Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Herbal Artichoke, the Potent Antioxidant

By Kyle J. Norton

Oxidative stress is a condition caused by the imbalance of the ratio of free radicals and antioxidant produced by the host, leading to lipid and protein damage and alternation of cell DNA.

Oxidative stress has been found to initiate the onset of chronic disease, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.

Free radicals are unstable atoms with an unpaired electron in the outer ring. Therefore, in order for them to become stable, free radicals are ready to steal or donate an electron from or to other atoms, leading to a chain reaction that can not be stopped until all electrons in the outer ring are paired or inhibited by antioxidants.

Overexpression of free radicals is bad. However, free radicals generated from cell metabolism may play a critical role in the synthesis of energy and essential molecules and boosting the immune system.

Antioxidants are stable atoms that inhibit oxidation.

In a healthy individual, antioxidant enzymes by the body are more than enough to accounter the expression of free radicals which bombard our body every day.

However, in less healthy people, intake of dietary antioxidants such as supplement or fruits rich with antioxidants may be the only option to improve levels of antioxidant in the body.

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 liver protective and detoxified agent, and to treat digestive disorders, abdominal pain gas and bloating, etc.

On finding a natural compound for the treatment of diseases associated with oxidative stress, researchers investigated artichoke antioxidant activity, compared to those of Ficus carica, and Morus nigra and their herbal mixture (CFM) in vitro, using CCl4 induced damage in HepG2 cells.

CFM at 1 mg/ml showed a 47.00% and 37.09% decline of aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase, the oxidative stress markers and an increase of the glutathione and superoxide dismutase 77.32% and 101.02%, the antioxidants produced by the host, comparable to CCl4 treated cells.

The antioxidant activity of fig and artichoke was attributed to the existence of different phenolic metabolites that act synergistically.

Dr. Youssef FS, the lead scientist said, "a herbal mixture composed of blackberry, artichoke, and fig could afford an excellent natural candidate to combat oxidative stress and counteract hepatic toxins owing to its phenolic compounds".

With an aim to reveal more information about the artichoke antioxidant effects, researcher launched a comprehensive evaluation of the Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) leaf and tuber extract. 

According to the results from the analysis, leaf extract exhibited a higher content of phenols and flavonoids comparing to tuber extracts (5.07 and 7.14 fold higher, respectively). 

Application of tuber extract at concentrations (25-500 μg·ml- 1) had a positive effect on fibroblast growth.

In the fibroblast cell line, tuber and leaf extracts increase the expression of the ROS SOD-1 inactivating enzyme gene associated with apoptotic signaling and cell death without affecting the levels of Nox-4 antioxidant activity.

Dr. Nizioł-Łukaszewska Z and colleagues, after taking into account co and confounders wrote, "Jerusalem artichoke leaves and tubers extracts affect the cell proliferation and can alter the expression of genes related to oxidative stress".

Taken altogether, artichoke may be considered a functional and herbal remedy for the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with overexpression of reactive oxygen species (ROS), pending to the confirmation of larger sample 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 Disilgold.com 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.

(1) Synergistic Hepatoprotective and Antioxidant Effect of Artichoke, Fig, Blackberry Herbal Mixture on HepG2 Cells and Their Metabolic Profiling Using NMR Coupled with Chemometrics by Youssef FS1, Labib RM1, Eldahshan OA1, Singab ANB. (PubMed)
(2) Antioxidant activity and cytotoxicity of Jerusalem artichoke tubers and leaves extract on HaCaT and BJ fibroblast cells by Nizioł-Łukaszewska Z1, Furman-Toczek D1, Zagórska-Dziok M. (PubMed)

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