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Artichoke, The Best Reactive Oxygen Species

Inhibitor, Researchers Find

By Kyle J. Norton

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 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

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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Author Biography
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.,.
READ by 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) 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.
(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)