Artichoke leaf extract Cynara scolymnus Cynarin
WHAT IS IT?
Artichoke Leaf Extract is an herbal remedy made from the lower leaves of the artichoke plant (Cynara scolymnus,) a member of the thistle part of the compositae family. It contains 15% caffeoylquinic acids (European extracts, e.g. Hepar SL Forte, typically contain only 3%.)
WHAT DOES IT DO?
Artichoke Leaf Extract has several interrelated effects:
- It increases healthy bile excretion. Increasing bile flow lowers cholesterol and aids in removing toxins from the liver. The excreted bile in the intestines emulsified fats improving the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
- It inhibits cholesterol synthesis by indirect inhibition of the enzyme HMGCoA-reductase. Direct inhibition is the method of the "statin" drugs like Mevacor?. Those drugs have side effects which Artichoke Leaf Extract does not. One study showed an average 11.5% reduction in cholesterol and a 12.5% reduction in triglycerides. HDL showed a tendency to increase. Interestingly, the higher the cholesterol level, the more effective it was. It also inhibits the oxidization of LDL cholesterol.
- It prevents fat infiltration into the liver.
- Like its cousin the Milk Thistle, it protects the liver against toxins such as carbon tetrachloride and alcohol. Also like Milk Thistle, it regenerates damaged liver cells.