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Spirulina side effects

What is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a kind of blue-green algae that comes with the scientific name of Arthrospira platensis. Spirulina has an odor and taste that is very much comparable to seaweed.

Spirulina is usually found in freshwaters like lakes, ponds, and rivers. This grows under good sunlight, moderate temperature level, and pesticide-free environment, but it can also survive with extreme conditions since it also has the ability to easily adapt to its environment.

There are over 25,000 species of algae that can be found all over the world. They mostly live in soils, water, rocks, or plants. But among all of these, Spirulina is considered to be highly nutritional that is why it is processed and used as a potent dietary supplement. This alga is known to be rich in vitamins, minerals, iron, protein, and complex carbohydrates. Aside from that it also has a high amount of carotenoids like yellow xanthophylls and beta carotene which are good antioxidants. Some other components of it are chlorophyll, nucleic and fatty acids, and lipids.

Spirulina dietary supplements

Spirulina dietary supplement

What is Spirulina used for?

Since Spirulina contains a lot of nutritional values, this dietary supplement is used and taken for several reasons. Here are the common uses of Spirulina:

  •   Boosts immunity

Numerous test tube studies show that Spirulina may help increase immunity by producing more antibodies and other infection-fighting proteins. In effect, the body can increase its protection against harmful microorganisms and infection. However, further studies are needed to prove that this can be effective in humans.

  •   Anti-cancer

Research studies prove that eating various fruits and vegetables that is rich in beta carotene may help the body increase its anti-cancer protection. Synthetic or artificially prepared beta carotene does not show to be beneficial as anti-cancer but natural beta carotene from algae such as in Spirulina has been proven to be highly effective because it contain more antioxidants and anti-cancer power.

  •  Anti-aging

Spirulina contains beta carotene that is ten times more concentrated than the ordinary carrots. Beta carotene can help maintain healthy eyesight. Aside from this, beta-carotene is powerful antioxidants which means it can help the body eliminate any toxins or free radicals that could potential harm the body system.

Also, the iron that is found in Spirulina is easily absorbed by the body compared to iron supplements. It means that more iron is readily available for your body to use. Adequate iron supply can help prevent anemia from occurring.

Spirulina is also rich in Vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 is an essential vitamin needed to maintain healthy tissue and nerves.

  •   Protein supplement

62% of Spirulina is made up of amino acid. This means that it contains a highly large amount of protein that can be used by the body for cell regeneration and tissue repair. Some athletes also used Spirulina to help build more muscle.

  •   Allergic reactions
  •   Infection
  •   Improving gastrointestinal health

Common Spirulina side effects

Typically, Spirulina does not exhibit any side effect but in some cases, it may exhibit some mild side effects. Below are the common mild side effects;

  •   Edema (swelling of body tissues)

Spirulina contains more concentrated protein, vitamins, and minerals that is why the kidneys might have a hard time in filtering the molecules of these compounds. Edema is the earliest sign of decreased kidney function. If this occurs, it is advisable to discontinue the use of Spirulina as too much fluid retention may lead to more severe cases.

  •   Fever

Increased in body temperature may occur due to increased cellular metabolism since the body needs to breakdown all the protein obtained from Spirulina.

  •   Indigestion

You may experience indigestion if you take large doses of Spirulina. You may have stomach pain which is sometimes accompanied by constipation.

However in some rare cases, severe side effects may also occur. But if you are sure that you take Spirulina in right doses, then the side effects below are unlikely to happen.

  •   Liver toxicity
  •   Heavy metal contamination

Spirulina side effects on children

Before taking Spirulina, children should first consult a doctor to seek for medical advice on right doses. Actually, there are no recent studies that could conclude the appropriate dosage for children less than 18 years of age. But if the child is experiencing overdosing, the severe side effects mentioned above are the possible signs to watch out for.

Children who are suffering from a condition called phenylketonuria (PKU) should not take Spirulina. PKU is a rare metabolic disorder characterized by the inability of the body to metabolize the specific amino acid called phenylalanine.

Also, children with asthma should take cautious when taking Spirulina along with anti-asthma medications as it can interact and affect the effectiveness of certain anti-asthma drugs like prednisone.

Spirulina side effects on men

Actually, gender is not an issue when it comes to Spirulina. Generally, men can experience all the side effects listed above. If they have taken high doses of Spirulina, liver toxicity may occur.

Also, Heavy metal contamination is common if you are taking Spirulina dietary supplements since it can be contaminated by other substances which might be toxic.

For men, the beneficial effect of Spirulina is its ability to effectively increase the muscle mass. Especially for men athletes or those who are into bodybuilding, Spirulina is of great help since it contains the most concentrated amount of protein. This can be a good alternative for proteins that are obtained from animal meat.

Spirulina side effects on women

Women can also have all the side effects listed above, whether it is mild or severe side effects. To avoid taking high doses of Spirulina, it is best to consult first a physician in order to figure out the right dosage for you and to avoid any side effect from occurring.

For women who have an active lifestyle and are consistently engaging into different sports or physical activities,   Spirulina’s effect on muscle mass is quite an advantage. Just like for men, Spirulina promotes muscle development in women, thus improving their performance in any activities they do.

On the other hand, Spirulina can have negative effects for women who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is an autoimmune disorder that is caused by the damage to myelin sheath. This condition is more common to women than men and is diagnosed by the age of 20 to 40. Theoretically, Spirulina can stimulate the immune system and make MS even worse.

Spirulina side effects on pregnant women

During pregnancy, it is strongly suggested to avoid using Spirulina due to possible heavy metal contamination that it can cause. Although the specific harmful effects that it can cause to the unborn child is still unknown, doctors still suggest to stop using Spirulina to promote safety of both the child and the mother.

For lactating mothers, Spirulina is also avoided to eliminate any possible risks for the baby. Although still, there are no strong evidences that Spirulina can be potentially harmful for the baby, the doctors still suggest avoiding it until another research can prove that Spirulina is safe for breastfeeding mothers.

Spirulina side effects on elderly

For elderly, there are some conditions wherein Spirulina can cause some harmful side effects and the most common musculoskeletal condition that affects elderly is rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of joints and its surrounding tissue. Spirulina may worsen this condition if taken with the present condition.

Green Tea side effects

What is green tea?

Green tea is derived from the plant called Camellia sinensis, which originated in China. But after awhile, this became associated with other cultures in Asia and been widely used in the West as well. Green tea is used both as a medicine and beverage in most countries in Asia including Vietnam, China, Japan Korea, and Thailand. It has been used as a common raw material in different health foods, beverages, cosmetic items, and dietary supplements that are available in the market.

Over the years, green tea has undergone several clinical and medical studies to conclude the long-term health benefits it can provide to any person. According to some evidences, drinking green tea regularly may help a person lower his or her risk in developing heart diseases. Aside from that, caffeine and polyphenol (green tea extract contents) can help boost the metabolism and help in the weight loss process. Green tea also contains high amount of flavonoids, a group of phytochemicals that provides antioxidative and anticarcinogenic effect. However, it was reported that the amount of flavonoids varies depending upon the tea products itself.

A cup of aroma green tea

A cup of aroma green tea

What is Green tea used for?

During ancient times, green tea had been used to control bleeding, regulate body temperature, help in wound healing, promote digestion, and maintain normal blood sugar levels.

After several years of intensive research and experimentation, green tea have been proven to provide several health benefits particularly on heart diseases and cancer.

  • Heart diseases

There are many researches that are done to show the positive effect of green tea in the heart. In Japan, an experiment is done involving 500 participants. Researchers eventually concluded that drinking a minimum of four cups of green tea each day may help decreased the severity of coronary heart diseases particularly on male participants. Also, in a Dutch study, it shows that if more green tea is being consumed, there is less severity of clogging in the blood vessels of the heart. A researcher also stated that the powerful anti-oxidant property of green tea helps a lot in improving the overall condition of the heart.

  • Cancer

According to a study, green tea’s epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) can help in regulating and inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. The consumption of green tea before and after surgery (for patients with Stage I and II breast cancer) can help lower the chances of cancer recurrence. Several studies indicate that drinking green tea can lessen the risk of developing lung cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer,and pancreatic cancer.

Aside from these two important health benefits of green tea, there are also other various positive health effects it can provide including;

  • Powerful anti-oxidant
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Helps in weight loss

Research shows that green tea can help lower the bad cholesterol and fight against obesity. This will also eventually result to lowered blood pressure.

Common green tea side effects

For most adults, green tea is likely safe especially to those who use it short-term. However in some people, this can lead to constipation and stomach upset.

If a person exceeds to five cups a day, this can possibly lead to some unwanted side effects because too much caffeine is in the body. The side effects can be mild to severe, and this includes the following;

  • Sleep problems
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremor
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heartburn
  • Tinnitus (ringing of the ear)
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Iron deficiency anemia (due to decreased iron absorption)
  • Liver disorders
  • Kidney problems
  • Allergic reaction (identified through signs and symptoms like difficulty breathing, rashes, pruritus, and swelling of the mouth and throat)

Green tea side effects on children

The amount of caffeine that is usually found on many foods is possibly safe for children. However, green tea may contain 40 mg of caffeine per cup, and this is somewhat a high amount. If it is taken on a large quantity, the caffeine can stimulate the child, leading to hyperactivity.

It is recommended that children should not to take green tea because it also contains high amount of tannin acids. Tannin acids may interfere in nutrient absorption such as in fats and protein. Also, green tea can cause weakening of the bones and dental problems.

Green tea side effects on men

According to a study, drinking more green tea can help men in lowering their risk of acquiring prostate cancer. However, more research is needed to support this claim since another research shows that higher consumption of green tea does not affect the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) levels.

The risk for lung cancer (another disorder that is common in men) can be reduced through drinking green tea more regularly.

If green tea is not taken properly, men can experience the side effects that are listed above.

Green tea side effects on women

For women, green tea can help reduce their risk of having breast cancer. According to studies, polyphenols (green tea content) inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Women who drank more green tea have lesser spread of cancer cells. Also, they found out that those women who drank at least five cups of green tea every day before they were diagnosed with breast cancer have lesser chances of having recurrence. Green tea is also said to be beneficial for women with ovarian cancer.

Women who are taking oral contraceptive pills should take precaution because green tea can interact with this medication. Contraceptive pills can prolong the stay of caffeine in the body. In effect, it may increase the stimulating effects of green tea.

Green tea side effects on pregnant women

Drinking green tea in small amounts is likely safe for pregnant women. Consuming more than 200 mg of caffeine (or approximately more than 2 cups of green tea a day) can be dangerous to the unborn child. This can lead to miscarriages and neural tube defects.

Caffeine from green tea can also pass into the breast milk and this can affect the infant. In order to be safe, avoid drinking too much green tea during breastfeeding.

Green tea side effects on elderly

For elderly clients who are diagnosed with glaucoma, green tea should be avoided since it can further increase the pressure in the eyes.

Also, elders with osteoporosis should be cautious when taking green tea. Remember that caffeine should only be consumed for 300 mg or below per day (approximately 2-3 cups) since it can flush out calcium out of the body. Once there is inadequate calcium in the body, the bones might be weakened. However, you can supply the calcium that was lost in the body by taking calcium supplements.

Ginkgo Biloba side effects

What is Ginkgo biloba?

Ginkgo biloba is a known herbal medicine that has existed for a very long time. It has been used by the Chinese as a traditional medicine thousands of years ago. Its effectiveness has been long recognized and is now widely used. Its life is approximated to reach one thousand years. Both the Ginkgo biloba’s short branches and fan-shaped leaves are used as traditional medicine. Even its inedible fruit is also used as medicine however it can be poisonous when eaten. Nowadays, research is focused on the herbal plant’s extract. The leave’s extract is said to be more effective as it is more concentrated.  Among the various compounds that were discovered from the plant’s extracts, two compounds stand out. The active components of the plant are the two potent anti-oxidants flavonoids (Flavone Glycoside) and terpenoids (Terpene Lactones). More researches are still being made to discover more of the plant’s indications, side effects and special precautions.

Ginkgo biloba leaves

Ginkgo biloba leaves

What is Ginkgo biloba used for?

From different researches and experiments made, among the known uses of Ginkgo biloba are:

  • Cerebral insufficiency, intermittent claudication and Reynaud’s Syndrome.  Studies show that Ginkgo biloba works by improving blood circulation. This then helps improve circulation to the brain. It also allows people with intermittent claudication to walk further with less pain or no pain at all.
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia. Researchers say that the herbal plant can help prevent the worsening of Alzheimer’s and dementia and help improve the memory and mental functions of people with the disease. However, there are also recent studies that it does not do so.
  • Macular degeneration, glaucoma and tinnitus.
  • Memory enhancer. The major component of some commercially available memory enhancers’ is Ginkgo biloba.
  • It helps prevent blood clots by inhibiting the platelets to aggregate.
  • Helps decrease blood pressure.
  • Helps alleviate allergy and reduce inflammation
  • For relief of depression
  • For the relief of premenstrual syndrome’s (PMS) symptoms.
  • For improvement of sexual performance or sexual desire.
  • For cosmetic purposes.

Common Ginkgo biloba side effects

Knowing the common side effects Ginkgo biloba is as important as knowing the plant’s indication and purposes.

  • Bleeding. Knowing that one of Ginkgo biloba’s mechanisms of action is the inhibition of platelet aggregation, bleeding is very possible. Therefore, caution is given to those who are taking anticoagulants, NSAIDS, those with blood clotting problems and those who will undergo any surgery or teeth extraction.
  • Stomach upset, nausea and vomiting,  and constipation
  • Dizziness and headache
  • Allergic reaction and Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Seizure.  Special precaution is then given to those who have epilepsy and those taking anticonvulsant drugs.
  • Kidney and liver damage. Special precaution to those who have known kidney and liver damage and those who are taking other drugs.
  • Loss of consciousness

Side effects may vary according to the part of the plant that was used or taken. Most of the more severe side effects are related to the seeds. Death may also be a possible result of eating the Ginkgo biloba’s seed.

Ginkgo biloba side effects of on Children

There are no known specific side effects of Ginkgo biloba on children.  However, the common side effects may be less tolerated by children and its effects may be worse compared to the adults. The difference between the adult dose and children’s dose should be known before curing the child with the plant or the plant’s extract. Children may suffer easily if dose is not adjusted.

Short term use is more favored.  Make sure that the seed is out of the children’s reach for the child may eat the fruit.

Children with history of seizure or epilepsy should not be given the medication. Other studies claim that Ginkgo biloba may not be safe for children.

Ginkgo biloba side effects of on Men

Aside from the common side effects that are known, there are no specific side effects that are addressed to men. All the said side effects will be experienced by men when taken in high doses. Death, seizure and loss of consciousness may still happen to men if the fruit is eaten.

  • Infertility. Higher dosage, as according to researches, can cause infertility among when. Special caution is then applied when you are trying to have a child.

Ginkgo biloba side effects on Women

As the same case with men, there are no specific side effects addressed to women only aside from those common side effects. Exception is given to those women who are pregnant who may have early labor.

  • Infertility. The same case with men, woman can be at risk for reduced fertility or infertility if high doses of Ginkgo biloba are consumed. Seek professional advice from physicians when you are trying to conceive with regards to using the herbal medicine and its commercially available preparations.

Ginkgo biloba side effects on Pregnant Women

  • Bleeding. Ginkgo biloba may aggravate bleeding when pregnant women give birth thus causing excessive bleeding. Excessive bleeding may prove fatal to the mother.
  • Early labor. The herbal plant may induce early labor among pregnant woman. Early labor may lead to fetal health problems especially if it causes the mother to have preterm birth. It can also cause the pregnant woman to bleed.

As to the nursing mothers, whether the ginkgo can be transferred to the baby through the milk or not, there are still no established side effects. Even if there are no solid researches available as proof, nursing mothers are still advised against taking Ginkgo biloba.

Pregnant mothers at the same time are advised against taking the herbal plant. Aside from its known side effects, there is no certainty that it will not cross the placenta and affect the fetus. Further studies are still being conducted on the plant’s effects on pregnancy, breast-feeding mothers and the fetus.

Ginkgo biloba side effects on Elderly

There are no known established side effects of Ginkgo biloba on the elderly population. Like the children, the elderly are more sensitive to the side effects of the herbal plant. The aging process will cause the elderly’s body to weaken so even though most of the common side effects of Ginkgo biloba are mild, the  impact to them maybe worse.

Dizziness may cause the elderly to fall and hurt her or himself. The medication may also cause them to bleed and bruise easier.

Ginkgo may have drug interaction with other drugs as of the case with the elderly patient with Alzheimer’s disease who went to coma.  The elderly patient was taking Ginkgo along with the anti-depressant medication, trazodone. Moreover, as more elderly are taking anti-hypertensive drugs for maintenance caution should be given for Ginkgo biloba can lower the blood pressure. This may cause the blood pressure to lower twice the desired pressure.

Ritalin side effects

What is Ritalin?

Ritalin is an old drug first marketed with this name in mid twentieth century. The generic name of this drug is Methylphenidate, which is basically used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is being marketed across the globe with different brand names like Methylin, Concerta and Hynidate. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is characterized by episodes of inattention or lack of intentiona alternating with hyper or increased mental as well as physical activity of an individual. It is believed that the main cause in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is reduction in dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the synapses of the central nervous system especially the brain. Ritalin (methylphenidate) decreases the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine at the nerve terminals and thus increases the quantity of neurotransmitters in the synapses of brain. In this way it helps in the management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Among the classification of central nervous system drugs it is classified as a psychostimulant drug.


Ritalin pills

What is Ritalin used for?

Common uses of Ritalin (methylphenidate) are;

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – Ritalin is usually prescribed to the children less than eighteen years of age for the management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Studies have shown that it is effective in addressing the issues of inattention, lack of concentration and reduces the tendency of substance or drug abuse. When used in addition to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the effect is enhanced.
  • Narcolepsy – it is condition characterized by excessive drowsiness and sleep during the daytime. Ritalin, being CNS stimulant keeps the individual alert and decreases the sleep during the daytime.
  • Major depressive disorder – studies have shown that Methylphenidate is very effective in treating the depression refractory to most of the antidepressants.
  • Cancer management – in cancer patients undergoing treatment, Methylphenidate decreases somnolence induced by the use of opioid analgesics. Moreover, it increases the analgesic effect of opioids and decreases the depression cancer patients are going through.
  • Substance abuse and dependence – few studies have shown that Methylphenidate can be used effectively for the management of cocaine abuse, which is a CNS stimulant substance.

What are the common side effects of Ritalin?

Most of the dangerous side effects of Ritalin occur in chronic use of the drug. So, a constant watch on the adverse effects of the drug is must in order to avoid unforeseen events. Here are the common side effects of Ritalin:

  • Nervous system – Methylphenidate most commonly affects the nervous system of the human body. Common symptoms are disturbed sleep pattern with mostly lack of sleep (insomnia), nervousness and drowsiness throughout the day. Ritalin also lowers the threshold for epilepsy, so it must be used cautiously in the epileptics.
  • Autonomic nervous system – Ritalin affects autonomic nervous system (ANS) in many ways. It may cause dilatation of pupils and extreme sweating (diaphoresis).
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms – the most common are abdominal cramps and pain. Moreover, it may also cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.
  • Cardiovascular – the most common cardiac side effect is the left sided or central chest pain (angina). Moreover changes in blood pressure and pulse on both the sides are also observed during the use of this drug. Patients may complain of palpitations with the use of this drug. Ritalin also increases the chances of arrhythmias in a normal healthy individual.
  • Loss of hair (alopecia) is another common side effect of Ritalin.
  • Psychiatric disorders – mood swings are common during the use of Ritalin. It includes both dysphoria and euphoria. Moreover, it can cause depression as well as anxiety in a normal and stable patient. Ritalin use is associated with unusual anger, increased suicidal tendency, psychosis and substance abuse.
  • Unusual restlessness (akathesia), lethary and tiredness are also commonly seen in the individuals using Ritalin.
  • Sexual functions – sexual functions are also commonly affected during the use of Ritalin. Patients may have increased or decreased libido.
  • Headache
  • Allergic reactions – like any other drug, use of Ritalin is associated with certain hypersensitivity reactions like skin rash, fever, urticaria, arthralgia and exfoliative dermatitis.
  • Weight changes – Ritalin can cause weight loss which is reversed once the drug is discontinued.
  • Hepatic disorders – Ritalin may cause drug induced hepatitis and impair liver function tests

What are the side effects of Ritalin on children?

Although the effects of Ritalin (methyphenidate) on the children are not well known, however, it is not recommended to use Ritalin in the children under six years of age. One of the studies on Ritalin suggests that it may impair the normal brain development in the children if used for a long time. Moreover, stunted growth is another common side of Ritalin which limits its use in the children.

What are the side effects of Ritalin on men?

Lack of desire for having sex is the major side effect of Ritalin in men. This side effect usually withers as soon as the drug is discontinued. Few studies mentioned that it might increase libido.

What are the side effects of Ritalin on women?

Lack of interest is sex is also observed in the women using Ritalin. Women experience loss of hair (alopecia) more as compared to the men. Moreover, emotionally labiality and suicidal ideation are the effects commonly seen in women.

What are the side effects of Ritalin on pregnant women?

Ritalin has been classified as category C pregnancy drug. Studies have shown that use of Ritalin should only be carried out during pregnancy if benefits outweigh the risks associated with this drug. Although not enough data is present to completely negate the use of Ritalin in pregnancy, however, few studies show that there is increased risk of cardiac malformations, premature birth and stunted growth due to Ritalin.

What are the side effects of Ritalin on elderly?

In elderly the most bothersome side effects are akatheia (restlessness), lethargy and fatigue. Elderly are already fed up of all these issues and Ritalin increases these symptoms to a great extent. Ritalin is comparatively safe in the elderly as compared to other antidepressants and is used preferably in the elderly for the management of depression.

Milk Thistle side effects

What is Milk Thistle?

Milk Thistle or by its scientific name Silybummarianum is a popular flowering herbal medicine that is common in Mediterranean countries. It is also called Wand of God’s Grace, Christ’s Crown, Heal Thistle, Holy Thistle and Venus Thistle.  The ragweed and daisy family related plant has been long used by the Romans as a medicine especially in the cure of liver diseases. The Europeans were the first to recognize its usefulness as medicine.

From the plant’s name, the active compounds found are silibin, silydianin and silychristin. These three are flavonoid-like.  Aside from the Milk Thistle’s seed, other forms available are its liquid extract and powdered extract. Silymarin can be difficult to dissolve in water.

Milk Thistle plants can grow a height of 12 feet. Its color is vivid purple. It has a milk sap. Its dark leaves are prickly and shiny. It also has milk saps.

Other names of milk thistle are CardoLechoso, CarduiMariaeHerba, Blessed Milk Thistle, ArtichautSauvage, CarduiMariaeFructus, Carduusmarianus, Chardon Marbré, Chardon Argenté, Lait de Notre-Dame, Marian Thistle, Legalon, Our Lady’s Thistle, St. Mary Thistle, ShuiFeiJi, Silybe de Marie, Silybummarianum, Silibinin, and Épine Blanche.

Milk Thistle flower

Milk Thistle flower

What is Milk Thistle used for?

The Europeans have long used the different parts of Milk thistle for treating ailments. New researches and studies conducted have proved its effectiveness, some contradict them and some found other uses. Among the known uses of Milk thistles are:

  • Liver Diseases like: gallbladder diseases, cirrhosis, hepatitis, jaundice

It is thought that the herbal plant has hepato-protective compounds and it helps regenerate the liver cells. It also helps keep the liver clean with its anti-oxidant effect.

  • Antioxidant.
  • Cancer: Prostate, Breast and Cervical.  Other researcher that had been conducted say that Milk thistle components silymarin and silibinin can help fight cancer.
  • Diabetes mellitus type 2. Blood sugar level has been noted to decrease with Milk thistle consumption. It can also help reduce cholesterol level. Moreover, insulin resistance has been observed to improve with the herbal plant. Nonetheless, this does not mean that it can treat diabetes mellitus 2 per se. The decrease in cholesterol level also helps decrease the possibility of heart diseases.
  • Milk thistle can help with some skin problems like Psoriasis
  • Inflammation. Certain enzymes can be inhibited by Milk thistle that can help in reducing inflammation.

Common Milk thistle side effects

Normally, milk thistle is likely safe for most people to use especially when it is taken for approximately 41 months. But in some cases, it can cause some mild and some serious side effects.

Here are some of the common side effects that any person might experience;

  • Laxative effects
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Intestinal gas
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Fullness or pain
  • Stomach upset

Rarely, it can also lead to serious side effect such as severe allergic reaction. Any person who is allergic to ragweed and other related plants (belongs to Asteraceae/Compositae plant family) might also experience anaphylactic shock if milk thistle is taken. Other plants that belong to this family are marigolds, chrysanthemums, daisies, and other more. The person should immediately seek medical attention if he or she experiences the symptoms of allergic reaction which includes rashes; swelling of tongue, lips, or face; difficulty of breathing, and closing of the throat.

Milk Thistle Side Effects on Children

So far, there are still not much of studies that show how safe milk thistle can be used in children. For children, liver problems are a serious condition that needs to be diagnosed as immediately as possible by the physician.

Children can also experience both the mild and serious side effects that are mentioned above that is why it is advisable to seek first your child’s physician before taking any herbal medicine such as this.

Milk Thistle Side Effects on Men

Actually, gender has nothing to do with any side effect that a person may experience. All the side effects listed above can be experienced byall men that are taking milk thistle supplements. To avoid any interaction, it is important to take caution when taking milk thistle alongside with other herbal medicines. Make sure to always take herbs with the supervision and permission of a healthcare provider.

Another caution to remember is that for men who have a history of prostate cancer, milk thistle should not be used.

Milk Thistle Side Effects on Women

Women who are taking milk thistle can also experience the side effects that are given above such as diarrhea, nausea, indigestion, and loss of appetite.

If the woman has a history of hormone-related cancers such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer, or uterine cancer, avoid taking milk thistle. Extracts from this herbal plant can have the same action as the hormone called estrogen.

The hormone-related cancers mentioned might progress into its worsening condition once the area involved is exposed to estrogen that is why milk thistle is prohibited.

Endometriosis and uterine fibroids are other conditions wherein milk thistle should not be use.

Milk Thistle Side Effects on Pregnant Women

Currently, further studies are still needed to show the possible effect of the use of milk thistle on pregnant women. But for now, it is suggested to stay on the safe side by avoiding the use of milk thistle both during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Milk Thistle Side Effects on Elderly

All the side effects, either mild or serious, can be experienced by the elderly population. But on the positive note, milk thistle is a good liver cleanser for older people. It lessens their risk of having any liver problems and improves the body’s overall blood circulation. As a result, the elderly can have better mobility and improved memory function.

Milk thistle can also be used by the elderly as herbal supportive treatment for their long-term illnesses or age-related health problems. This can be useful in reducing some of the side effects of pharmaceutical medicines. Also, it can be useful in promoting smooth and effective functioning of the internal organs of the person’s body.