What is Artichoke Extract?
Artichoke extract is simply a dehydrated form of the commonly eaten vegetable, the artichoke.
Where Does Artichoke Extract Come From?
Artichoke is grown from a species of thistle. It is native to the Mediterranean region, but has since been cultivated throughout Europe. The part that is actually eaten is the flower bud, usually with a section of stem attached. If the flower blooms before it is harvested, it becomes inedible. The extract however utilises most parts of the plant, since the leaves have the highest concentration of the active compounds.
Benefits of Artichoke Extract
Artichoke extract appears to have some benefits for heart health, due to the luteolin compounds that are found throughout the plant. Firstly, it stimulates production of bile into the small intestine. Bile is used for digesting fats and lipids, and increases have been demonstrated to reduce cholesterol adsorption. It may also have a reductive effect on circulating levels of cholesterol in the blood; one study noticed an 18.6% reduction over 6 weeks, when participants were taking one 450mg capsule a day.
Benefits of Artichoke Extract for Bodybuilding
Artichoke has limited benefits in terms of body building, other than improving general fitness through heart health benefits.
Side Effects, Safety & Negatives of Artichoke Extract
There are no side effects associated with taking artichoke extract. The studies that are available however can be conflicting, and the volume of evidence available is quite small.
Artichoke Extract Recommended Doses and Ingredient Timing
While more studies are needed to conclusively recommend a dose for Artichoke Extract, it appears that 1 capsule a day containing 450mg worth of artichoke extract is the ideal dose to support cholesterol lowering effects.
Artichoke Extract Supplements
This supplement is available either as a powder, concentrate or aqueous solution. It is generally not found in combination with other supplements.