Artichokes are a good food to eat for overall good health. They are good for high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, anemia, for pregnant women and for baby development during pregnancy, and for weight loss. Nutritionally dense, but low in calories and fat, they make a good food to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you want to lose weight. But have you considered artichoke leaf extract for weight loss? Artichoke leaf extract is full of bioactive phytochemicals with scientifically proven anti-obesity, hypolipidemic and blood sugar lowering properties, and concentrates the weight loss promoting benefits of the vegetable.
What is artichoke leaf extract?
Artichoke leaf extract is a concentrated dietary supplement. Just as the name indicates, it is made from artichoke leaves typically from the globe artichoke, known by its scientific name as Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus. Artichoke leaf extract may contain components from other plant parts as well, including receptacle, stems and flowering heads, which should be mentioned on the label. Because it is an extract, it contains a higher concentration of biologically active components from artichoke leaves, or bracts, and possibly other plant parts. Bioactive components in the extract may include luteolin, cynarin, silymarin, chlorogenic acid, apigenin-7-rutinoside, narirutin and inulin.
Artichoke leaf extract for weight loss
The benefits of artichoke leaf extract for weight loss come in the form of metabolic management in overweight individuals, with scientifically proven hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects. Additionally, artichoke leaf extract has been observed to help with weight management in overweight individuals via improved appetite control and reduced hunger.
Benefits for metabolic management
Metabolic syndrome is an association of medical conditions such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and weight gain with higher than recommended body fat as revealed by BMI (body mass index) calculations, often with central obesity. Metabolic syndrome indicates a state of pre-diabetes and is a predecessor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
A human study performed on 55 subjects showed an artichoke extract from Cynara scolymus was effective in reducing glycometabolic parameters. The subjects had impaired fasting glucose, that is, higher than normal blood sugar levels during fasting, and were overweight. Supplementation with the artichoke extract contributed to decreased fasting blood glucose (reduced by 9.6%), Homeostatic Metabolic Assessment, a marker of insulin resistance (reduced by 11.7%), glycosylated haemoglobin or hemoglobin to which glucose is bound which is an assessment of glycemic control (reduced by 2.3%), A1c-Derived Average Glucose, or ADAG (reduced by 3.1%) and pattern of blood lipids (fats). By contributing to the management of metabolic parameters, artichoke extract contributes to weight management and supports weight loss.
Benefits for appetite control
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was performed in 39 overweight subjects (20 supplemented group, 19 placebo group) for 2 months. Dietary supplementation with an extract from Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean) and Cynara scolymus (artichoke) was shown to decrease body mass index, blood sugar and blood cholesterol and other lipids, as well as reduce hunger and improve appetite control, indicating benefits for weight loss and weight management, and blood sugar control.
Lower post-meal blood sugar levels
It’s normal for blood sugar to rise after a meal, but in overweight and obese individuals it causes a state of hyperglycemia, or blood sugar levels that are too high. An animal study showed a purified extract of artichoke (Cynara scolymus) flowering heads decreases post-prandial glycemia in obese rats, confirming similar observations made in humans.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease characterized by abnormally high blood sugar levels, blood lipid levels (LDL cholesterol, triglycerides) and linked to excess body fat and obesity. Numerous studies have identified artichoke and artichoke leaf extract as an anti-diabetic agent with proven hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects (source 1, source 2) showing a reduction in fasting blood glucose levels, post-meal blood glucose and markers of insulin resistance, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as an improvement in markers of glycemic control and HDL cholesterol.
Extensive research shows gut flora has a direct and meaningful impact on weight and certain populations of gut flora contribute to better weight management and a healthier weight, reducing risks of metabolic syndrome and associated high blood sugar, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels. Artichoke has scientifically proven bifidogenic effects owed to dietary fiber such as inulin. Studies show numbers of faecal bifidobacteria and lactobacilli were significantly higher upon ingestion of very-long-chain inulin (VLCI) from globe artichoke (source). Find out more about the benefits of artichoke leaf extract.
Despite artichoke leaf extract having scientifically proven benefits for weight loss, supplementation with it does not exempt you from mindful, clean eating in accordance to your nutritional needs, or exercise. While artichoke leaf extract is an adjuvant, supporting your weight loss journey, that does not mean it can counteract the effects of a poor diet or a sedentary lifestyle and reverse years of bad eating. You are still accountable for what you eat, how much you eat and whether or not you exercise.
This post was updated on Friday / October 30th, 2020 at 12:16 AM