Main Health Benefits of Globe Artichoke*
Improves digestive function
- Settles reflux
- Relieves irritable bowel syndrome
- Promotes a healthy microbiome
- Supports a healthy heart
- Protects the liver from damage
- Supports liver regeneration
- Lowers blood sugars
- Protects skin from UV damage
- Increases immune defences
Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus
Other common names
Scotch Thistle, Prickly Cardoon, Wild Cardoon, Vegetable Rennet and Wood Artichoke, Green Artichoke, French Artichoke
What is The History of Globe Artichoke?
Artichoke origins dates back to the time of the Greek philosopher and naturalist, Theophrastus (371-287 B.C.), who wrote of them being grown in Italy and Sicily. Ancient Greeks and Romans considered artichokes a delicacy and an aphrodisiac. In Ancient Greece, the artichoke was attributed to being effective in securing the birth of boys.
North African traders started growing and exporting artichokes around 800AD and they became an extremely popular plant to be included in gardens of Mediterranean countries. It was also a popular plant to grow in the private gardens of monasteries around the region.
Artichokes are now grown in many countries around the world and are probably known best for their inclusion on Italian pizzas - artichoke hearts in oil are the usual vegetable for the "spring" section of the "Four Seasons" pizza (alongside olives for summer, mushrooms for autumn, and prosciutto for winter).
Scientifically, it was not until the late 20th century, that studies started to be done on the plant to understand its chemical components and how they influence human health, especially liver function.
Recognised Targets and Mechanisms of Action
The artichoke leaves are rich in phenolic compounds - caffeoylquinic acids, chlorogenic acid, cynarin, luteolin 7-O-rutinoside, and luteolin 7-O-glucoside, hydroxytyrosol, Tyrosol, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, verbascoside, apigenin-7-glucoside, oleuropein, quercetin, pinoresinol, cinnamic acid, and apigenin.
Artichoke contains high levels of many minerals such as potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), iron (I), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and chromium (Cr).
Add to this comprehensive list – the prebiotic starch inulin – and you have a powerful plant filled with health promoting compounds
- Boosts the synthesis and excretion of bile by the liver.
Promotes the growth of new liver tissue increasing both liver tissue size and liver cell content.
- Shows increased hepatic vein flow, reduced portal vein diameter, liver size, reduction in serum ALT and AST levels, improvement in AST/ALT ratio and APRI scores, and reduction in total bilirubin.
- Replenishes hepatic glutathione (GSH), reverses oxidative stress parameters, DNA damage, and necrosis induced by paracetamol.
- Exhibits antiproliferative activity against HepG2 liver cancer cells.
- Contains chelating properties for the reduction of lead levels in the blood.
- Reduces total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride (TG) concentrations.
- Inhibits cholesterol biosynthesis and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation, improving endothelial function.
- Significantly reduces mean systolic blood pressure.
- Reduces postprandial glycaemic and insulinemic responses.
- Decreases insulin levels and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in patients with the TT genotype of TCF7L2-rs7903146 polymorphism.
- Influences β-cells, repairs damage cells, and stimulates cells to secrete insulin.
Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activity
- Significantly improves fatigue and joint problems after 4 weeks of treatment.
- Significantly increases plasma total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in athletes.
- Efficient in reducing the release of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) induced by oxidative stimulus.
- Exhibits significant antimicrobial activities against seven bacteria species, four yeasts, and four moulds.
- Significantly increases numbers of faecal bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
- Significantly increases levels of the anerobic gram-positive Atopobium bacterial group.
- Significantly reduces Bacteroides–Prevotella numbers.
- Exhibits significant reductions in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) incidence of 26.4% after treatment.
- Shows a significant shift in self-reported usual bowel pattern away from "alternating constipation/diarrhea" toward "normal".
- NDI total bowel symptom score significantly decreased by 41% after treatment. There is also a significant 20% improvement in the NDI total quality-of-life (QOL) score.
- Positively controls tumour growth factor-beta (TGF-β).
- Increases the expression of all three analysed genes in human endothelial cells in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting a potential effect of vasodilation and capillary permeation, and thus an enhancement of blood microcirculation in the skin.
- Produces a dual effect on nitric oxide (NO) production in the endothelial cells and macrophages, and may also work as a potential anti-inflammatory ingredient for the skin.
- Stimulates the gene expression of both the cytosolic and the mitochondrial Superoxide Dismutase (Cu/Zn-SOD; Mn-SOD) by about 45% and 29%, respectively, suggesting antioxidant protection activity against reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation.
- Shows significant effects on the gene expression of the gene involved in the lymphatic cell membrane trafficking - the receptor for hyaluronan lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor 1 (LYVE-1).
- Slows down the degenerative process leading to wrinkle formation and loss of elastic fibre functionality.
- Improves skin roughness and elasticity by 19.74% and 11.45% respectively.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the TGA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease
Int J Hepatol. 2016; 2016: 4030476. Published online 2016 May 11. doi: 10.1155/2016/4030476. The Effect of Artichoke Leaf Extract on Alanine Aminotransferase and Aspartate Aminotransferase in the Patients with Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis. Vajiheh Rangboo, Mostafa Noroozi, Roza Zavoshy, Seyed Amirmansoor Rezadoost, and Asghar Mohammadpoorasl.
Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2015 Dec;70(4):441-53. doi: 10.1007/s11130-015-0503-8. Pharmacological Studies of Artichoke Leaf Extract and Their Health Benefits Maryem Ben Salem, Hanen Affes, Kamilia Ksouda, Raouia Dhouibi , Zouheir Sahnoun, Serria Hammami, Khaled Mounir Zegha.
Artichoke Leaf Extract Reduces Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Improves Quality of Life in Otherwise Healthy Volunteers Suffering from Concomitant Dyspepsia: A Subset Analysis August 2004The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 10(4):667-9.
Chemicals Compositions, Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Cynara scolymus Leaves Extracts, and Analysis of Major Bioactive Polyphenols by HPLC. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2017, Article ID 4951937, 14 pages, 2017. Maryem Ben Salem, Hanen Affes, Khaled Athmouni, Kamilia Ksouda, Raouia Dhouibi, Zouheir Sahnoun, Serria Hammami, Khaled Mounir Zeghal.
Phytomedicine Volume 15, Issue 9, 3 September 2008, Pages 668-675 Phytomedicine. Artichoke leaf extract (Cynara scolymus) reduces plasma cholesterol in otherwise healthy hypercholesterolemic adults: A randomized, double blind placebo-controlled trial. Raf Bundy, Ann F. Walker, Richard W. Middleton, Carol Wallis, Hugh C.R. Simpson.
Fructans of Jerusalem artichokes: Intestinal transport, absorption, fermentation, and influence on blood glucose, insulin, and C-peptide responses in healthy subjects. November 1990American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 52(4):675-81 J J Rumessen, S Bodé, O Hamberg, E Gudmand-Høyer.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study to establish the bifidogenic effect of a very-long-chain inulin extracted from globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) in healthy human subjects. Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 July 2010. Adele Costabile, Sofia Kolida, Annett Klinder, Eva Gietl, Michael Bäuerlein, Claus Frohberg, Volker Landschütze, Glenn R. Gibson.
Randomized Controlled Trial Phytother Res. 2018 Jul;32(7):1382-1387. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6073. Epub 2018 Mar 9. Efficacy of artichoke leaf extract in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: A pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial. Yunes Panahi, Parisa Kianpour, Reza Mohtashami, Stephen L Atkin, Alexandra E Butler, Ramezan Jafari, Roghayeh Badeli, Amirhossein Sahebkar.
Molecules. 2018 Nov; 23(11): 2729. Published online 2018 Oct 23. doi: 10.3390/molecules23112729 Artichoke Polyphenols Produce Skin Anti-Age Effects by Improving Endothelial Cell Integrity and Functionality. Isabella D’Antuono, Antonietta Carola, Luigi M. Sena, Vito Linsalata, Angela Cardinali, Antonio F. Logrieco, Maria Gabriella Colucci, Fabio Apone.