(A study on Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) Leaves and Heads Extracts as Hypoglycemic and Hypocholesterolemic in Rats)
this study showed that artichoke heads and leaves administered to diabetic rats lowered blood cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar. artichoke also protected liver cells against damaging agents and decreased oxidation (free radical damage) to ldl-cholesterol (the bad cholesterol)
Source: Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, Vol. 4, No.1, 2016. p.60-68
Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update (February , 2016)
Abstract Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L., Asteraceae family), an edible vegetable from the Mediterrane an area, is a good source of phenolic compounds. Two varieties of artichoke leaves and head extracts as Hypoglycemic and Hypocholesterolemic were used in this study Green Globe (G) and Violet (V).
What are the five major phenolic Compounds?
Five major active phenolic compounds were identified into the aqueous methanolic extracts of artichoke leaves and heads.
These compounds were identified as Chlorogenic acid, Cynarin, 1,5-di-o-Caffeoylquinic, luteolin and apigenin. On the other hand, the artichoke aqueous leaves extract (ALE) and aqueous heads extracts (AHE) for the two varieties were used as hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic experiments by using albino rats.
ALE was used in the concentration of (1.5 g/kg/day) for the two varieties. AHE was used in two different concentrations (1.5 and 3 g/kg/day). Rats were administered orally by these different concentrations.
Results show the effect of ALE and AHE extracts on the glucose level of diabetic rats. The superior effect was with G4 (Group No. 4) rats administered 1.5 g LEG/kg/day (Leaves Extract of Green Globe).
On the other hand results of the influence of artichoke leaves and heads as hypocholesterolemic action was in a positive way on the level of total cholesterol and reduced LDL and triglycerides levels and increased the level of glutathione peroxides, meanwhile it reduced the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) in rats serum.
G3 (Group No. 3) [HFD (high fat diet) +1%cholesterol+1.5g LEG/kg/day] recorded the best results as a hypocholesterolemic effect which could be attributed to their phenolic content. Our results indicated that artichoke especially leaves extract of Green Globe (LEG) has good action as hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic.
On the other hand, artichoke leaves extract has been proposed to be antiatherogenic, due to its lipid-reducing and antioxidant effects [24,48]. It is reported to inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis in hepatocytes  decrease the oxidation of LDL [6,23,51].
How does artichoke reduce cholesterol in blood?
Artichoke leaves extract (ALE) is also considered as choleretic, enhancing biliary excretion of cholesterol and increasing its conversion to bile acids . In addition, ALE is known to have antimicrobial properties in the gut, disrupting the intestinal microflora, thus affecting the absorption of various compounds including cholesterol .
Thus, ALE may influence the intestinal absorption and excretion of cholesterol from the organism, besides suppression of endogenous cholesterol synthesis. The inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis is due to luteolin, which modulates the HMG-CoA reductase activity (the key enzyme in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway) [16,27].
Moreover, chlorogenic acid and luteolin may prevent atherosclerosis by inhibiting low-density lipoproteins (LDL) oxidation . Therefore, artichoke leaf extracts show hypocholesterolemic activity, due to two parallel mechanisms: reduction of cholesterol biosynthesis and inhibition of LDL oxidation [8,15].
Artichoke extracts are well tolerated, and may be useful for the preventive treatments of mild hypercholesterolemia.
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) Leaves and Heads Extracts as Hypoglycemic and Hypocholesterolemic in Rats
Other link – Artichoke is a superfood
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great!
Dr. James Meschino