Q. I take several medications, so I was pleased to learn that the herb milk thistle may reduce the liver toxicity of certain drugs. I am very conscious of maintaining healthy liver function.
When purchasing the herb, however, I got confused. It is available in various strengths and the dosing instructions seem inconsistent.
What advice can you give me? I don’t want to take too much.
A. The dosage varies depending upon the purpose for which milk thistle is being used. For general liver protection, 200 mg of an extract standardized to 80 percent silymarin (the active ingredient) is taken two or three times a day.
ConsumerLab.com recently tested milk thistle products and found that relatively few of them meet the claims on their labels. Details are available for a fee at www.consumerlab.com.