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Effects of anthocyanins as nutraceuticals

corresponding

KASHIF GHAFOOR*, FAHAD Y. AL JUHAIMI
*Corresponding author
King Saud University, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, PO Box 2460, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

Abstract

Anthocyanins are bioactive compounds with strong nutraceutical potential. They are a widely distributed class of flavonoids and can be defined as glycosides of anthocyanidins. Anthocyanins are usually present as pigmented compounds in fruits and vegetables including cherries, plums, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, redcurrants, blackcurrants, vegetable roots, legumes and cereals. There are various reports about the biological properties and nutraceutical potential of anthocyanins. This review discusses some recent reports on the neuro-protective effects, cardio-vascular benefits, liver health improvement and anti-inflammatory effects associated with the consumption of anthocyanins compounds, either in pure or complex forms.


INTRODUCTION

It is a well established fact that diet has direct relationship with the health and most of the health promoting effects is associated with different kinds of nutrients and bioactive compounds present in fruits and vegetables. The magnitude of different types of chronic diseases that may be related to age including cardiovascular problems, neurological disorders, diabetes, and cancers is increasing. These facts lead the researchers and health practitioners to explore and recommend use of plant derived health promoting foods.
The ability of plant derived products in reducing or preventing chronic health diseases is linked mostly to their non-nutrient secondary metabolites or phytochemicals which have been studied to exert wide range of action