A standardized anthocyanin-rich formulation from Maqui Berry was associated with improvements in fasting blood glucose levels in addition to better glucose tolerance in diabetic obese mice, according to findings published in the journal Food Chemistry.
“To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the anti-diabetic properties and potential mode of action of Maqui Berry anthocyanins,” report researchers from Rutgers University and North Carolina State University.
“As Maqui Berry’s anthocyanins are regularly consumed as fresh fruits or juice concentrates, we propose [the anthocyanin-rich formulation] as a novel natural source of potentially safe anti-diabetic compounds.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), diabetes affects over 220 million people globally and the consequences of high blood sugar kill 3.4 million every year. If such statistics weren’t scary enough, the WHO is predicting deaths to double between 2005 and 2030.
The total costs associated with the condition in the US alone are thought to be as much as $174 billion, with $116 billion being direct costs from medication, according to 2005-2007 American Diabetes Association figures.
Led by Rutgers’ Leonel Rojo, the researchers investigated the potential anti-diabetic effects of a standardized anthocyanin-rich formulation from Maqui Berry and a specific anthocyanin called delphinidin 3-sambubioside-5-glucoside (D3S5G) in obese, diabetic mice.
Results showed that seven weeks of supplementing a high-fat diet with the Maqui Berry extract “improved fasting blood glucose levels and glucose tolerance in hyperglycemic obese mice”.
In addition, D3S5G was found to display effects like insulin in muscle and liver cells, which could partly explain the anti-diabetic effect of the anthocyanin-rich formulation, said the researchers.
Rojo and his co-workers said that additional studies will need to elucidate how the maqui anthocyanins are absorbed and/or eliminated, as well as their potential interactions with the intestinal microflora.
“Further investigations into the effects of [the anthocyanin-rich formulation] on the glucose metabolism of type II diabetes patients will need to be completed for the most effective use of [the anthocyanin-rich formulation] for the treatment and prevention of the disease.”
Source: Food Chemistry
15 March 2012, Volume 131, Issue 2, Pages 387-396, doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.08.066
“In vitro and in vivo anti-diabetic effects of anthocyanins from Maqui Berry (Aristotelia chilensis)”
Authors: L.E. Rojo, D. Ribnicky, S. Logendra, A. Poulev, P. Rojas-Silva, P. Kuhn, R. Dorn, M.H. Grace, M.A. Lila, I. Raskin