Thursday, 21 March 2019

Herbal Artichoke, the Best Hepatoprotecitve Functional Remedy, According to Studies

By Kyle J. Norton

The hepatoprotective or liver protective effect is an action that maintains the liver healthy functioning against any harmful toxins.

The liver is the largest internal organ in the human body and the only organ which can regenerate itself. The liver is the first line of the bodily toxin defense by filtering the blood come from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body.

Furthermore, the liver also processes a function of detoxifying chemicals and metabolizes drugs.

Symptoms of liver diseases include jaundice, abdominal pain, and swelling,  swelling in the legs and ankles,  itchy skin,  dark urine, and pale stool color, and tendency to bruise easily.

If you experience some of the above symptoms, please make sure that you check with your doctor to rule out the possibility of liver diseases.

Most cases of liver disease are associated with hepatitis viral infection and autoimmune diseases. However, excessive alcohol drinking has been found to induce alcoholic liver disease in many parts of Asia and America.

Dr. Suthat Liangpunsakul, the lead scientist, in the comparison of alcoholic disease in different regions wrote, "Alcoholic liver diseases (ALD) comprise a spectrum of clinical disorders and changes in liver tissue that can be detected by pathology analysis. These range from steatosis to more severe signs and symptoms of liver disease associated with inflammation, such as those observed in patients with alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis".

And, " Inter-individual differences in susceptibility to the toxic effects of alcohol have been extensively studied—they include a pattern of alcohol consumption, sex, environmental factors (such as diet), and genetic factors, which vary widely among different parts of the world. ALD is becoming more common in many parts of Asia but is decreasing in Western Europe".

The results clearly and strongly suggested that reducing intake alcohol and following a healthy diet pattern is the best way to decrease the risk of liver diseases, including the ALD.

Artichoke is a perennial thistle of Cynara cardunculus species of the Cynara genus, belonging to the family Carduoideae native to Southern Europe around the Mediterranean.

The herbal plant has been used in traditional medicine as a liver protective and detox agent, and to treat digestive disorders, abdominal pain gas and bloating, etc.

Scientists on finding a natural ingredient which processes liver protective effect evaluated the preventive effects of ethanolic extract from artichoke against acute alcohol-induced liver injury in mice.

Selected male mice were treated with an ethanolic extract of artichoke (0.4, 0.8, and 1.6 g/kg body weight) by gavage once daily before administrated up to 40% alcohol (12 mL/kg body weight) orally 1 h after artichoke treatment for 10 consecutive days.

Injection of artichoke extract not only significantly prevented elevated levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, the liver oxidative stress markers but also reduced the levels of triglyceride, total cholesterol.

Artichoke treatment mice also restored the levels of antioxidant enzymes which were reduced by the injection of alcohol.

According to the immunohistochemical analysis, artichoke also suppressed the levels of toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 which plays a critical role in the production of several pro-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-bacterial cytokines and protein, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) associated with liver cells apoptosis in liver tissues.

The results indicated a liver protective activity in artichoke was attributed to the inhibition of the proinflammatory proteins in acute alcohol-induced liver injury mice.

In order to reveal more information about the liver protective effect of artichoke, researchers examined the herbal medicine against liver fibrosis, the main pathology of schistosomiasis and its complications are the major cause of death in infected cases.

Mice selected to the study infected with Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) were divided into 5 groups. The first three groups were given artichoke leaf extract (ALE), ALE + praziquantel (PZQ) and PZQ respectively. The 4th was a positive control and the 5th was the negative control group.and were compared to PZQ.

Injection of ALE and ALE + praziquantel (PZQ) caused significant reduction of granuloma diameter, improvement of liver functions and liver fibrosis.

Furthermore, ALE induced statistically significant changes in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) distribution.

Moreover, ALE also reduced granuloma size by increasing HSCs recruitment inside granuloma and limited liver fibrosis by their inhibition in the peri- and inter-granuloma liver tissue.

Unfortunately, although, the herbal extract exerted a strong liver protective activity, it but failed to treat S. mansoni infection.

Taken altogether, artichoke may be considered a functional remedy for the prevention and treatment of liver disease, pending to the confirmation of large sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

Liver protective effects
(1) Protective Effects of Ethanolic Extracts from Artichoke, an Edible Herbal Medicine, against Acute Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury in Mice by Tang X1, Wei R2, Deng A3, Lei T. (PubMed)
(2) Artichoke leaf extract protects liver of Schistosoma mansoni infected mice through modulation of hepatic stellate cells recruitment by Sharaf El-Deen SA1, Brakat RM2, Mohamed ASED. (PubMed)
(3) [Artichoke--untapped potential of herbal medicine in the treatment of atherosclerosis and liver diseases].[Article in Polish] by Horoszkiewicz M1, Kulza M, Malinowska K, Woźniak A, Seńczuk-Przybyłowska M, Wachowiak A, Florek E.(PubMed)
(4) Alcoholic Liver Disease in Asia, Europe, and North America by Suthat Liangpunsakul, Paul Haber, and Geoff McCaughan. (PMC)

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