The liver is the largest organ in the human body besides processing the function in filtering blood from the digestive system before passing them to other parts of the body, it also detoxifies toxic chemicals and metabolizes drugs and secretes bile to assist the digestive function in breaking down food.
Liver protective activity is an action that protects the liver functioning by blocking any substance or pathogens that can cause liver injury or damage.
The exact causes of liver disease are not identified. Researchers do not know why a person is prone to the disease onset while other person does not, even they share a similar health condition and family history
According to the medical literature, there is a perception that liver disease mostly caused by excessive alcohol drinking and viral infection. However, as the time progression, many studies also found that obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome also play a critical role in developing liver disease.
Some researchers suggested that people with the weakened immune system or immune deficiency are also at an increased risk of liver disease.
Dr. Hadzic N. in the investigation of immune deficiency related liver disease wrote, "It is estimated that around one-quarter of patients with a primary immune deficiency will have some degree of liver involvement".
And, "The most common primary immune deficiencies associated with the liver disease are combined immune deficiency (CID), hyper-IgM syndrome, common variable immunodeficiency, while the commonest liver disease being sclerosing cholangitis"
Most common symptoms of liver disease are jaundice, itchy skin Skin, dark urine color, and pale stool color.
Some patient may also experience symptoms of abdominal pain and swelling, swelling in the legs and ankles and persistent fatigue.
Therefore, if you have some of the aforementioned symptoms, please check with your doctor to rule the possibility.
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.
Searching the list of natural compounds with liver protective activity, researchers examined the effects of artichoke in liver dysfunctions.
The study included the preparation of 4 extract concentrations (0.62, 1.25, 2.5 and 5.0 mg/mL) evaluated on human hepatocyte cultures, HepG2 cells, using the comet assay.
Injection of extract concentrations of 0.62, 1.25 and 2.5 mg/mL, exhibited a significant cytotoxic effect in pretreatment, compared to hydrogen peroxide alone.
However, in simultaneous and post-treatment protocols, only the lowest concentration of artichoke inhibited the frequency of DNA damage caused by hydrogen peroxide.
At highest concentration at 2.5 mg/mL, artichoke extract increased hydrogen peroxide genotoxicity against HepG2 cells.
These results suggested that artichoke leaves aqueous extract induced genotoxic effects in a concentration higher than .62 mg/mL in the tested cell line.
In other words, artichoke extract protects the liver against overexpression of free radicals in the initiation of liver cell damage in a dose-dependent manner.
Dr. da Silva RP, the lead scientist said, "artichoke is genotoxic, in vitro, to HepG2 cells, but can also modulate hydrogen peroxide DNA damage".
In order to reveal more information about artichoke liver protective effects, researchers examined the herbal effects in experimental animals hepatoxicity.
The study included rats divided into five groups: negative control, paracetamol (2 g/kg, single oral dose), ALE (1.5 g/kg, orally for 14 d), ALE + paracetamol, and NAC (100 mg/kg) + paracetamol.
The paracetamol treatment group showed marked liver damage observed by significantly increased activities of serum aminotransferases, particularly in the significant increase in hepatic MDA and NO levels, compared with the negative control group.
Paracetamol injection also decreased significantly the levels of antioxidant enzymes produced by the host such as GSH content, GR, GST, and SOD activities.
Furthermore, Paracetamol also induced liver cell apoptosis through its toxicity.
Pretreatment of ALE reversed all the parameters changed above including replenished hepatic GSH, reversed oxidative stress parameters, DNA damage, and necrosis.
Dr. El Morsy EM and colleague wrote in the final report, "ALE may protect from paracetamol-induced liver toxicity via its antioxidant and anti-apoptotic properties".
Taken altogether, artichoke may be considered a functional remedy for the protection of liver against toxicity, pending to the validation 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.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) Genotoxic and chemopreventive assessment of Cynara scolymus L. aqueous extract in a human-derived liver cell line by da Silva RP1, Jacociunas LV2, de Carli RF1, de Abreu BRR1, Lehmann M1, da Silva J3, Ferraz ABF4, Dihl RR. (PubMed)
(2) Protective effect of artichoke leaf extract against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in rats by El Morsy EM1, Kamel R. (PubMed)
(3) Immune Deficiency-Related Liver Disease by Hadzic N. (Karger)
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