Artichoke leaf aids digestion, IBS

Two recent studies from the University of Reading in England found that artichoke leaf extract (ALE) could significantly benefit both mild dyspepsia (indigestion) and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The first study investigated the effects of low-dose ALE on symptoms and quality of life of 454 participants with dyspepsia. Participants were randomly given 320 mg or 640 mg daily of ALE for two months. Symptoms were measured before and after the study. Researchers found that in both dosage groups, there was a 40% reduction of all symptoms. Participants in both groups also reported significantly improved quality of life.

In the second study, a sub-group of patients with IBS was identified from a sample of individuals with dyspeptic syndrome. Analysis of the data from those taking ALE revealed significant reductions in the severity of IBS symptoms. Furthermore, 96% of patients rated ALE as better than or at least equal to previous therapies taken for their IBS symptoms. ALE was also well-tolerated in this study. The researchers recommended further study.

Sources: Phytomedicine 2002 Dec;9(8):694-9; Phytother Res. 2001 Feb;15(1):58-61