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Artichoke Extract and its Health Benefits

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Artichoke extract is a term used to refer the plant extracts from Cynara Scolymus, the same as plant as the edible Artichoke commonly eaten as a vegetable in North America, Europe, and the Mediterranean.

Most people’s favorite part of the artichoke is the heart, but the leaves contain the vast majority of its health benefits.  In fact, artichoke leaf extract has shown to be an extremely beneficial food nutrient.

Artichoke extract it is a great source of Vitamins A, B, and C, along with key nutrients like fiber, Potassium, Magnesium, Chromium, Calcium, Zinc, and Iron. In addition, the vegetable contains a large amount of phytonutrients and antioxidants which can be beneficial to general health, heart function, and many other physiological processes.

Artichoke extract is one of the main ingredients of our flagship nootropic, CILTEP.

Artichoke extract has been associated with these potential health benefits :

Cholesterol Reducer

High cholesterol is often associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease.  Artichoke Extract contains polyphenols that may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

In a 12 week, double-blind study, 75 patients received placebo or 1,280 mg standardized artichoke leaf daily. At the end of the study the group who received the artichoke had a modest 4.2% reduction in total cholesterol. [1]

A different randomized, placebo-controlled, 6 week study examined the effect of artichoke leaf extract in patients with high cholesterol.

Using a dosage of 450 mg four times daily (1800 mg total) the participants were shown to have a 18.6% reduction in total cholesterol. [2]

Digestive Health

The high concentrations of phytonutrient cynarin in artichokes can contribute to digestive health.  Cynarin stimulates bile production, which enables fat digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins from food.

In a study conducted in the UK, 208 adults who suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and dyspepsia (upset stomach) were monitored over a two month period of treatment with artichoke leaf extract. The study was not double-blind but the results seem significant and noteworthy.

The results showed a 26.4 reduction in IBS and a 41% decrease in dyspepsia symptoms after treatment. [3]

Liver Support

The boost in bile production from the cynarin found in artichoke extract supports the liver by helping it remove dangerous toxins (including alcohol).  Artichokes also contain a flavonoid named silymarin, a powerful liver protectant.

Nootropic

By itself artichoke extract will not have a profound effect on your mental state.

However, when artichoke extract taken along side an herb named Forskolin the combination can yield significant nootropic effects including higher rates of synaptic generation between neurons, improved memory capacity, and increased ability to retain new information.

It contains luteolin, a phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) inhibitor. PDE4 is an enzyme that naturally breaks down cAMP, a messenger system required for cell communication.  Therefore inhibiting PDE4 increases cAMP activity in the brain.

When artichoke extract is taken with Forskolin (a cAMP increaser) it can induce Long Term Potentiation which is the process that your brain uses to learn new things and store memories. This combination of natural nutrients is the foundation of the powerful new nootropic supplement, CILTEP.

Sources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18424099
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10758778
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15353023

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