A systematic review and meta-analysis found evidence that artichoke supplementation significantly reduced liver enzymes. These findings were published in The International Journal of Clinical Practice.

Researchers from the School of Nutrition and Food Science in Iran searched publication databases up to June of 2021 for clinical trials studying the effect of artichoke supplementation on liver enzymes. A total of 8 trials consisting of 622 individuals were included.

Studies were conducted in Iran (n=5), Italy (n=1), France (n=1), and Germany (n=1). The study populations had hypercholesterolemia (n=3), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD; n=2), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (n=1), hypertension (n=1), and type 2 diabetes (n=1). The forms of supplementation were dry extracts from the artichoke, extracts from the artichoke or leaves, and leaf juices; doses ranged from 100 to 2700 mg/day.


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All but 2 studies reported significant reductions in aspartate aminotransferase (AST). The pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) on AST was -1.20 (95% CI, -1.91 to -0.48; P =.001) with significant study heterogeneity (I2, 92.8%; P <.001). Stratified into subgroups, a significant effect was observed among patients with NAFLD (SMD, -1.61; 95% CI, -1.91 to -0.48; P =.003) but not among other groups.

For alanine transaminase (ALT), 5 of the 8 studies reported significant reductions with artichoke supplementation, with a significant pooled effect (SMD, -0.55; 95% CI, -1.00 to -0.10; P =.016) and significant study heterogeneity (I2, 84.0%; P <.001). Stratified into subgroups, there remained a significant effect among individuals who had obesity (SMD, -0.72; 95% CI, -1.15 to -0.28; P =.025) or had NAFLD (SMD, -0.97; 95% CI, -1.62 to -0.32; P <.001).

This study was limited by its low power, in which the investigators were unable to assess for differences on the basis of extract source or dosage.

These data suggested that supplementing diets with artichoke extracts may effectively reduce AST and ALT, especially among patients with NAFLD. These findings should be confirmed in a larger trial.

Reference

Moradi S, Shokri-Mashhadi N, Saraf-Bank S, et al. The effects of Cynara scolymus L. supplementation on liver enzymes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Clin Pract. 2021;75(11):e14726. doi:10.1111/ijcp.14726