Is the artichoke an effective natural remedy for diabetes?

Far from just being a popular edible plant, the artichoke has also been utilized as a medicinal plant throughout the centuries by numerous cultures. A study published in the Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences investigated the plant’s effects on diabetes, as well as evaluate the nutritional profiles of the head and leaves.

  • First, the researcher obtained dry head and leaf samples from fresh artichokes. The samples were then tested to determine the nutritional compositions of the parts.
  • The evaluations revealed that artichoke heads contain more crude protein (17.85 percent) but less fiber (29.61 percent) than the leaves (9.54 percent and 32.41 percent, respectively). Additionally, the head also had a higher number of free total phenolic compounds (14.16 mg/g dry weight) and free total flavonoids (9.95 mg/g dry weight).
  • Following these tests, the researcher moved on to experiments using 48 rats divided into eight groups of six.
  • All animals were fed a basal diet for a week. Afterward, seven of the eight groups were injected with streptozotocin to induce diabetes and hypercholesterolemia.
  • The first group continued the basal diet without any changes. For four weeks, the six remaining groups were given 200, 400 and 600 mg/kg body weight rat (b.wt) doses of artichoke leaf or head extract.
  • Blood samples collected from the animals showed that the 600 b.wt leaf and head extracts had the most effects, as they significantly reduced serum total lipids, serum total cholesterol, and triglycerides.
  • Artichoke head was noted as being particularly effective in decreasing lipid parameters and serum glucose, primarily due to having higher levels of antioxidants compared to the leaves.

Thus, the researcher concluded that artichokes can benefit people suffering from diabetes and/or heart disease by reducing blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and inflammation.

The complete study can be read at this link.

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Journal Reference:

Al-Subhi, Fizah Mosaed Mohamad. ARTICHOKE AS A TOOL TO NATURAL ANTIOXIDANTS FOR LOWERING DIABETICS AND HYPOLIPIDEMIA PARAMETERS. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences. 2017; 11(1), 46-54.[PDF]

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