Artichoke extract lowered plasma cholesterol and increased fecal bile acids in Golden Syrian hamsters

Phytother Res. 2012 Jul;26(7):1048-52. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3698. Epub 2011 Dec 20.


A study was conducted in hamsters to determine if artichoke leaf extract (ALE) could lower plasma total and non-HDL cholesterol by increasing fecal excretion of neutral bile acids and sterols. Sixty-four Golden Syrian hamsters (8 week old) were fed control diet or a similar diet containing ALE (4.5 g/kg diet) for 6 weeks. No significant changes for total cholesterol, HDL, non-HDL cholesterol triglycerides or fecal neutral sterols and bile acids were found after 21 days for ALE-fed animals compared with controls. But after 42 days, ALE-fed male hamsters had significantly lower total cholesterol (15%), non-HDL cholesterol (30%) and triglycerides (22%) and female hamsters fed ALE showed reductions of 15% for total cholesterol, 29% for non-HDL cholesterol and 29% for triglycerides compared with controls. Total neutral sterol and bile acids concentrations increased significantly by 50% and 53% in fecal samples of ALE fed males, and 82.4% and 25% in ALE fed females compared with controls. The ALE lowered hamster plasma cholesterol levels by a mechanism involving the greater excretion of fecal bile acids and neutral sterols after feeding for 42 days.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cricetinae
  • Cynara scolymus / chemistry*
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Plant Extracts
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol