Artichoke is a component of the Mediterranean diet. Therefore, the aim of this meta-analysis was to determine if artichoke extract supplementation affected human lipid parameters. The search included PubMed-Medline, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar databases up to March 28, 2017, to identify RCTs investigating the impact of artichoke extracts on plasma lipid levels. Quantitative data synthesis was performed using a random-effects model, with weighed mean difference (WMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI) as summary statistics. Meta-analysis of data from 9 trials including 702 subjects suggested a significant decrease in plasma concentrations of total cholesterol (WMD: -17.6 mg/dL, 95%CI: -22.0, -13.3, p < 0.001), Low Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol (LDL-C; WMD: -14.9 mg/dL, 95%CI: -20.4, -9.5, p = 0.011) and triglycerides (WMD: -9.2 mg/dL, 95%CI: -16.2, -2.1, p = 0.011). No significant alteration in plasma High Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations was observed (WMD: 1.0 mg/dL, 95%CI: -1.1, 3.1, p = 0.333). A significant association between the LDL-lowering effect of artichoke and baseline LDL-C concentrations (slope: -0.170; 95%CI: -0.288, 0.051; p = 0.005) was observed. Thus, supplementation with artichoke extract was associated with a significant reduction in both total and LDL-C, and triglycerides, suggesting that supplementation may be synergistic with lipid-lowering therapy in patients with hyperlipidemia.
Keywords: Artichoke leaf extract; hypercholesterolemia; meta-analysis; randomized clinical trial; triglycerides.