recover and maintain liver health. Silymarin itself is a mixture of different flavonolignans like silybin (also named silibinin), silydianin, and silychristin.
Below is an expanded explanation of the composition, structure, and specific features of Silymarin and its constituents:
Silymarin Complex: As mentioned above, Silymarin is not a single molecule but a complex of several related compounds. The main components of this complex are three flavonolignans: silybin, silydianin, and silychristin, along with a flavonoid known as taxifolin.
- Silybin (Silibinin): This is the most abundant and active component of Silymarin, making up about 50-70% of the complex.
- Silydianin: Constitutes around 20-25% of Silymarin.
- Silychristin: Makes up about 10% of Silymarin.
Flavonolignan Structure: Flavonolignans are a hybrid class of compounds, having structural features of both flavonoids and lignans. They are known for their complex structures, which consist of a flavonoid unit linked to a phenylpropanoid-derived lignan unit.
Antioxidant Mechanism: The antioxidant properties of Silymarin are attributed to the presence of phenolic and flavonoid structures within the flavonolignans, which can scavenge free radicals and chelate metal ions, thus preventing oxidative damage.
Liver-Protective Properties: Silymarin's hepatoprotective properties are mainly due to its ability to inhibit the infiltration of white blood cells, stabilize cell membranes, stimulate protein synthesis, and accelerate the regeneration of damaged liver tissue.
Detoxification: Silymarin enhances liver detoxification by increasing the cellular content of a molecule called glutathione, a potent antioxidant supporting the liver's detoxification processes.
Antioxidant Properties: As mentioned earlier, the antioxidant properties of Silymarin are vital in combating oxidative stress, which is often a significant factor in liver disease. By neutralizing free radicals, Silymarin helps to prevent cell damage and supports the liver's healing processes.
Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Fibrotic Effects: Silymarin also exhibits anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects, further contributing to its liver-protective and healing properties.
The composition, structure, and specific features of Silymarin and its constituent flavonolignans provide a scientific basis for the traditional use of Milk Thistle as a treatment for liver disorders and other health conditions. Through a combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective mechanisms, Silymarin holds the potential for the treatment and prevention of liver diseases and other oxidative stress-related conditions.
Milk Thistle can help recover liver function post-exposure to hepatotoxic substances like methylated oral steroids(the black market stuff). This feature earned its place in many professional athletes' post-cycle therapy supplement stack. In contrast, the prohormones you can buy from Vintage Muscle are non-methylated, so you may not need this level of liver support. Still, we at Vintage Muscle are committed to ensuring your body is working at its best while using our products, so we have included Milk Thistle in three of our recovery products.
Milk Thistle is an excellent preventive measure when it comes to using our over-the-counter prohormone products. While it may not be necessary, we would still like you to be as safe as possible while using our powerful prohormone products. The health effects of Silymarin are genuinely beneficial for your body whether you are using any hormones or not, so we added it into our stacks.
Since we strongly believe in Milk Thistle's ability to improve your overall health, we've included it in three popular Vintage Muscle product formulas:
Liver Support: Our flagship liver detox formula features Milk Thistle and 20 other potent ingredients that help promote liver health, detox, and regeneration of liver cells. This formula provides a holistic approach to liver health, encompassing every facet of beneficial chemistry that can improve liver health.
Cycle Support: The Muscle Support Stack is made up of two products: Ariminode (liquid anti-estrogen) and Cycle Support (capsule organ support complex). While Arimidone helps you lower estrogen, Cycle Support is your organ cleanse formula. It contains nine different ingredients to help detox your different organ systems that could be affected by anabolic hormone use.
AMINOS: Boasting a robust blend of essential amino acids, AMINOS now comes with the added liver-supporting benefits of Milk Thistle. This revolutionary workout drink mix is your go-to solution for pre-workout energizing, intra-workout hydration, and post-workout muscle recovery. Whether you're gearing up to hit the weights, seeking sustained energy during your workout, or aiming for expedited muscle recovery post-exercise, AMINOS with Milk Thistle is the product you should be using.
Here are alternative names for both Milk Thistle and Silymarin:
Silybum marianum (Scientific name)
St. Mary's Thistle
Mediterranean Milk Thistle
Blessed Milk Thistle
Silibinin (a major active constituent of Silymarin)
Silydianin (another constituent of Silymarin)
Silychristin (yet another constituent of Silymarin)
Flavonolignans (the class of compounds Silymarin belongs to)