ARTICHOKES
"One large artichoke contains only 25 calories, no fat, 170 milligrams of potassium, and is a good source of vitamin C, folate, magnesium and dietary fiber" Artichokes originated in the Nile and now are grown in California. "Studies show that Artichoke reduces blood levels of both cholesterol and triglycerides. It also appears to improve liver function by increasing bile production and prevent the formation of gall stones. It may be useful in the treatment of atherosclerosis." The same webpage issues the precaution it "Artichoke is generally regarded as non-toxic. It should be used with caution in cases of biliary obstruction. It has been reported that Artichoke may hinder lactation.""Artichokes contain 'cynarin' and 'scolymoside' which have been shown to stimulate bile production and secretion. This supports the traditional use of Artichoke for creating support for sluggish livers and digestive irregularities. 'Cynarin' creates support for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Artichokes also possess some diuretic activity, helping with kidney disease and protein in the urine.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jun;86(2-3):203-11. : Efficacy of different Cynara scolymus preparations on liver complaints.
Speroni E, Cervellati R, Govoni P, Guizzardi S, Renzulli C, Guerra MC.
Department of Pharmacology, University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 48, Italy.
esperoni@biocfarm.unibo.it

Cynara scolymus leaves extracts have long been used in folk medicine for their choleretic and hepatoprotective activities, that are often related to the cynarin content. These therapeutic properties are also attributed to mono- and di-caffeoylquinic acids and since commercial C. scolymus preparations can differ for their activities, we studied four extracts to evaluate, if present, a relationship between the hepatobiliary properties of the different preparations and their content in phenolics. The antioxidant activity of the commercial preparations examined was also considered in an in vitro system. The results showed that the extract with the highest content in phenolic derivatives (GAE) exerted the major effect on bile flow and liver protection. Also the results of the antioxidant capacity (BR) of the different preparations are in good agreement with the results obtained in vivo. On the contrary, administering rats with doses of chlorogenic acid, equivalent to those present in this extract, we did not observe any choleretic or protective action. An histopathological analysis of liver sections confirmed the biochemical results. Perhaps caffeoyl derivatives have a role in the therapeutic properties of C. scolymus extracts, as reported in literature for "in vitro" studies, but when administered alone, they are not so effective in exerting this action.
Free Radic Res. 2000 Nov;33(5):661-5. : Activity of artichoke leaf extract on reactive oxygen species in human leukocytes.
Perez-Garcia F, Adzet T, Canigueral S.
Untitat de Farmacologia i Farmacognosia, Facultat de Farmacia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.

Artichoke leaf extract was studied in human leukocytes for activity against oxidative stress using flow cytometry and dichlorofluorescin diacetate as a fluorescence probe. It produces a concentration-dependent inhibition of oxidative stress when cells are stimulated with agents that generate reactive oxygen species (ROS): hydrogen peroxide, phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA), and N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP). Cynarin, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and luteolin, constituents of artichoke leaf extract, also show a concentration-dependent inhibitory activity in the above models, contributing to the antioxidant activity of the extract in human neutrophils
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1998 Sep;286(3):1122-8. : Inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis in primary cultured rat hepatocytes by artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) extracts.
Gebhardt R.
Physiologisch-chemisches Institut der Universitat, D-72076 Tubingen, Germany.

High-dose aqueous extracts from artichoke leaves were found to inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis from 14C-acetate in primary cultured rat hepatocytes in a concentration-dependent biphasic manner with moderate inhibition (approximately 20%) between 0.007 and 0.1 mg/ml and more strong inhibition at 1 mg/ml. Cytotoxic effects detected by lactate dehydrogenase leakage and the 3-[4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-dephenyl tetrazolium bromide-assay were restricted to higher concentrations. Replacement of 14C-acetate by 14C-mevalonate largely omitted the inhibiting effect of artichoke extracts indicating an inhibition at the level of hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA-reductase. However, no direct inhibition of this enzyme could be detected and no other enzymic steps later in the biosynthetic pathway for cholesterol seemed to be affected. Instead, inhibition was found to occur in a time-dependent manner, to last for several hours even after washing out the extracts by fresh medium and to be fully reversible within 20 hr after removal of the extracts. In addition, the stimulation of HMGCoA-reductase activity by insulin was efficiently blocked by the extracts, although other insulin-dependent phenomena, such as increased lactate production, were not influenced. These results suggest an indirect modulation of hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA-reductase activity as the most likely inhibitory mechanism of the artichoke extracts. Screening of several known constituents of artichoke extracts revealed that cynaroside and particularly its aglycone luteolin were mainly responsible for inhibition, whereas chlorogenic acid was much less effective and caffeic acid, cynarin and other dicaffeoylquinic acids were without significant influence. Indeed, luteolin also efficiently blocked the insulin effect on cholesterol biosynthesis. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that artichoke extracts may inhibit hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis in an indirect but efficient manner and, thus, may contribute via this action to the recently confirmed hypolipidemic influence of this phytopharmacon in man. " J Food Prot. 2003 Nov;66(11):2171-5. : Jerusalem artichokes stimulate growth of broiler chickens and protect them against endotoxins and potential cecal pathogens.
Kleessen B, Elsayed NA, Loehren U, Schroedl W, Krueger M.
Institute of Bacteriology and Mycology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 29, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.
b.kleessen@gmx.de

Control of intestinal pathogens during the earliest phases of broiler production may be the best strategy for the reduction of human pathogens on processed broiler carcasses. The recent ban on antibiotics in poultry feed has served to focus much attention on alternative methods of controlling the gastrointestinal microflora. A field trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of the fructan-rich Jerusalem artichoke, or topinambur (administered as 0.5% topinambur syrup in drinking water), on cultural numbers of selected cecal bacteria (total aerobes, Enterobacteriaceae, Bdellovibrio spp., and Clostridium perfringens) and levels of bacterial endotoxins as well as on body weights and relative weights of organs (the pancreas and the bursa of Fabricius) of chickens in the first 35 days of life (with weekly investigations being conducted). One-day-old broiler chickens (Ross 308) were randomly assigned to experimental (with topinambur) and control (without topinambur) groups. They were allowed free access to a standard broiler diet without growth-promoting antibiotics. Topinambur treatment resulted in a significant increase (P < 0.01) in cecal counts of B. bacteriovorus, which parasitizes susceptible gram-negative pathogens. Topinambur led to significantly smaller numbers of total aerobes, Enterobacteriaceae, and C. perfringens as well as to reduced levels of endotoxins in the blood compared with those for control birds. Increased body weights resulting from topinambur consumption were observed on day 35 of the trial period (P < 0.05). The relative weights of the pancreas and the bursa of Fabricius, however, were higher (P < 0.05) for topinambur-treated broilers than for control birds at the ages of 14, 21, 28, and 35 days. These results indicate that a small amount of topinambur in broilers' drinking water has a beneficial effect on growth performance, reduces bacterial endotoxin levels, and suppresses potential pathogens in broilers' ceca.
Topinambur-Syrup Jerusalem artichoke / Helianthus tuberosus
Vopr Pitan. 1997;(6):34-6. : [Topinambur concentrate in the treatment of patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus]
[Article in Russian]
Zhuk EA, Zelenkov VN.

The authors studied activity of home nutricevtic concentrate of topinambur in patients with different clinical forms of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Concentrate of topinambur promoted normal carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, increased ferrum level in serum, had immunomodulating activity. Nutricevtic was the most effective one in patients with not long duration of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
UNESCO Cour. 1979 Jul;7:8-16. : Medicine's green revolution.
Pelt JM.

PIP: There is a resurgence of interest in exploring the therapeutic value of medicinal plants. Throughout time, man has discovered, by trial and error, the efficacy of various plants in alleviating human afflictions. Many of the plants discovered by primitive medicine men have been investigated by western trained medical personnel and found to be effective. These modern medical investigators were initially interested in extracting the active ingredients from these plants, but eventually they learned to artifically reproduce these active substances in the laboratory. Modern medicine gradually became more and more divorced from the natural plant world. Recently investigators have returned to the study of the plants themselves and are discovering that the use of the plants in treating illness may be more beneficial than the use of extracted or synthetic ingredients used in isolation. For example, it was observed that artichokes improve liver function. At first this beneficial effectiveness was attributed to a single substance in the artichoke. Other ingredients found in artichokes when used in isolation did not affect liver function; however, when a number of these ingredients were used in combination, the beneficial effect was enhanced.
Vopr Pitan. 1995;(3):24-7. : [Use of Jerusalem artichokes in diet therapy of patients with type II diabetes mellitus]
[Article in Russian]
Meshcheriakova VA, Plotnikova OA, Sharafetdinov KhKh, Iatsyshina TA.

The purpose of present study was to evaluate the therapeutic and preventive actions of topinambur included in controlled diet for patients with II type diabetes. 35 patients aged 46-58 years suffering diabetes mellitus during 3-10 years have been under study. All patients receiving the diet N9 were randomly divided on two groups with (experimental group) and without (control group) consumption of topinambur. The mashed topinambur (100 g/day for second breakfast) and cookies with topinambur (50 g/day) were used in experimental diet during 4 weeks. It was shown that experimental diet containing topinambur caused slight increasing of postprandial hyperglycemia. In patients eating experimental diet with reduced caloric contents an increasing of serum blood triglyceride level was observed. The results do not give background to recommend topinambur in dietary treatment of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
J Environ Sci Health B. 1991 Jun;26(3):323-32. Related Articles, Links Disappearance of bromopropylate residues in artichokes, strawberries and beans. Barba A, Camara MA, Navarro Garcia S, Sanchez-Fresneda C, Lopez de Hierro N, Acebes A. Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Geology and Edaphology, Faculty of Science, University of Murcia, Spain.
Residues of Bromopropylate were determine in artichokes, strawberries and beans after foliar spray of acaricide at two rates. The rates used were 1 g/l formulated product (normal recommended) and 1.5 g/l. The residue levels of bromopropylate in the three crops after 14 days were lower than 0.7 ppm and did not exceed the Maximum Residual Level (MRL) recommended by FAO. In the artichokes and strawberries, the total concentration of residues decreased by 50% of the initial level after 2-3 days. Only trace levels of the bromopropylate residues (less than 0.01 ppm) were detected in the "hearts" of the artichokes. Bromopropylate residues in the green beans were also less than 0.8 ppm after the first day of foliar spraying. The kinetic of degradation occurred in two different steps. In the first step (4-6 days) the dissipation of bromopropylate was faster whereas in the second step (7-14 days) the loss of residues was much slower
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1994 Nov;129(1):155-62. : Bromopropylate: induction of hepatic cytochromes P450 and absence of covalent binding to DNA in mouse liver.
Thomas H, Sagelsdorff P, Molitor E, Skripsky T, Waechter F.
Ciba Crop Protection, Basel, Switzerland.

Oral administration of benzilic acid ester-based acaricide bromopropylate at daily doses of 3, 15, 100, and 300 mg/kg body wt to young adult male Tif:MAGf mice for 14 days caused slightly increased liver weights in the high-dose group. A dose-dependent increase of the microsomal cytochrome P450 content was accompanied by elevated ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase, ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase, pentoxyresorufin O-depentylase, and total testosterone hydroxylase activities. When compared with mice treated in parallel with the model compounds for hepatic xenobiotic metabolizing enzyme induction, phenobarbitone, and 3-methylcholanthrene, the enzyme activity changes observed with bromopropylate largely equalled those expressed in phenobarbitone-treated mice. Immunochemical studies with monoclonal antibodies against rat liver cytochrome P450 isoenzymes of the gene families 1A, 2B, 3A, and 4A confirmed that bromopropylate is a phenobarbitone-type inducer in the mouse liver. Titration of liver microsomal suspensions with bromopropylate yielded Type I substrate binding spectra. The specific amplitude was increased 1.5-fold when microsomes from bromopropylate-treated mice (300 mg/kg body wt) were used instead of control microsomes, indicating the induction of cytochromes P450 catalyzing the oxidative metabolism of the test compound. Single oral administration of 300 mg/kg body wt [14C]bromopropylate to male mice, without or following pretreatment for 14 days with 300 mg/kg body wt unlabeled bromopropylate, gave no indication for DNA binding of the test compound in the liver. This excludes a genotoxic potential via covalent DNA modification. The results suggest that, in analogy to phenobarbitone, bromopropylate acts as a tumor promotor rather than a tumor initiator in the mouse liver.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Oct;52(4):675-81. : Fructans of Jerusalem artichokes: intestinal transport, absorption, fermentation, and influence on blood glucose, insulin, and C-peptide responses in healthy subjects.
Rumessen JJ, Bode S, Hamberg O, Gudmand-Hoyer E.

Department of Internal Medicine F, Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Fructans are naturally occurring plant oligosaccharides with sweetening properties. Fructans (FAs) isolated from Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus) were studied with respect to intestinal handling and influence on blood glucose (BG), insulin, and C-peptide responses in eight healthy subjects. The responses were compared with those for fructose ingestion. The effect of FAs added to a wheat-starch meal was also studied. Standardized breath-hydrogen excretion indicated that FAs were completely malabsorbed and, after a 20-g dose, traces of FA were detected in 24-h urine collections in one subject only. Orocecal transit times were longer for FAs than for lactulose and fructose. The BG and insulin increments were very low after FA ingestion, lower than after fructose ingestion, whereas hydrogen production was much higher. Areas under BG curves tended to be smaller when 10 g FA was added to a 50-g wheat-starch meal, but there was no apparent interference with starch absorption.