Anthocyanins are a large family of substances found in plant tissues. Usually these include the tissues of flowers, fruits, berries and sometimes vegetables. This family of molecules includes over 600 different varieties and in the last 10 years independent research institutions have made staggering discoveries on the possible health benefits of these small colourful molecules.
The strong activity of Anthocyanins is thought to be partly due to their size, with a molecular weight of around 500g/mol the molecules are able to penetrate cell membranes and readily pass the blood/brain barrier. Scientists have been trying to narrow down which are the most active of this family, and there have been two strong candidates - Cyanidin 3 Glcuoside (C3G) & Delphonidin 3 Glucoside (D3G). Both these molecules have a catechol structure which is though to make them more effective at promoting health.
Whilst there have been many studies on fruits and berries containing Anthocyanins and the resultant positive effect on people with Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) there had been no conclusive results.
In 2007 this changed when an article in the American "Journal of Nutrition" contained a paper; a free (The paper was not funded or controlled by a product owner), randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study.
Free, Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo controlled studies are the gold standard of experiments.
This ground breaking study was carried out by the University of Oslo, and the Ulleval University Hospital of Oslo, and tested that "Anthocyanins Inhibit Nuclear Factor-kB Activation in Monocytes and Reduce Plasma Concentrations of Pro-Inflammatory Mediators in Healthy Adults." And the researchers concluded "Anthocyanin supplementation may have a role in the prevention and treatment of Chronic Inflammatory diseases."
For those without a degree in the sciences, CVD is related to Chronic Inflammation (CI). Due to inflamed arteries white blood cells (Monocytes) congregate to an area for repair. The prolonged inflammation of these arteries leads to scaring and plaques (Arteriosclerosis). The most important contributing factor to avoid this chain reaction is to prevent the inflammation in the first instance. This is why the results from this study are so pleasing. Anthocyanins are able to reduce the pro inflammatory mediators (messengers) and prevent the inflammation that eventually leads to damage to the cardio vascular system.
Chronic Inflammation (CI) is linked to CVD and many other diseases.
Further research into Anthocyanins has shown health promoting effects in CI, CVD, cancer attenuation, Diabetes 2, and cholesterol modulation - yes it has even been found to improve serum LDL and HDL cholesterol concentrations. This research was was carried out in the Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China. Results showed it lowered LDL by 13.6% and raised HDL by 13.7%. It also had very little effect on the CETP enzyme. They evaluated with these results that the Anthocyanins are likely to lower the risk of coronary CVD's by 27.3%.
Another study in the USA followed 93,600 women for 18 years and found that eating 3 portions of blueberries (Anthocyanin rich fruit) a week reduce the chance of Cardiac Infarction by 30%. It is thought the berries dilated the of the blood vessels, reducing build up of plaques in the arteries.
Looking at the studies from the last 10 years the following conclusions have been made.
1. Potent antioxidant.
2. Positive modulation of the Endocrine system.
3. Dilation of arteries, reducing plaque formation, lowering Cardiac Infarction.
4. Lower Chronic Inflammation (CI) - by reducing cell mediators
5. Improved lipid profile, HDL increased, LDL decreased.
6. LDL oxidation reduced.
7. Cells protected from oxidation resulted by hydrogen peroxide.
8. Reduced Vein Permeability
9. Reduced constriction of blood vessels..
10. No significant side effects were documented in any study.
We ask our selves... Could Anthocyanins take over Omega 3 oils as the best supplement to fight the worlds biggest killer - CVD?
Our Bilberry Extract contains 25% Anthocyanins.