Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Artichoke Leaf Extract Lowers Cholesterol

Date:
July 7, 2008
Source:
University of Reading
Summary:
Researchers have found that an over-the-counter Artichoke Leaf Extract (ALE) from the globe artichoke plant can lower cholesterol in otherwise healthy individuals with moderately raised levels. Cardiovascular diseases are the chief causes of death in the UK, and are associated with raised circulating levels of total cholesterol in the plasma. Once plasma cholesterol reaches a certain level, drugs such as statins are often prescribed to help reduce it. Intervention before concentrations reaches these levels may help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases without the need for drugs.

Globe artichokes.
Credit: iStockphoto/Liza McCorkle

Researchers at the University of Reading have found that an over-the-counter Artichoke Leaf Extract (ALE) from the globe artichoke plant can lower cholesterol in otherwise healthy individuals with moderately raised levels. Cardiovascular diseases are the chief causes of death in the UK, and are associated with raised circulating levels of total cholesterol in the plasma.

Once plasma cholesterol reaches a certain level, drugs such as statins are often prescribed to help reduce it. Intervention before concentrations reaches these levels may help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases without the need for drugs. This new piece of research has shown that otherwise healthy people with moderately raised plasma cholesterol may be able to lower their levels by taking this herbal supplement.

During the trial, 75 volunteers were given 1280mg (4 capsules) of an ALE, or matched placebo, each day for 12 weeks. ALE consumption resulted in a modest but favourable statistically significant reduction in total plasma cholesterol after the intervention period.

For over 10 years, the relationship between dietary intakes of antioxidant nutrients and a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases has been recognised and investigated. Antioxidant nutrients include ‘non-essential’ phytochemicals (e.g. flavonoids) as well as ‘essential’ nutrients (e.g. vitamins C, E). Several plant-rich sources of flavonoids, such as fruits and vegetables, tea, red wine, cocoa and olive oil, have been associated with lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, although the exact mechanisms for their protective effects is still not clear. Research has shown that ALEs are rich in various flavonoids.

Globe artichokes have been used traditionally in Europe to improve digestive and urinary tract health. Artichoke leaf extracts (ALEs) are currently used in Germany and Switzerland as a remedy for indigestion, and are available in the UK as over-the-counter food supplements. Various studies have provided an evidence base for their use in conditions such as dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome.

Dr Rafe Bundy said “Reducing cholesterol levels can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Our research investigated whether ALE could be beneficial to otherwise healthy people who had raised levels of cholesterol but were not yet at a stage where they needed standard medical intervention. ALE may provide another option which people could try over and above a healthy diet in order to help lower plasma cholesterol.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Reading. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bundy R., et al. Artichoke leaf extract (Cynara scolymus) reduces plasma cholesterol in otherwise healthy hypercholesterolemic adults: a randomised double-blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine, DOI: 10.1016/j.phymed.2008.03.001

Cite This Page:

University of Reading. "Artichoke Leaf Extract Lowers Cholesterol." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080702170607.htm>.
University of Reading. (2008, July 7). Artichoke Leaf Extract Lowers Cholesterol. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080702170607.htm
University of Reading. "Artichoke Leaf Extract Lowers Cholesterol." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080702170607.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins