The antioxidant activity of artichoke (Cynara scolymus): A systematic review and meta-analysis of animal studies

Phytother Res. 2019 Jan;33(1):55-71. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6213. Epub 2018 Oct 22.


Current evidence has shown antioxidant activity of artichoke as a potent source of antioxidant compounds. However, it seems that the antioxidant activity of artichoke has not yet been reviewed. Therefore, the present study was designed to perform a systematic review of human studies, animal models, and in vitro systems and to conduct a meta-analysis of animal studies on the antioxidant effects of artichoke. We searched four electronic databases till April 2018 using relevant keywords. All English language articles were assessed. For animal studies, standardized mean difference was pooled using a random effects model. The included studies were evaluated for eligibility and risk of bias. Thirty-nine articles (two human, 23 animal, and 14 in vitro studies) were reviewed. The results of in vitro systems supported the antioxidant effect of artichoke, whereas limited clinical trials indicated no change or a slight improvement of antioxidant status. Finding of animal studies indicated that artichoke extract supplementation increased superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione, and glutathione peroxidase level in liver, as well as, decreased malondialdehyde level in liver and plasma of animals with induced disease significantly compared with comparison group. This meta-analysis provided convincing evidence for antioxidant activity of artichoke in animals.

Keywords: Cynara scolymus; antioxidant; artichoke; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Cynara scolymus / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Reactive Oxygen Species


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Reactive Oxygen Species