Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide and is potentially treatable, though there are few therapeutic agents available. Artichoke leaf extract (ALE) has shown potential as a hepatoprotective agent. This study sought to determine if ALE had therapeutic utility in patients with established NAFLD. In this randomized double-blind placebo-controlled parallel-group trial, 100 subjects with ultrasound-diagnosed NAFLD were randomized to either ALE 600 mg daily or placebo for a 2-month period. NAFLD response was assessed by liver ultrasound and serological markers including the aspartate aminotransferase (AST)/alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ratio and AST to platelet ratio index (APRI) score. Ninety patients completed the study (49 ALE and 41 placebo) with no side effects reported. ALE treatment compared with placebo: Doppler sonography showed increased hepatic vein flow (p < .001), reduced portal vein diameter (p < .001) and liver size (p < .001), reduction in serum ALT (p < .001) and AST (p < .001) levels, improvement in AST/ALT ratio and APRI scores (p < .01), and reduction in total bilirubin. ALE supplementation reduced total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride concentrations (p = .01). This study has shown beneficial effects of ALE supplementation on both ultrasound liver parameters and liver serum parameters (ALT, AST, APRI ratio, and total bilirubin) in patients with NAFLD.
Keywords: artichoke leaf extract (ALE); non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); phytochemical.
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