Cynarin is a polyphenol derived from caffeic acid, present in the artichoke. Its brute chemical formula is: C25H24O12. From the chemical point of view it is a diester consisting of quinic acid and two units of caffeic acid. It derives from the condensation of two units of caffeic acid (3- (3,4-dihydroxyphenyl) prop-2E-enoic acid) with a molecule of quinic acid (1,4-dicaffeylquinic acid).
This organic compound present in good concentration in the artichoke is endowed with cholagetic cholagetic and diuretic action and brings benefits to the liver function.
Many of the qualities of the artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) are related to the presence of this polyphenol. The cynarin is mainly found in the caulinary leaves and it is this polyphenol that gives the typical flavor to this vegetable.
This substance is excellent for those with various diseases related to the liver. In particular it stimulates the production of bile, protects the damaged cells from the toxins taken and stimulates the outflow of the bile into the duodenum, a part of the intestine. It is also excellent for controlling and preventing cholesterol. This was one of the last discoveries of the University of Reading. Eating artichokes reduces the possible cardiovascular diseases, moreover thanks to the present vitamin K it helps to protect against brain damage by preventing Alzheimer’s and senile dementia.
To obtain greater benefits and quantities of cynarin the artichokes must be collected for a short time; the oxidation due to the air and to the metabolism that continues in the plant, even after the harvest, will affect the quantity of this substance.
Moreover, in order to take advantage of the benefits of this polyphenol, it should be taken with the raw leaves of the artichoke. In fact, since the cynarin is thermolabile, that is altered with cooking and loses a large part of the properties, it would be better to eat the raw artichoke or, if cooked, also consume the cooking water.