Scolymus, Caffeic Acid)
excerpt from the following article: SILYMARIN COMPLEX FOR LIVER
DISORDERS by Michael T. Murray, N.D. published in "Health World" spring
artichoke has a long folk history in treating many liver diseases.
Recent evidence supports this long-time use. The active ingredient in
artichoke is cynarin. this compound is found in highest concentrations
in the leaves.
silymarin, cynara extract has also demonstrated significant
liver-protecting and regenerating effects. it also possesses choloeretic
effect, promoting the outflow of bile from the liver to the
gall-bladder. This is a very important property. If the bile is not
being transported adequately to the gallbladder, the liver has an
increased risk of being damaged. Choleretics are very useful in the
treatment of hepatitis and other liver diseases via this "decongesting"
Choleretics typically lower cholesterol levels via their ability to
decrease the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. Consistent with its
choleretic effect, cynara extract has been shown to lower blood
cholesterol and triglyceride levels in both human and animal studies.
CLINICAL TRIALS OF CYNARA SCOLYMUS
In a controlled trial, two groups of 30 patients having elevated serum
cholesterol and triglycerides were given either cynarin (500 mg. per
day) or a placebo. Cynarin proved to induce a significant reduction of
these elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In addition, the
patients also displayed a reduction in body weight. This effect was
probably a result of cynarin's diuretic activity.
It appears cynarin, the active component in artichoke leaves extracts,
is not the true active substance. Since cynarin can be broken down into
caffeic acid in the gastrointestinal tract, it is conceivable that the
true active component is caffeic acid. This compound has demonstrated a
significant liver-protecting effect as well as choloeretic activity.
Cynara Extract has also demonstrated significant liver-protecting and