Posted on

LMU – 02 Artichoke Extracts: Lowering Glucose and Cholesterol with Antioxidant Effects to Prevent Atherosclerosis

LMU-02

LMU 02 - Artichoke Extracts: Lowering Glucose and Cholesterol with Antioxidant Effects to Prevent Atherosclerosis

Source: Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, Vol. 4, No.1, 2016. p.60-68

Lifestyle Medicine Update (March 2016)

Introduction:

Artichokes (Cynara scolymus L.) are a Mediterranean vegetable that has recently gained attention for its potential health benefits. A study published in the Journal of Food and Nutrition Research in 2016 explored the effects of artichoke extracts on glucose and cholesterol levels in rats. The results indicated that artichoke extracts, particularly from the Green Globe variety, showed hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic properties. This article delves deeper into the mechanisms behind these effects, highlighting the major phenolic compounds in artichoke extracts and their potential impact on human health.

Artichoke Extracts and Their Active Phenolic Compounds

The study utilized two varieties of artichokes, Green Globe (G) and Violet (V), to extract active phenolic compounds from the leaves and heads. The researchers identified five significant compounds in the aqueous methanolic extracts. These compounds are known for their potential health benefits, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Hypoglycemic and Hypocholesterolemic Effects

The researchers conducted experiments on albino rats to investigate artichoke extracts’ hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic effects. The artichoke leaf extract (ALE) and head extract (AHE) were administered orally to the rats at different concentrations. The results demonstrated that the Green Globe artichoke leaf extract (LEG) had the most hypoglycemic effect. Additionally, artichoke extracts positively impacted total cholesterol levels, reduced LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and triglyceride levels, increased glutathione peroxides, and lowered malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the rat serum.

Mechanisms of Action

Artichoke leaf extract has been proposed to be antiatherogenic, which means it may help prevent atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by plaque buildup in the arteries. The extract’s lipid-reducing and antioxidant effects play a vital role. Studies suggest that artichoke leaf extract inhibits cholesterol biosynthesis in hepatocytes and decreases the oxidation of LDL. Moreover, ALE enhances the biliary excretion of cholesterol and increases its conversion to bile acids, reducing cholesterol levels. Furthermore, the extract disrupts the intestinal microflora, affecting the absorption of various compounds, including cholesterol. This dual mechanism of action contributes to its hypocholesterolemic activity.

Luteolin, one of the major phenolic compounds in artichoke extracts, modulates the activity of HMG-CoA reductase, a key enzyme in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway. This, along with the antioxidant properties of chlorogenic acid and luteolin, contributes to inhibiting LDL oxidation. These effects further support the hypocholesterolemic activity of artichoke extracts, making them a potential preventive treatment for mild hypercholesterolemia.

Health Benefits and Recommendations

The findings of the study underscore the potential health benefits of artichoke extracts. Regularly consuming artichoke heads, hearts, or leaves can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, support liver health, and boost antioxidant defenses due to their rich antioxidant content. Artichokes are also a great source of dietary fiber, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

Conclusion

In conclusion, artichoke extracts have demonstrated significant hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic effects in rats, particularly those from the Green Globe variety. Active phenolic compounds contribute to these beneficial effects. The antioxidant properties of artichoke extracts may also help prevent atherosclerosis by reducing LDL oxidation. Considering these findings, incorporating artichoke heads, hearts, or leaves into the diet may be a wise choice for individuals seeking to improve their cholesterol and glucose levels while enjoying artichokes’ additional health benefits. However, further research is warranted to validate these effects in humans and establish appropriate dosages for supplementation.

References

  1. Study Abstract
  2. Artichoke is a superfood

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great!

Dr. James Meschino

Introduction:

Artichokes (Cynara scolymus L.) are a Mediterranean vegetable that has recently gained attention for its potential health benefits. A study published in the Journal of Food and Nutrition Research in 2016 explored the effects of artichoke extracts on glucose and cholesterol levels in rats. The results indicated that artichoke extracts, particularly from the Green Globe variety, showed hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic properties. This article delves deeper into the mechanisms behind these effects, highlighting the major phenolic compounds in artichoke extracts and their potential impact on human health.

Artichoke Extracts and Their Active Phenolic Compounds

The study utilized two varieties of artichokes, Green Globe (G) and Violet (V), to extract active phenolic compounds from the leaves and heads. The researchers identified five significant compounds in the aqueous methanolic extracts. These compounds are known for their potential health benefits, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Hypoglycemic and Hypocholesterolemic Effects

The researchers conducted experiments on albino rats to investigate artichoke extracts’ hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic effects. The artichoke leaf extract (ALE) and head extract (AHE) were administered orally to the rats at different concentrations. The results demonstrated that the Green Globe artichoke leaf extract (LEG) had the most hypoglycemic effect. Additionally, artichoke extracts positively impacted total cholesterol levels, reduced LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and triglyceride levels, increased glutathione peroxides, and lowered malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the rat serum.

Mechanisms of Action

Artichoke leaf extract has been proposed to be antiatherogenic, which means it may help prevent atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by plaque buildup in the arteries. The extract’s lipid-reducing and antioxidant effects play a vital role. Studies suggest that artichoke leaf extract inhibits cholesterol biosynthesis in hepatocytes and decreases the oxidation of LDL. Moreover, ALE enhances the biliary excretion of cholesterol and increases its conversion to bile acids, reducing cholesterol levels. Furthermore, the extract disrupts the intestinal microflora, affecting the absorption of various compounds, including cholesterol. This dual mechanism of action contributes to its hypocholesterolemic activity.

Luteolin, one of the major phenolic compounds in artichoke extracts, modulates the activity of HMG-CoA reductase, a key enzyme in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway. This, along with the antioxidant properties of chlorogenic acid and luteolin, contributes to inhibiting LDL oxidation. These effects further support the hypocholesterolemic activity of artichoke extracts, making them a potential preventive treatment for mild hypercholesterolemia.

Health Benefits and Recommendations

The findings of the study underscore the potential health benefits of artichoke extracts. Regularly consuming artichoke heads, hearts, or leaves can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, support liver health, and boost antioxidant defenses due to their rich antioxidant content. Artichokes are also a great source of dietary fiber, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

Conclusion

In conclusion, artichoke extracts have demonstrated significant hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic effects in rats, particularly those from the Green Globe variety. Active phenolic compounds contribute to these beneficial effects. The antioxidant properties of artichoke extracts may also help prevent atherosclerosis by reducing LDL oxidation. Considering these findings, incorporating artichoke heads, hearts, or leaves into the diet may be a wise choice for individuals seeking to improve their cholesterol and glucose levels while enjoying artichokes’ additional health benefits. However, further research is warranted to validate these effects in humans and establish appropriate dosages for supplementation.

References

  1. Study Abstract
  2. Artichoke is a superfood

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great!

Dr. James Meschino

Dr. James Meschino

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

Share this:
Share