Health benefits of artichoke leaf extract

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Artichoke leaf extract is obtained from artichokes ( Cynara scolymus ). This plant belongs to the daisy family and is native to regions such as southern Europe and North Africa.

Artichokes are a delicious addition to many dishes, and their leaves have traditionally been used to treat conditions such as jaundice, acid reflux, and various liver ailments. Research suggests that artichoke may have another niche: lowering cholesterol .

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Health benefits

Artichoke extract is sometimes used to treat various medical conditions. For example, some consumers use the extract to treat hangovers, high blood pressure, anemia, arthritis, kidney problems, liver problems, snake bites, water retention, and other problems. There is insufficient evidence to support the health benefits of artichoke leaf extract.

However, there are studies that support the use of artichoke leaf extract to treat indigestion and high cholesterol .

High cholesterol

Unfortunately, the research on using artichokes to lower cholesterol is mixed. Most of them only involve studying the effects of artichoke leaf extract, which is also widely available as a supplement.

How artichokes lower cholesterol is not fully understood. It is believed that artichokes may indirectly interact with the same protein that statins interact with to lower cholesterol levels. This enzyme, called HMG-CoA reductase, plays an important role in the production of cholesterol.

Artichokes also contain antioxidants like flavonoids. These chemicals are also found in many other colored vegetables and fruits and are believed to play a role in reducing LDL oxidation , which contributes to the development of atherosclerosis .

Possible side effects.

Artichokes are probably safe to eat and possibly safe when taken by mouth as a medicine. It has been used safely in studies for up to 23 months.

During the studies, the only significant side effects were hunger, flatulence, and weakness. Other possible side effects include an upset stomach and diarrhea .

Artichoke and artichoke supplements can also cause allergic reactions in people allergic to plants such as calendula, chamomile, and other similar herbs .

Dosage and preparation

There is insufficient scientific evidence to determine the recommended dosage of artichoke leaf extract. The amounts used in the studies vary. Suggested dosages range from 320 to 1800 milligrams per day .

The right dose for you may depend on factors such as your age, gender, and medical history. Talk to your doctor for personalized advice.

What to look for

Artichokes are a healthy alternative to other high-fat foods, but you shouldn't rely solely on them to lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

While there are several forms of artichoke extract supplements available commercially, they may not provide other nutrients that a real artichoke can add to your diet. Since artichoke leaf extract supplements can interact with other medical conditions or medications you are taking, you should speak with your doctor before incorporating them into your health regimen.

There are many ways to include artichokes in your diet to lower cholesterol. Artichokes can be fried, sautéed, grilled, or eaten raw. Just be careful not to cook the artichokes in heavy fat or fry them, this can add more calories and saturated fat to your meal.

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