Artichoke Extract for Fatty Liver
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Artichoke has a long history of medicinal use to treat several health conditions especially liver and digestive issues. The traditional use of artichoke extract has been substantiated through modern research demonstrating the beneficial effects of artichoke extract on diverse health conditions including fatty liver, blood sugar regulation, and cholesterol metabolism.
Though artichoke has many different health benefits, here we’ll discuss only the uses and benefits of artichoke extract for fatty liver conditions. Let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is fatty liver?
- Types of fatty liver
- Signs and symptoms of fatty liver
- Causes of fatty liver
- Risk factors of developing a fatty liver
- What is an artichoke?
- Artichoke for fatty liver
- How to use artichoke
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is fatty liver?
Fatty liver is an umbrella term that refers to a wide spectrum of liver conditions characterized by too much fat building up in the liver cells.
Types of fatty liver
There’re 2 major types of fatty liver conditions:
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD – as the name implies, these liver conditions aren’t related to heavy alcohol use. NAFLD can be a simple fatty liver condition in which fat is stored in the liver but no or little inflammation of liver cells. Or, NAFLD can be nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in which inflammation and liver cell damages are found with fat deposition in the liver.
Alcoholic fatty liver disease or alcoholic steatohepatitis – alcoholic fatty liver conditions are related to heavy alcohol use and are generally quite severe with associated symptoms of liver cell damages and inflammation.
Signs and symptoms of fatty liver
Both nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease are generally silent with no or very few symptoms in the early stages.
Symptoms may include:
- Extensive fatigue
- Discomfort and/or pain in the upper right abdomen
Possible signs of severe fatty liver cases such as NASH or alcoholic steatohepatitis may include:
- Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
- Abdominal swelling (ascites)
- Enlarged spleen
- Enlarged blood vessels under the skin
- Red palms
Causes of fatty liver
Experts haven’t found any clear evidence yet of exactly why some people store fatty substances in their liver while others do not. Similarly, it’s also unclear why some fatty liver conditions develop inflammation and cause liver cell damage (fibrosis) that may lead to cirrhosis.
Nonalcoholic or alcoholic fatty liver conditions are linked with the following –
- Obesity or overweight
- Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar
- Insulin resistance
- High levels of bad fats, specifically triglycerides, in the blood
These conditions alone or combined may promote the accumulation of fat in the liver. For some people, this unwanted fat acts as a toxin overdose to liver cells and causes inflammation which may lead to developing scar tissue in the liver.
Risk factors of developing a fatty liver
A large number of health conditions and diseases may increase your risk of developing fatty liver including:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland
- Hypopituitarism or an underactive pituitary gland
- Obesity, especially when fat is deposited in the abdomen
- Hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol levels in the blood
- Hypertriglyceridemia or high amounts of triglyceride in the blood
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Sleep apnea
What is an Artichoke?
Artichoke, botanically known as Cynara scolymus, is a medicinal plant of the Asteraceae family. Though it’s cultivated as a vegetable, artichoke is typically a thistle, mainly growing in the Mediterranean countries.
Traditionally, artichoke has been used in the treatment of several ailments such as high blood pressure, indigestion, acid reflux, and various liver disorders like jaundice. Recent studies also suggest that this herb may help lower bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol levels in the blood.
Artichoke for fatty liver
Based on recent clinical investigations, artichoke extract has been revealed to be effective for cholesterol-reducing and hepatoprotective purposes. It has been found to inhibit the production of free radicals particularly reactive oxygen species such as lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, and the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins. In this regard, the use of artichoke extract can be promising to prevent and treat all types of fatty liver conditions including NASH.
Experts think that certain antioxidant compounds found in artichokes such as silymarin and cynarin are responsible for the benefits of artichoke extracts. Regular use of artichoke extract can help protect the liver from the accumulation of fat and help alleviate symptoms of fatty liver diseases.
How to use artichoke
Since there’re a number of variations of fatty liver conditions and their associated symptoms, the appropriate dose may vary depending on certain factors such as gender, age, medical history, and severity of the issue. It’s the best practice to consult with your healthcare professional to get personalized dose recommendations and other necessary advice.
Suggested doses of standardized artichoke extract may range from 200 mg to 1800 mg per day.
Precautions and side effects
Artichokes are possibly safe for most people. But it may produce allergic reactions in some people who are sensitive to plants like daisies, marigolds, and other similar species. If you experience any allergic response, immediately stop consuming artichokes and consult your doctor.
During studies, very rare and mild side effects have been noted that include flatulence, hunger, and weakness. Other possible adverse effects may include stomach upset and diarrhea.
The phytochemicals found in artichoke extract may play a key role in the detoxification and protection of the liver. Hence, it can be used as a therapeutic agent for preventing many different liver disorders including fatty liver, jaundice, hepatitis, or even cirrhosis.
But lifestyle and diet modification are essential to get the optimum benefits of artichokes. Artichoke works very well for the fatty liver when combined with other liver-supportive herbs such as milk thistle, turmeric, and black pepper.
You can check out Vorst’s special Liver Care Vegan Capsules that contain artichoke, milk thistle, turmeric, ashwagandha, and black pepper.
Vorst is a leading dietary supplement brand that assures 100% purity of natural ingredients with no chemical additives, gluten, yeasts, or dairy substances.
Disclaimer – This is an educational article, hence, cannot be considered as a medical guide. Always ask your doctor prior to using any part of this article.