What are the benefits of alfalfa extract?


Quick Answer

Alfalfa extract appears to prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract. It also provides vitamins A, C, E and K-4 as well as minerals iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

People take alfalfa extract for a number of conditions, including problems with the kidney, bladder and prostate; asthma; arthritis; upset stomach; and diabetes. However, the scientific research does not yet support the effectiveness of alfalfa extract for any of those conditions. Alfalfa extract does contain the vitamins and minerals listed above, but these health benefits remain anecdotal at best, stated by WebMD.

The research does show that alfalfa extract may work to lower cholesterol in people suffering from elevated cholesterol levels. Both total and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels appear to drop for people who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol and who take alfalfa extract. However, there are some potential side effects as well. Alfalfa extract can cause high levels of skin sensitivity to the sun, so people who take this extract should use sunscreen outside, especially if their complexions are fair. In people who may have a condition that worsens with estrogen exposure, alfalfa extract is not a good idea, as it can resemble estrogen in its effects. Diabetics should also use caution, as alfalfa may reduce blood glucose levels, notes WebMD.

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