The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of artichoke leaf extract (ALE) supplementation (250 mg, 2 b.i.d.) on the lipid pattern. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was performed on 92 overweight subjects with primary mild hypercholesterolaemia for 8 weeks. Forty-six subjects were randomized to supplementation (age: 54.2 ± 6.6 years, body mass index (BMI): 25.8 ± 3.9 kg/m(2), male/female: 20/26) and 46 subjects to placebo (age: 53.8 ± 9.0 years, BMI: 24.8 ± 1.6 kg/m(2), male/female: 21/25). Verum supplementation was associated with a significant increase in mean high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (p < 0.001) and in mean change in HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) (p = 0.004). A significantly decreased difference was also found for the mean change in total cholesterol (p = 0.033), low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol (p < 0.001), total cholesterol/HDL ratio (p < 0.001) and LDL/HDL ratio (p < 0.001), when verum and placebo treatment were compared. These results indicate that ALE could play a relevant role in the management of mild hypercholesterolaemia, favouring in particular the increase in HDL-C, besides decreasing total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol.