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  • July 25th, 2011

    The Artichoke: Helping You Maintain a Healthy Liver

    Is it a big pine cone or an oversized acorn?  It’s the artichoke! Whatever it is, it is good for your liver.  The liver is one of the most important organs in your body because it holds the responsibility of ridding your body of all the nasty toxins that accumulate in our system over time.  Detoxifying the liver is one of the best ways to improve your overall health.  There are many supplements that you can take to improve liver function and one of the best is artichoke extract.  To understand how artichoke extract improves liver function you must first understand the vital role that your liver plays in your overall well-being.

    The liver regulates normal glucose levels in the blood. Your body uses glucose for energy.  When the glucose levels in your blood run high then your liver changes the glucose to glycogen and conversely when the blood glucose levels are low, the liver breaks down glycogen into glucose so that your body can use it.  The liver converts amino acids and lactic acids into glucose and also sugars from fruits and dairy products are also converted into glucose.  The liver also converts glucose into triglycerides which are fats.

    Artichokes help with the secretion of bile and they contain antioxidants which help protect liver cells.  Bile is very important in the removal of dangerous toxins and the digestion of fats. One of the antioxidants that is found in artichokes is called silymarin which helps prevent the breakdown of the liver.  Silymarin helps prevent damage to the cell membranes of the liver.  It is also very beneficial to maintaining a healthy gall bladder and helping keep cholesterol levels down.

    People who suffer from gallstones should consult a physician before using artichoke extract as there could be a risk of gall stones getting lodged in the bile duct.  Artichoke extract is a wonderful supplement to use to maintain a healthy digestive system. It has also been found to be a successful remedy for hangovers, migraine headaches, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.  Artichoke leaves may also be dried and used to make artichoke tea for detoxifying.

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