Background : This study aimed to assess the efficacy of artichoke leaf extract (ALE) in the treatment of patients with functional dyspepsia (FD).

Methods : In a double-blind, randomized controlled trial (RCT), 247 patients with functional dyspepsia were recruited and treated with either a commercial ALE preparation (2 × 320 mg plant extract t.d.s.) or a placebo. The primary efficacy variable was the sum score of the patient's weekly rating of the overall change in dyspeptic symptoms (four-point scale). Secondary variables were the scores of each dyspeptic symptom and the quality of life (QOL) as assessed by the Nepean Dyspepsia Index (NDI).

Results : Two hundred and forty-seven patients were enrolled, and data from 244 patients (129 active treatment, 115 placebo) were suitable for inclusion in the statistical analysis (intention-to-treat). The overall symptom improvement over the 6 weeks of treatment was significantly greater with ALE than with the placebo (8.3 ± 4.6, vs. 6.7 ± 4.8, P < 0.01). Similarly, patients treated with ALE showed significantly greater improvement in the global quality-of-life scores (NDI) compared with the placebo-treated patients (− 41.1 ± 47.6 vs. − 24.8 ± 35.6, P < 0.01).

Conclusion : The ALE preparation tested was significantly better than the placebo in alleviating symptoms and improving the disease-specific quality of life in patients with functional dyspepsia.