Several recent preliminary clinical studies have suggested that artichoke (Cynara scolymus L., Asteraceae family) preparations may be capable of lowering post-prandial glycemia. The present study was designed to test this hypothesis in laboratory rats. To this aim, non-selected Wistar and genetically obese Zucker rats were treated acutely with a purified extract of Cynara scolymus flowering heads (500-1500 mg/kg by gavage) immediately prior to 1 h access to a fixed amount of food. Glycemia was recorded 60, 120 and 360 min after food presentation. Treatment with Cynara scolymus flowering head extract resulted in a significant decrease of post-prandial glycemia in both rat strains. The lack of any fiber content in this Cynara scolymus flowering head extract excludes the involvement of dietary fibers in glycemia reduction. The results obtained constitute the first evidence of a hypoglycemic effect of an artichoke preparation in laboratory rodents and confirm previous observations made in humans.
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.