Most bodybuilders use Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) to protect their liver when they are using oral steroids. But this herbal medicine has much more benificial properties.
The brains of a mouse type that develops Alzheimer's at a young age keep functioning well for longer if the animals are given extracts of milk thistle [Silybum marianum] mixed with their food, researchers at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology discovered.
Supplementation with Silybum marianum – the plant is also known as milk thistle – induces liver cells to synthesise more glutathione, a detoxifier which improves the functioning of the liver. Animal studies have shown that Silybum marianum protects the liver against the effects of oral anabolic steroids. [Med Pregl. 2003;56 Suppl 1:79-83.]
It is also possible that the plant has a similar protective effect on the prostate. [Integr Cancer Ther. 2007 Jun; 6(2): 130-45.] Prostate cancer may occur as a result of the decrease in production of detoxifying enzymes that occurs with aging. [Exp Gerontol. 2012 Mar; 47(3): 223-8.] There are also indications that Silybum marianum blocks the growth-enhancing effects of androgens on prostate cancer cells. [Carcinogenesis. 2001 Sep;22(9):1399-403.]