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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOAVAILABILITY AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF PHYTONUTRIENTS

Location: Food Components and Health Laboratory

Title: Anthocyanin bioavailability: Past progress and current challenges

Author
item Novotny, Janet

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 5, 2012
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
Citation: Novotny Dura, J. 2012. Anthocyanin bioavailability: Past progress and current challenges. In: Patil B.S., Jayaprakasha G.K., Chidambara Murthy K.N., Seeram, N.P. Emerging Trends in Dietary Components for Preventing and Combating Disease. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society. p.559-568.

Interpretive Summary: Anthocyanins are the red, blue, and purple pigments present throughout nature. Foods rich in anthocyanins include berries, red cabbage, radish, eggplant, blue corn, and purple carrots, as well as many other red, purple, and blue fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Evidence continues to accumulate suggesting multiple roles for dietary anthocyanins in promoting health and preventing disease. Anthocyanins have been associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and cognitive decline. All of these beneficial health effects require that the anthocyanins be well-absorbed in the intestinal tract. However, studies have suggested that intestinal absorption may be very low. New evidence emerging may begin to explain how these compounds that appear to be poorly absorbed by the body may still provide health benefits. This information will be useful to scientists and health professionals.

Technical Abstract: Anthocyanins are the red, blue, and purple pigments present throughout nature. Foods rich in anthocyanins include berries, red cabbage, radish, eggplant, blue corn, and purple carrots, as well as many other red, purple, and blue fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Evidence continues to accumulate suggesting multiple roles for dietary anthocyanins in promoting health and preventing disease. Anthocyanins have been associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and cognitive decline. All of these beneficial health effects require that the anthocyanins be well-absorbed. However, bioavailability studies have suggested otherwise. New evidence emerging may begin to explain this incongruity.

Last Modified: 9/3/2014