Artichoke Extract: A Boost For Mind And Body

Artichoke extract offers a range of benefits, from improving cognitive functions and digestive health to potentially helping with blood sugar and blood pressure regulation.
Artichoke Tea

Key Takeaways

Artichoke Extract Benefits

1. Mood Improvement

Artichoke Extract boosts mood by influencing dopamine levels in the brain by inhibiting PDE4 enzymes, potentially offering antipsychotic effects.

2. Blood Pressure Regulation

Artichoke Extract regulates blood pressure by boosting the enzyme eNOS, which widens blood vessels, and its potassium content contributes to blood pressure management.

3. Digestive Health Improvement

Artichoke Extract improves digestive health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, aiding with constipation and diarrhea, and alleviating indigestion symptoms like bloating, and heartburn.

4. Blood Sugar Levels Management

Artichoke Extract manages blood sugar levels by utilizing certain compounds with antioxidant properties, which can lower blood sugar and improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

What is Artichoke?

Artichokes might look like veggies, but they're actually a type of plant called thistle. They come from the Mediterranean, and people have used them for years to help with various health issues. [1] These include better digestion and keeping your heart and liver in good shape.

Nowadays, Artichoke Extract is gaining popularity as a supplement for brain health because it's packed with a helpful compound called luteolin.

What's so special about luteolin? It stops an unwelcome guest in your brain called PDE4. Too much PDE4 is harmful because it disrupts another vital player, cAMP. Think of cAMP as a messenger that helps brain cells talk to each other.

Now, cAMP comes from adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fuel for every cell in your body. cAMP is essential for brain cell growth and connects brain cells in a special way known as Long-Term Potentiation (LTP). LTP is crucial for helping us learn and remember things.

When PDE4 messes with cAMP, it's like it's jamming the communication lines in your brain. This process makes it tougher to learn and create memories.

Artichoke Extract comes to the rescue by putting the brakes on PDE4, letting cAMP do its job better. In other words, it clears the way for more effective brain signaling and amplifies it. [2]

For better results, you can pair Artichoke Extract with another plant-based helper called Forskolin. While Artichoke Extract keeps PDE4 under control, Forskolin amps up cAMP, making your brain even more tuned for learning and memory.

Artichoke Extract (Luteolin) vs. Pure Luteolin

You might wonder what the difference is between taking Artichoke Extract and pure Luteolin.

The key lies in bioavailability. Luteolin by itself isn't easily absorbed or utilized by the body. To be metabolized effectively, it requires the presence of other naturally occurring bioflavonoids. [3]

That's where Artichoke Extract comes in. It contains specific compounds like apigenin-7-rutinoside and narirutin, which help Luteolin become bioavailable. So, these compounds assist Luteolin in getting to your cells in an active form. [4]

In short, while Luteolin is beneficial, it's even better when it's part of Artichoke Extract, thanks to the extra helping hands that come with it.

How Does Artichoke Extract Work in the Brain

Artichoke Extract has several benefits for brain health, but two aspects are particularly noteworthy. First, it slows down the action of an enzyme called PDE4, which ramps up cAMP activity in your brain cells. cAMP is crucial because it helps produce another element called CREB (cAMP response element-binding protein). [5]

Why is CREB a big deal? It boosts Long-Term Potentiation (LTP). LTP essentially strengthens the connections between your brain's synapses, and it's crucial for both learning and memory. So, by boosting cAMP, Artichoke Extract indirectly enhances these critical brain pathways.

One study showed that a PDE4 inhibitor (similar to how Artichoke Extract works) enhanced memory function even at low doses. Though the specific chemical used was different, it acted on the same neural pathways as Artichoke Extract in humans. [6]

Secondly, Artichoke Extract is also good at reducing brain inflammation. A study demonstrated that Luteolin, a component in Artichoke Extract, affects immune cells in the brain known as microglia. These cells can produce the inflammation-triggering elements, cytokines, which detect infections or toxins. [7]

The study pre-treated brain cells with Luteolin before exposing them to an inflammation-causing substance. The result? Luteolin offers protection against inflammation and its adverse effects, like cognitive and memory issues. Researchers concluded that Luteolin could be useful in reducing brain inflammation.

To sum it up, Artichoke Extract has the potential to enhance your brain's learning and memory functions and also protect against inflammation, making it a valuable natural supplement for brain health.

Artichoke Extract Boosts Mood

People who use Artichoke Extract often say it lifts their spirits. Scientists at Kurume University School of Medicine in Japan decided to dig into why this happens.

Their research focused on dopamine D1 receptors in a brain area called the prefrontal cortex. When these receptors don't work appropriately, they can lead to severe issues like psychosis and schizophrenia.

The researchers discovered that these dopamine D1 receptors operate through the cAMP cascade, a process regulated by PDE4 enzymes—remember, Artichoke Extract inhibits PDE4.

In their lab experiment, when they blocked the production of PDE4, dopamine levels increased, leading to improved cognitive function. This study supported the idea that reducing PDE4 levels can have antipsychotic effects. [8]

In summary, Artichoke Extract may not just be good for your memory and learning; it could also positively influence your mood, thanks to its action on dopamine levels in the brain.

Artichoke Extract Regulates Blood Pressure

Artichoke Extract may be a helping hand for those dealing with high blood pressure. Several scientific reviews have noted that taking artichoke supplements can significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure for those with elevated levels. [9]

The exact science behind how Artichoke Extract helps lower blood pressure isn't clear yet. However, some older studies conducted in test tubes point to the possibility that the extract boosts an enzyme called eNOS. This enzyme widens blood vessels, which can help with blood pressure. [10]

Also, let's not forget that artichokes are rich in potassium, a mineral known for its role in keeping blood pressure in check. [11]

In short, while the complete picture isn't clear yet, Artichoke Extract shows promise in helping to manage high blood pressure, possibly through a combination of enzyme action and its potassium content.

Artichoke Extract Improves Digestive Health

Artichokes are fiber powerhouses, and that's great news for your gut health. This fiber, particularly a type they call inulin [12], helps boost good bacteria in your digestive system. It also helps with constipation and diarrhea. [13]

A 2010 study showed that taking 10 grams of inulin from globe artichokes led to a healthier mix of gut bacteria after only three weeks. [14]

But that's not all—some older studies suggest that artichoke extract can also alleviate common indigestion symptoms like bloating, nausea, and heartburn. [15]

Additionally, a small study revealed that a supplement made from ginger and artichoke helped speed up the passage of food through the digestive system, which could help relieve indigestion. [16]

Artichoke Extract Manages Blood Sugar Levels

Artichokes and their extract could be helpful allies in managing blood sugar levels. 

One study found that certain compounds in artichokes lowered blood sugar and improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Researchers believe this could be related to the plant's antioxidant properties. [17]

Another small study showed that people who took artichoke extract supplements saw improvements in blood sugar control, cholesterol levels, and even their waist sizes—all after only eight weeks. [18]

A review of nine different studies also supported the idea that artichokes and artichoke products can significantly lower fasting blood sugar levels in people. [19]

Safety and Side Effects

Artichoke extract is generally considered safe, with very few side effects reported. However, certain groups should exercise caution. For example, it's not recommended for children or people who are pregnant or breastfeeding simply because there isn't enough research to confirm its safety for them.

People with serious liver or kidney issues should also steer clear of artichoke extract unless their doctor gives them the green light.

Additionally, if you're allergic to plants like daisies, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, or marigolds, you may also be allergic to artichoke or its extract.

If in doubt about whether artichoke extract is right for you, it's always best to consult your doctor for personalized advice.


In summary, artichoke extract is a versatile supplement that shows promise in enhancing brain function, supporting digestive health, and potentially aiding blood sugar and blood pressure management.

The benefits are vast, from boosting memory and mood to promoting gut health and reducing inflammation.

By delving into scientific research, we see that artichoke extract might be a valuable addition to our health regimen. 

There you have it—a glimpse into the potential of artichoke extract for supporting various facets of health. Whether you're looking to boost your brainpower or balance your blood sugar, artichoke extract could be worth exploring.

Additional Readings

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[1]Polyphenolic Compound Variation in Globe Artichoke Cultivars as Affected by Fertilization and Biostimulants Application - PMC (

[2]Rolipram, a type IV-specific phosphodiesterase inhibitor, facilitates the establishment of long-lasting long-term potentiation and improves memory - PMC (

[3]Intestinal absorption of luteolin and luteolin 7-O-β-glucoside in rats and humans - ScienceDirect

[4]Analysis of antioxidative phenolic compounds in artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) - PubMed (

[5]Phosphodiesterase-4D knock-out and RNA interference-mediated knock-down enhance memory and increase hippocampal neurogenesis via increased cAMP signaling - PubMed (

[6]GEBR-7b, a novel PDE4D selective inhibitor that improves memory in rodents at non-emetic doses - PubMed (

[7]Luteolin reduces IL-6 production in microglia by inhibiting JNK phosphorylation and activation of AP-1 - PubMed (

[8]Phosphodiesterase 4 inhibition enhances the dopamine D1 receptor/PKA/DARPP-32 signaling cascade in frontal cortex - PubMed (

[9]Effects of artichoke on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis - PubMed (

[10]Flavonoids from artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) up-regulate endothelial-type nitric-oxide synthase gene expression in human endothelial cells - PubMed (

[11]Should we eat more potassium to better control blood pressure in hypertension? - PubMed (

[12]Extraction and Characterization of Inulin-Type Fructans from Artichoke Wastes and Their Effect on the Growth of Intestinal Bacteria Associated with Health - PMC (

[13]The Impact of Dietary Fiber on Gut Microbiota in Host Health and Disease - PubMed (

[14]A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study to establish the bifidogenic effect of a very-long-chain inulin extracted from globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) in healthy human subjects - PubMed (

[15]Efficacy of artichoke leaf extract in the treatment of patients with functional dyspepsia: a six-week placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre trial - PubMed (

[16]The effect of ginger (Zingiber officinalis) and artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) extract supplementation on gastric motility: a pilot randomized study in healthy volunteers - PubMed (

[17]Protective effects of Cynara scolymus leaves extract on metabolic disorders and oxidative stress in alloxan-diabetic rats - PubMed (

[18]The Metabolic Effects of Cynara Supplementation in Overweight and Obese Class I Subjects with Newly Detected Impaired Fasting Glycemia: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Clinical Trial - PMC (

[19]Effects of Cynara scolymus L. on glycemic indices:A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials - PubMed (

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