Increase in choleresis by means of artichoke extract

Phytomedicine. 1994 Sep;1(2):107-15. doi: 10.1016/S0944-7113(11)80027-9.


The choleretic action of artichoke extract [main ingredient: cynarin (1.5-di-caffeoyl-D-quinc acid)] was investigated in a randomised placebo-controlled double-blind cross-over study (pilot study) [n = 20]. The effect of the standardized, artichoke extract: Hepar SL forte (administered as a single dose: 1.92 g, by the intraduodenal route in a solution of 50 ml of water) was studied by measuring intra-duodenal bile secretion using multi-channel probes. Thirty minutes after the test-substance was administered, a 127.3% increase in bile secretion was recorded, after 60 minutes, 151.5%, and after another 60 minutes, 94.3%, each in relation to the initial value. The relevant differences for the placebo were significant to the extent of p < 0.01 and were clinically relevant. The highest increase in the case of the placebo (139.5%) was seen after 30 minutes. At 120 and 150 minutes the volume of bile secreted under the active treatment was also significantly higher than under the placebo (p < 0.05). In the placebo group, bile secretion fell below the initial level after 3 hours. An effective period of about 120-150 minutes was regarded as satisfactory to influence enzymatic digestion and the motor function of the intestine when the test substance was given postprandially. No side effects nor changes in the laboratory parameters in connection with the experiment were observed. Results indicate that artichoke extract can be recommended for the treatment of dyspepsia, especially when the cause may be attributed to dyskinesia of the bile ducts or disorder in the assimilation of fat.