Interesting fact about artichokes: they are not actually a vegetable, but a type of thistle.
Their nutrient-rich profile makes them one of the healthier side dishes that you can weave into your menu. Specifically, antioxidants, fiber, and folate are found in plentiful amounts in artichokes.
They have been shown to improve everything from your digestion, heart function and blood sugar, to liver health.
When it comes to men’s health and testosterone, though, do artichokes help?
In this case there’s very little direct evidence that they do. A few mice studies suggest positive effects on male reproductive health, but beyond that, it doesn’t look like a promising herb for testosterone boosting specifically.
However, as mentioned artichokes help to support liver health. And studies show that our liver plays an important role in regulating testosterone production. In fact, men with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and high liver fat are shown to have lower levels of both free and total testosterone.  In that sense, adding artichokes to your diet might indirectly contribute to higher T count.
Luckily, there are many herbs and nutrients besides artichoke to consider for improving testosterone. These include Panax Ginseng, Ashwagandha, zinc, magnesium, vitamin D3, and D-Aspartic Acid. A good amount of scientific evidence supports the use of these compounds for supporting optimal levels of male hormone.
Studies on Artichoke and Testosterone – Are There Any?
Not really. We weren’t able to find any solid human studies done specifically on artichoke’s effect on testosterone. There are only a handful of rat studies on general male reproductive health.
The best one we dug up was a 2007 study done in the Journal of Biological Trace Element Research. The study used 4 groups of male Winstar rats, and 4 groups of female Winstar rats, testing for possible protective effects of Artichokes against the heavy metal cadmium. 
The first group of male rats was injected with cadmium. The second group received cadmium and artichoke injections. The third group received just artichoke injections. And the last male rat group was the control group.
The scientists repeated the same process with 4 groups of female Winstar rats.
After a month of treatment, they examined animal’s gonads. It turned out that, in the words of the researchers, “artichoke extract exerted a clear protective effect” against cadmium-induced testicular damage. At the same time, the artichoke extract lowered nitric oxide levels in cells to the same level of that of control group rats (which is a good thing).
The damage cadmium had done on testicular cells was much higher than ovarian cells in female rats. This study suggests us that artichokes are effective at counteracting that damage.
What does this study mean for you?
It’s important to remember that this is just one study, and it’s not even done on humans. But the potentially protective effects of artichoke on testicular cells look promising.
If this is anything to go by, it means that when you consume artichokes, be it through food or supplements (more on this in a minute), you may be providing a protective effect on your male reproductive system against cadmium. Men who’re at the highest risk of cadmium exposure are cigarette smokers, workers in plastic recycling compounds, compost workers and waste collectors. 
The study only looked at cadmium, but it’s possible that artichokes protect against other toxins, too.
Artichokes, Liver Function, and Testosterone Health
Testosterone levels and liver function are closely correlated. The lower your testosterone is, the more likely it is you will have higher percentage of liver fat. And the more liver fat you have, the worse it is for your testosterone production… it’s a cycle none of us want to get stuck in. 
In that sense, artichokes can be helpful for testosterone health. Since artichokes are best known for their ability to improve bile production in the liver, as well as support liver health in general, consuming more artichokes may help with your testosterone production indirectly.
Best Way to Take Artichoke for Supporting Liver Health and Testosterone
The healthiest way to enjoy artichoke’s benefits is to add them to your diet. You can prepare them in many ways but the most popular is steaming. Both the leaves and the heart of the plant can be eaten.
If you prefer the convenience of supplements, artichoke extracts are also an option. Just make sure to buy from a reputable, 3rd-party tested brand.
Since there are not a whole lot of human studies on artichoke extracts, the exact optimal dosage for supplement is not clear—it can range anywhere from 50mg to over 2500mg per day. We always advise sticking to what supplement guidelines on the bottle tell you.
- Gurel E, Caner M, Bayraktar L, Yilmazer N, Dogruman H, Demirci C. Effects of artichoke extract supplementation on gonads of cadmium-treated rats. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2007 Oct;119(1):51-9. doi: 10.1007/s12011-007-0048-2. PMID: 17914219.
- Mody A, White D, Kanwal F, Garcia JM. Relevance of low testosterone to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Cardiovasc Endocrinol. 2015 Sep 1;4(3):83-89. doi: 10.1097/XCE.0000000000000057. PMID: 26405614; PMCID: PMC4577238.
- Sinclair M, Grossmann M, Gow PJ, Angus PW. Testosterone in men with advanced liver disease: abnormalities and implications. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Feb;30(2):244-51. doi: 10.1111/jgh.12695. PMID: 25087838.