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Nutritional Supplement

Artichoke

  • Digestive Support

    Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity

    Extracts of artichoke have been repeatedly shown in research to be beneficial for people with indigestion.
    Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity
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    Bitter herbs are thought to stimulate digestive function by increasing saliva production and promoting both stomach acid and digestive enzyme production.9 As a result, they are particularly used when there is low stomach acid but not in heartburn (where too much stomach acid could initially exacerbate the situation). These herbs literally taste bitter. Some examples of bitter herbs include greater celandine, wormwood, gentian,dandelion, blessed thistle, yarrow, devil’s claw, bitter orange, bitter melon, juniper, andrographis, prickly ash, and centaury.10. Bitters are generally taken either by mixing 1–3 ml tincture into water and sipping slowly 10–30 minutes before eating, or by making tea, which is also sipped slowly before eating.

    Artichoke, in addition to being an edible plant, is a mild bitter. Extracts of artichoke have been repeatedly shown in double-blind research to be beneficial for people with indigestion.11 Artichoke is particularly useful when the problem is lack of bile production by the liver.12 Extracts providing 500–1,000 mg per day of cynarin, the main active constituent of artichoke, are recommended by doctors.

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    In a preliminary study of people with irritable bowel syndrome who took an artichoke leaf extract daily for two months, 26% reported an improvement in symptoms.
    Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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    In a preliminary study of people with irritable bowel syndrome who took an artichoke leaf extract daily for two months, 26% reported an improvement in symptoms.13 Because no placebo group was used in this study and because irritable bowel syndrome has a high rate of response to placebo, additional research is needed to confirm this report. The amount of artichoke leaf used in the study was 320 or 640 mg per day of a 1:5 standardized extract.

  • Heart and Circulatory Health

    High Cholesterol

    Artichoke has moderately lowered cholesterol and triglycerides in some trials.
    High Cholesterol
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    Artichoke has moderately lowered cholesterol and triglycerides in some,14,15 but not all,16 human trials. One double-blind trial found that 900 mg of artichoke extract per day significantly lowered serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol but did not decrease triglycerides or raise HDL cholesterol.17 However, in another double-blind trial, supplementation with an artichoke extract significantly increased HDL cholesterol.18 Cholesterol-lowering effects occurred when using 320 mg of standardized leaf extract taken two to three times per day for at least six weeks.

What Are Star Ratings?
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Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

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Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

The artichoke is one of the world’s oldest medicinal plants. The ancient Egyptians placed great value on the plant—it is clearly seen in drawings involving fertility and sacrifice. Moreover, this plant was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a digestive aid. In 16th century Europe, the artichoke was favored as a food by royalty.19

References

1. Brand N. Cynara scolymus L.—The artichoke. Zeitschrift Phytother 1990;11:169-75.

2. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 42-3.

3. Kirchhoff R, Beckers C, Kirchhoff GM, et al. Increase in choleresis by means of artichoke extract. Phytomedicine 1994;1:107-15.

4. Fintelmann V. Antidyspeptic and lipid-lowering effect of artichoke leaf extract. Zeitschrift fur Allgemeinmed 1996;72(Suppl 2):3-19.

5. Englisch W, Beckers C, Unkauf M, et al. Efficacy of artichoke dry extract in patients with hyperlipoproteinemia. Arzneimittelforschung 2000;50:260-5.

6. Heckers H, Dittmar K, Schmahl FW, Huth K. Inefficiency of cynarin as therapeutic regimen in familial type II hyperlipoproteinemia. Atherosclerosis 1977;26:249-53.

7. Gebhardt R. New experimental results in the action of artichoke leaf extract. Zeitschrift fur Allgemeinmed 1996;72:20-3.

8. Brown JE, Rice-Evans CA. Luteolin rich artichoke extract protects low density lipoprotein from oxidation in vitro. Free Radical Research 1998;29:247-55.

9. Schulz V, Hänsel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physician's Guide to Herbal Medicine. 3rd ed, Berlin: Springer, 1998, 168-73.

10. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 425-6.

11. Kraft K. Artichoke leaf extract--recent findings reflecting effects on lipid metabolism, liver and gastrointestinal tracts. Phytomedicine 1997;4:370-8 [review].

12. Kirchhoff R, Beckers C, Kirchhoff GM, et al. Increase in choleresis by means of artichoke extract. Phytomedicine 1994;1:107-15.

13. Bundy R, Walker AF, Middleton RW, et al. 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. J Altern Complement Med 2004;10:667-9.

14. Fintelmann V. Antidyspeptic and lipid-lowering effect of artichoke leaf extract. Zeitschirfit fur Allgemeinmed 1996;72:1-19.

15. Bundy R, Walker AF, Middleton RW, et al. Artichoke leaf extract (Cynara scolymus) reduces plasma cholesterol in otherwise healthy hypercholesterolemic adults: a randomized, double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine 2008;15:668-75.

16. Heckers H, Dittmar K, Schmahl FW, Huth K. Inefficiency of cynarin as therapeutic regimen in familial type II hyperlipoproteinemia. Atherosclerosis 1977;26:249-53.

17. Englisch W, Beckers C, Unkauf M, et al. Efficacy of artichoke dry extract in patients with hyperlipoproteinemia. Arzneimittelforschung 2000;50:260-5.

18. Rondanelli M, Giacosa A, Opizzi A, et al. Beneficial effects of artichoke leaf extract supplementation on increasing HDL-cholesterol in subjects with primary mild hypercholesterolaemia: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2013;64:7-15.

19. Brand N. Cynara scolymus L.—The artichoke. Zeitschrift Phytother 1990;11:169-75.

20. Fintelmann V. Antidyspeptic and lipid-lowering effect of artichoke leaf extract. Zeitschrift fur Allgemeinmed 1996;72:1-19.

21. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996, 36.

22. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 84-5.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.