Artichoke may be used as a natural remedy for the treatment of hepatic fibrosis with no side effects, according to studies.
Hepatic fibrosis is a chronic liver disease due to liver scars overwhelmingly building up in the connective tissue in the liver.
The severe case of hepatic fibrosis can lead to cirrhosis, affecting the liver function in filtering the blood. In the US, over 4.5 million people are affected by liver cirrhosis, leading to the death 12/100,000 of the population every year.
Most common causes of liver fibrosis are excessive alcohol drinking and infected by the hepatitis virus.
Other risk factors associated with the prevalent risk liver fibrosis are non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and autoimmune liver disease, including autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis or primary sclerosing cholangitis.
However, the increase in age may also have a strong implication on the disease onset.
Dr. Bénédicte Delire, the lead scientists, in the concern of liver fibrosis in the aging mice population said, "Old mice developed more severe fibrosis compared to young ones as evaluated by Sirius red morphometry" and " While fibrosis resolution occurred in young mice within 96 hours, no significant fibrosis attenuation was observed in old mice".
"Although recruitment of monocytes-derived macrophages was similar in young and old livers, young macrophages had globally a remodeling phenotype while old ones, a pro-fibrogenic phenotype".
The results suggested that the elderly are associated with the more severe fibrosis, due to the weakened immune system
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 protective and detoxified agent, and to treat digestive disorders, abdominal pain gas and bloating, etc.
Researchers on finding a natural compound for the treatment of hepatic fibrosis, before the excessive connective tissue builds up in the liver progressing to chronic liver diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer examined the liver protective effect of artichoke against the liver fibrosis.
The study included 12 groups of rats were administered JAT, interferon, and ribavirin either separately or in combination from day one of CCL4 administration until the end of the study.
Observation of the killed animals after 8 weeks, CCL4- induced hepatotoxicity exerted a significant increase level of hepatic protein expression levels associated with cell cycle arrest through the function of tumor suppressive activity.
Furthermore, the levels of enzymes and protein associated with cell apoptosis such as p53, BAX, and TGF-β also were also increased in CCL-4 induced hepatotoxic rat group.
Injection JAT rats not only exerted a strong effect in normalizing the function of proteins and enzymes in the induction of liver cell death but also improved the liver response to ribavirin and interferon used for the treatment of HCV infection.
Dr. Abdel-Hamid NM and colleagues in the final report wrote, "addition of JAT as a supportive regimen to interferon and ribavirin effectively potentiates their anti-fibrotic effects".
Moreover, the observation of four mice groups infected with parasite S. mansoni with the first three groups received ALE, ALE + PZQ and PZQ respectively compared to the 4th and 5th group acted as the positive control and negative control, respectively suggested that ALE caused significant reduction of granuloma diameter, improvement of liver functions and liver fibrosis.
The efficacy of ALE was attributed to the increase the hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) recruitment inside granuloma associated with the liver response to infection, inflammation, or the presence of a foreign substance, and limited liver fibrosis by their inhibition in the peri- and inter-granuloma liver tissue.
However, in spite of the ALE liver protective activity against the formation of liver fibrosis and increased liver functioning, ALE showed no effect against parasite infection.
Taken altogether, artichoke may be considered a functional remedy for the prevention and treatment of liver fibrosis depending on the confirmation 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) Synergistic Effects of Jerusalem Artichoke in Combination with Pegylated Interferon Alfa-2a and Ribavirin Against Hepatic Fibrosis in Rats by Abdel-Hamid NM1, Wahid A, Nazmy MH, Eisa MA. (PubMed)
(2) Artichoke leaf extract protects liver of Schistosoma mansoni infected mice through modulation of hepatic stellate cells recruitment by Sharaf El-Deen SA1, Brakat RM2, Mohamed ASED. (PubMed)
(3) Aging enhances liver fibrotic response in mice through hampering extracellular matrix remodeling by Bénédicte Delire,1 Valérie Lebrun,1 Charlotte Selvais,1 Patrick Henriet,2 Amélie Bertrand,1Yves Horsmans,1,3 and Isabelle A. Leclercq. (PMC)
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