Obesity is a global epidemic that is constantly recognized as a health problem. It is defined as an imbalance between energy consumption and expended energy. Adipose tissue plays an important role in improving insulin resistance by regulating glucose and lipid metabolism and energy balance.
Excessive fat accumulation leads to the activation of the immune system and chronic inflammation. Circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines activate the immune system and affect insulin signaling and beta cell dysfunctions that cause insulin secretion disorders. Obesity is also associated with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NAFLD). The incidence and severity of this disease increases with the degree of obesity. NAFLD covers the spectrum of liver diseases, from fatty liver to steatohepatitis and cirrhosis without alcohol supplementation.
The artichoke (Cynara scolymus), which is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Asteraceae family, is usually grown in Mediterranean countries (eg Italy, Spain, France). Traditionally, artichoke has been used as a food and an important symptomatic treatment for the treatment of rheumatism and gout.
Properties of artichoke leaves
It still plays an important role in human nutrition, especially in the Mediterranean region. Flower artichoke heads, which are commonly referred to as capitula, are immature complex inflorescences that are an edible part of a plant. Extracts of artichoke leaves are used in herbal medicines as a hepatoprotector. Artichoke leaves contain various phenolic compounds (about 7.13%) (including chlorogenic acid (about 4.71%), cynarin (about 1.62%), luteolin (about 0.42%), cymaroside (about 0.25%) and 1-caffeoylquinic acid (about 0.13%)). Among them is luteolin (LU), which is a flavonoid; occurs in vegetables and fruits (such as celery, parsley, and peppermint). It has anti-cancer or anti-inflammatory effects. Luteolin alleviates diet- induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice by activating AMPK 1 signaling in macrophages of adipose tissue. However, there are few reports on the impact of artichoke on obesity and related metabolic disorders.
A study was conducted to investigate the effects of long-term AR supplementation on diet-induced obesity (DIO) and related metabolic abnormalities (e.g., dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and NAFLD) in C57BL / 6N mice. The study aimed to explain the effects and possible mechanisms underlying long- term luteolin (LU) supplementation with artichoke (AR) in high-fat diet (HFD) caused by obesity and its complications (eg dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and NAFLD) in C57BL / 6N mice. Mice were fed a normal HFD diet for 16 weeks (HFD plus AR or HFD plus LU). In HFD-fed mice, AR reduced obesity and dyslipidemia by decreasing lipogenesis while increasing fatty acid oxidation. LU also prevented obesity and hepatic steatosis by inhibiting lipogenesis while increasing the excretion of sterols. Furthermore, AR and LU prevented insulin sensitivity by reducing the level of the polypeptide inhibiting the activity of hepatic glucogenic enzymes that may be associated with the reduction of inflammation, as evidenced by reduced interleukin in plasma (IL) -6, IL-1β, and activator inhibitor
In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that 16 weeks of supplementation with artichoke extract containing a high concentration of LU prevents obesity and metabolic disorders such as dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and inflammation in obese mice induced by a high-fat diet.
Bibliography: 1. Eun-Young Kwon, So Young Kim, Myung-Sook Chooi; Luteolin-Enriched Artichoke Leaf Extract Alleviates the Metabolic Syndrome in Mice with High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity; Nutrients 27/07/2018, 10 (8), 979; www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/8/979