THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OF CICHORIUM INTYBUS L. ROOTS IN LIVER DISEASES, DIABETES AND HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIA

Maria Valentina SOCACI (IGNAT), Elena MUDURA, Teodora Emilia COLDEA, Liana SALANTA

Abstract


Ancient Egyptians used Cichorium intybus L. in the management of cardiovascular diseases and as a therapeutic aid in enhancing hepatic functions. Even during the Napoleonic age, chicory was popular as a coffee substitute and England used it as the main Camp Coffee ingredient. This study focuses on highlighting the medicinal properties displayed by Cichorium intybus L. root extracts in cases of liver disorders, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia, affections which are spread all-over the globe. A few examples of functional products containing chicory root were also presented. After reviewing several in vitro and in vivo studies on chicory root extracts, it is concluded that over the last years an increasing number of researchers suggest that chicory root extracts are hepatoprotective, increase satiety, reverse insulin resistance, and enhance lipid metabolism containing cichoric acid, chlorogenic acid, and polysaccharides. Among other therapeutic properties, chicory root extracts have shown gastroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antidiabetic attributes. There are many possible ways of using Cichorium intybus L. root extracts in order to obtain functional products with a positive impact on one’s health status. Moreover, functional foods containing chicory-root extracts are already on the market and the ease of consumption added to the increased interest for such products encourages the development of further therapeutic alternatives meant to aid in the management of liver diseases, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia.


Keywords


Cichorium intybus L., chicory root, diabetes mellitus, functional products, hypercholesterolemia, liver diseases

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