Research Findings, Health Benefits and Side Effects
About Artichoke [A]
The artichoke was first developed in Sicily and was known to both the Greek and the Romans. In 77 AD the Roman
naturalist Pliny called the choke one of earth's monstrosities, but many continued to eat them. Historical accounts show
that wealthy Romans enjoyed artichokes prepared in honey and vinegar, seasoned with cumin, so that this treat would
be available year round.
It was not until the early twentieth cntury that artichokes were grown in the United States. All artichokes commercially
grown in the United States are grown in California and Castroville, California, claims to be the "Artichoke Capital of the
World." California even has an Artichoke Queen-the most famous queen was Marilyn Monroe in 1947. She inspired
more people to eat artichokes in that year reign than any year before or after.
Artichokes are actually a flower bud-if allowed to flower, blossoms measure up to seven inches in diameter and are a
violet-blue color. Artichokes are a close relative to the thistle.
High quality artichokes are usually compact and heavy for their size. Squeezed, a fresh artichoke will make a squeak.
The thickness of each stalk should correspond to the size of the artichoke. Thin stalks signal dehydration, so look for
stalks that are firm without 'give".
storage Artichokes remain fairly constant in appearance for weeks, but flavor is adversely affected from the moment
they are cut from the stalk. For maximum taste and tenderness, cook as soon as possible. Do not stock up on
artichokes. Refrigerate unwashed, in a plastic bag, for up to 1 week.
Preparation Artichokes should be washed under cold running water. Pull off the lower petals and cut the stems to one
inch or less. Cut the top quarter of each artichoke and snip off the sharp tips. Artichokes turn brown very quickly once
they are cut. To preserve the green color, one may dip in lemon water.
Artichokes can be boiled, steamed, mocrowaved or sauteed. They can be eaten whole or added to other dishes.
Micowave: cook 6-8 minutes or until a petal near the center pulls out easily. Boiling: Stand artichokes in a large pan with
3 quarts boiling water. Cover and boil gently 20-40 minutes according to size, or until the petal near the center pulls out
Small artichokes are good for pickling, stews, casseroles; medium size are good for salads and large size are good for
What does artichoke contain?
One serving size of artichoke is 56 g edible portion. One serving of artichoke contains 25 calories, 0 g of fat, 0 mg of
cholesterol, 70 mg of sodium, 3 g of dietary fiber, 16 g of sugars, and 2 g of protein. It is also a source of calcium, iron
and vitamins A, C. [A] Artichoke leaves was found to contain anti-hyperlipidemic sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpene
glycosides..cynarin, 1,3 dicaffeoylquinic acid, 3-caffeoylquinic acid, and scolymoside [1, 10]. These phenolic
compounds are reported to have antimicrobial activties. 
Artichoke flowers contain a Milk-Clotting Aspartic Proteinase. A study of proteinase expression in crude extracts from
different organs of the globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) disclosed that enzymes with proteolytic and milk-clotting
activity are mainly located in mature flowers. Maximum proteolytic activity is at pH 5.0, and only pepstatin presents a
significant inhibitory effect. Such properties suggest that this crude protease extract is potentially useful for cheese
Artichoke is found in South Europe, North Africa, and the Canary Islands. Ancient Greeks and Romans used artichoke
as a digestive aid. It may have health benefits on high cholesterol and indigestion.
What are the benefits of artichoke?
Researcher also discovered its bile stimulating action and ability to reduce nausea, abdominal pain, constipation and
flatulence (related to non-specific digestive disorders) [2,3]. This finding led to the popular use of its extract to treat mild
indigestion in Europe.
Artichoke pomace is a promising source of phenolic compounds that might be recovered and used as natural
antioxidants or functional food ingredients. 
A study has shown the possible benefits of artichoke on high cholesterol and triglycerides . Artichoke juice has been
shown to improve endothelial function in hyperlipemia.  Its lipid lowering effects may be related to the inhibition of
cholesterol synthesis and/or its bile stimulating action (i.e. elimination of cholesterol) . In a vitro study, its flavonoids
have been shown to prevent LDL-cholesterol oxidation . However, a clinical study has failed to find any related
Artichoke leaf extract has been to shown to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.  Gebhardt R. found that
the extracts of artichoke (Cynara scolymus) leaves might be able to prevent taurolithocholate-induced hepatic bile
canalicular distortions  In addition, a study has demonstrated that an artichoke leaf extract induced Choleretic
activity and biliary elimination of lipids and bile acids in rats 
Other research studies showed that it may have benefits possibly on functional dyspepsia , irritable bowel
syndrome, atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction .
Artichole Side Effects
Ingestion of artichoke may cause acute enlargement (edema) of tongue. 
[A] 5 A Day: Vegetable of the Month: Artichoke Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Online Publication, January
2006. 1.Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed.
New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 42 2. Kirchoff R et al. Phytomedicine 1994;1:10715. 3. Fintelmann V. Zeitschrift fur
Allgemeinmed 1996;72(Suppl 2):319 4. Englisch W, Beckers C, Unkauf M, et al. Arzneimittelforschung 2000;50:2605. 5.
Gebhardt R. Zeitschrift fur Allgemeinmed 1996;72:203. 6. Brown JE, Rice-Evans CA. Free Radical Research
1998;29:24755. 7. Heckers H et al. Atherosclerosis 1977;26:24953. Llorente BE, Brutti CB, J Agric Food Chem. 2004
Dec 29;52(26):8182-9.] Lupattelli G, Marchesi S, Lombardini R, Roscini AR, Trinca F, Gemelli F, Vaudo G,
Mannarino E, Life Sci. 2004 Dec 31;76(7):775-82]. Shimoda et al, Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2003 Jan 20;13(2):223-8]
 Zhu X, Zhang H, Lo R, J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Dec 1;52(24):7272-8]12 Artichoke leaf extract reduces symptoms
of irritable bowel syndrome and improves quality of life in otherwise healthy volunteers suffering from concomitant
dyspepsia: a subset analysis [Bundy R, Walker AF, Middleton RW, Marakis G, Booth JC, J Altern Complement Med.
2004 Aug;10(4):667-9]. Grande S et al suggested suggest that regular intake of bioactive compounds from
Mediterranean wild plants contributes to maintenance of proper vasomotion and to the low incidence of atherosclerosis
and endothelial dysfunction recorded in the Mediterranean area [Grande S et al, J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Aug
11;52(16):5021-6]. Schutz K et al [J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jun 30;52(13):4090-6]. Wang M et al also have a
similar report [Wang M et al, J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Jan 29;51(3):601-8]. Zapolska-Downar D et al reported artichoke
antioidative stress in 2002. [Zapolska-Downar D et al, Life Sci. 2002 Nov 1;71(24):2897-08]. Holtmann G et al
suggested the application of artichoke leaf extract in the treatment of patients with functional dyspepsia (from aa
six-week placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre trial). Holtmann G et al [Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003
Dec;18(11-12):1099-105]. Marakis G has a similar report. [Phytomedicine. 2002 Dec;9(8):694-9].  Gadban H,
Gilbey P, Talmon Y, Samet A, Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2003 Jul;112(7):651-3]. Saenz Rodriguez T et al,
Phytomedicine. 2002 Dec;9(8):687-93]  [Planta Med. 2002 Sep;68(9):776-9].
|Artichoke is found in South Europe, North Africa, and the Canary Islands. Ancient Greeks
and Romans used artichoke as a digestive aid. It may have health benefits on high
cholesterol and indigestion.
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