Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Components and Health Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #231486

Title: Bioavailability of Anthocyanins from Purple Carrot Juice: Effects of Acylation and Plant Matrix

item Charron, Craig
item Clevidence, Beverly
item Simon, Philipp
item Harrison, Dawn
item Britz, Steven
item Baer, David
item Novotny, Janet

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/19/2008
Publication Date: 2/25/2009
Citation: Charron, C.S., Kurilich, A.C., Clevidence, B.A., Simon, P.W., Harrison, D.J., Britz, S.J., Baer, D.J., Novotny Dura, J. 2009. Bioavailability of Anthocyanins from Purple Carrot Juice: Effects of Acylation and Plant Matrix. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 57(4):1226-1230.

Interpretive Summary: Many of the bright blue, purple, and red colors of fruits and vegetables result from healthful phytonutrients called anthocyanins. Consumption of foods containing these anthocyanin pigments can provide cancer protection and suppression, improve brain function, and promote cardiovascular health. Purple carrots are rich in anthocyanins, and it is these healthful pigments that give purple carrots their color. We conducted a human nutrition feeding study to investigate the body’s absorption of anthocyanins from purple carrot juice. Because of the wide variety of anthocyanin pigments in the purple carrots, we were also able to identify pigment structural patterns that decreased pigment absorption. In addition, since we studied juice rather than whole carrots, we were able to show that the differences in absorption of different types of anthocyanin structures were specifically related to chemical structure rather than differences in incorporation into the plant matrix. Our data also suggest that anthocyanin absorption efficiency may be reduced at increasing doses over the range of intake we studied. These results will be used by nutrition scientists to evaluate the healthful properties of individual anthocyanins and by plant scientists to develop purple carrot cultivars with optimal anthocyanin content. Health professionals will use these results to make dietary recommendations based on the beneficial health properties of these specialty carrots.

Technical Abstract: Bioavailability of anthocyanins from juiced purple carrots was investigated through a human feeding study. Ten healthy adults consumed three doses of purple carrot juice, and bioavailability was assessed by appearance of anthocyanins in plasma for 8 hours after the dose. Doses were 50 mL, 150 mL, and 250 mL of purple carrot juice, containing 76.1 µmol (64.5 mg), 228.1 µmol (193.6 mg), and 380.2 µmol (322.7 mg) total anthocyanins, respectively. Acylated anthocyanins comprised 76% of total anthocyanins in the juice, yet their bioavailability was found to be significantly less than that of nonacylated anthocyanins. Peak plasma concentrations of nonacylated anthocyanins was 4-fold higher than that for acylated anthocyanins. Because the treatments were consumed as juice, it could be discerned that the difference in bioavailability of acylated vs. nonacylated anthocyanins was not related to interaction of the anthocyanins with the plant matrix.