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Effects of anthocyanins as nutraceuticals


*Corresponding author
King Saud University, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, PO Box 2460, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia


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.


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 actions in living organisms. The phytochemicals may not be as quick in action as the synthetic pharmaceuticals however a long term use can significantly improve the health of consumers. These include sulphur containing compounds, terpenoids (carotenoids, monoterpenes, and phytosterols), and different polyphenolic groups (anthocyanins, flavones, flavan-3-ols, isoflavones, stilbenoids, ellagic acid, etc.) ...

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