Artichoke Leaf Extract – Artichoke (also known by the scientific name Cynara Scolymus) has a long history of use as a medication, but its properties in weight loss have only recently been discovered. Artichoke extract has become very popular on the market because of its effects on reducing appetite. Hence, there are numerous supplements available at health stores that claim to have high efficiency.
This is due to some chemical components that the plant contains. Along with altering taste, artichokes can also decrease the craving for some foods, and make them less desirable during meals, leading to weight loss.
Cynarin and chlorogenic acid are the main components found in artichokes, that inhibit taste buds. This process can be reversed by drinking water or milk that causes the normal taste sensations to return. Artichoke is also used as a tonic of the gastrointestinal tract, having positive effects on the liver and stomach. So the weight loss process is rather safe, because the stomach and liver are not only protected, but can even benefit from the effects of artichoke.
Not everyone is sensitive to the artichoke effect, but those who are will not be able to tell the real taste of some foods after consuming artichoke.
This particular effect has been exploited by pharmaceutical companies that now offer purified artichoke extracts that mainly contain the substances that can cause a biological response and less ballast substances. Purified extracts ensure an increased efficiency in appetite reduction and weight loss.
The extracts contain as active compounds, caffeoylquinic acids or cynarin, which can be found in the highest concentrations in artichoke leaves and heart. These active substances work in:
- Preventing the buildup of fat and toxins in the body mainly concentrated in the liver
- Reducing the formation of gallstones during the process of weight loss
- Promoting an increase in the beneficial bacteria that can be found in the intestines
- Increasing bile secretion, thus acting like a laxative
How can artichoke leaf extract work to attain weight loss?
The efficiency of artichoke or artichoke leaf extract is arguable, and this may be because of the fact that not everyone is susceptible to this effect. It is believed that the sensibility to artichoke has genetic causes, so these people will notice that other foods and drinks may have a very powerful yet sweet taste after eating artichoke or an unpleasant one for others. Hence, artichoke can be used to your advantage because by changing the way you perceive tastes you can make several changes in your diet. Artichoke leaf extract has many mechanisms of reducing the appetite and this way helps the body regulate its weight.
This was scientifically proven during a randomized double-blind clinical trial which showed that artichoke leaf extract combined with kidney bean extract reduces appetite and can cause weight loss. Out of the 39 people who participated in this study, all those who were given artichoke extract had experienced a decrease in their appetite.
Even though weight loss can be caused by modifying the way the taste buds respond to certain aliments, there are also other processes that are caused by administration of purified extracts.
Another property that increases the efficiency of the artichoke leaf extract is a decrease in the lipid peroxidation process in your body due to its antioxidant properties. Usually people who suffer from obesity have an increased lipid peroxidation, probably caused by the oxidative stress at the cell level.
Artichoke contains antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress and also neutralize the free radicals present in your body. Oxidative stress is commonly caused by the ingestion of high caloric foods that increase the amount of fat and blood sugar.
Along with all these effects that can slowly reduce your body weight, a faster way of weight loss is due to the laxative and diuretic properties.
In most cases of overweight people that have been taking artichoke leaf extract, it was proven that the process usually begins with a moderate weight loss that is caused by the laxative properties. You may find that once you have started taking this extract you will lose a moderate number of pounds initially, and then the process will continue at a faster level.
Your appetite will slowly decrease, and you may find that you will no longer feel attracted to certain types of food that you used to consume because their taste might be altered by the artichoke.
In time, cholesterol and triglycerides levels will reduce, and you will reach a normal appetite that will allow you to lose several pounds and have a normal weight.
Still, you should consider the possibility that the artichoke leaf extract may not be the right weight loss option for you. If you do not see any changes during a month of taking the extract, or your appetite level does not change, then it probably will not work for you.
The artichoke extract can be found in various forms in the pharmaceutical market: as a tea, as pills, or as diet drinks.
Any form of artichoke extract can be a helpful way to lose or maintain your weight. Combining the artichoke extract with some other weight loss method can help you lose more weight, faster.
After you start using the extract, you should make sure to drink enough water to stay hydrated, and try to readjust your diet accordingly.
Artichoke leaf extract is not recommended to people who suffer from gallstones, because the active ingredients the extract contains have a choleretic effect, which means they will stimulate the formation of bile, and could lead to dangerous side effects. It can also lead to gallbladder blockage, so if you have these types of health issues you should consult your doctor to better understand if it would be beneficial for you to pursue this treatment.
If it proves to be a good choice for you, artichoke leaf extract can have impressive results in weight loss and is also safe to use as long as you remember to have regular meals and do not abuse the method.