Artichoke may be used as a natural ingredient to inhibit the overexpression of reactive oxygen species (ROS), according to studies.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) or free radicals are highly reactive chemical species containing oxygen molecules. In other words, free radicals are unstable atoms with an unpaired electron in the outer ring.
Therefore, in order to become stable, free radicals must either donate or steal an electron from other atoms, leading to a chain reaction that can not be stopped until all electrons are paired or inhibited by antioxidants.
Believe it or not, free radicals in moderate amounts are needed for our body for cell signaling and activation of several transcriptional factors, apoptosis, immunity, and differentiation. However, overexpression of free radicles can cause damage to protein, lipid and cell alternation, leading a number of chronic illness, including cancer.
Free radicals are generated as metabolic by-products by biological systems. Environmental stressors (i.e., the air we breathe, UV, ionizing radiations, pollutants, and heavy metals) and xenochemicals are also found to contribute to the great increase of ROS production.
In a healthy individual, the production of free radicals is balanced by the antioxidant enzymes produced by the body.
Some researchers suggested that an unhealthy diet may also induce overexpression of free radicals through a number of mechanisms.
Dr. Vial G, the lead scientist said, "A high-fat diet results in both a decrease in mitochondrial quinone pool and a profound modification in mitochondrial lipid composition" and, "These changes appear to play a key role in the resulting inhibition of fatty acid oxidation and of mitochondrial oxidative-phosphorylation associated with an increased mitochondrial ROS production".
Artichoke is a perennial thistle of Cynara cardunculus species of the Cynara genus, belonging to the family Carduoideae native to Southern Europe around the Mediterranean.
The herbal plant has been used in traditional medicine as a liver and detoxified agent, and to treat digestive disorders, abdominal pain gas and bloating, etc.
Researchers on finding a natural free radical scavenger evaluated the scavenging capacity against the most physiologically relevant reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) of 3 artichoke extract from the leaves.
According to the tested assays, all extracts of artichoke leaves processed a remarkable capacity to scavenge ROS and RNS with IC50 values in a low μg/mL range (3.4-43μg/mL).
In HUVEC cells, preincubation of HUVEC cells with the artichoke extract at concentrations of 25-100 microg/mL for 24 h showed the complete inhibition of ROS generation induced by LPS which process biological effects on hosts infected with Gram-negative bacteria.
Where HUVEC cells are normally used for the study of the function and pathology of endothelial cells derived from the endothelium of veins from the umbilical cord.
Injection of the extracts also inhibited the lipid peroxidation in the tested HUVEC cells.
Artichoke also reduced the cell apoptosis caused by free radicals damage by inhibiting the ROS generation and reducing the function of cytochrome c, a component of the electron transport chain in mitochondria in triggering programmed cell death through apoptosis.
Taken altogether, artichoke may be considered a free radical scavenger for the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with oxidative stress, pending to the result of larger sample size and multicenter human study.
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Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
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Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) Infusion, decoction and hydroalcoholic extracts of leaves from artichoke (Cynaracardunculus L. subsp. cardunculus) are effective scavengers of physiologically relevant ROS and RNS by Pistón M1, Machado I1, Branco CS2, Cesio V3, Heinzen H3, Ribeiro D4, Fernandes E4, Chisté RC5, Freitas M. (PubMed)
(2) The effect of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) extract on ROS generation in HUVEC cells by Juzyszyn Z1, Czerny B, Pawlik A, Droździk M. (PubMed)
(3) Effects of a high-fat diet on energy metabolism and ROS production in rat liver by Vial G1, Dubouchaud H, Couturier K, Cottet-Rousselle C, Taleux N, Athias A, Galinier A, Casteilla L, Leverve XM. (PubMed)
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