Anthocyanin supplements show heart health benefits for people with MetS: study

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / Jag_cz
© Getty Images / Jag_cz

Related tags: Anthocyanin, Metabolic syndrome

Daily supplementation with anthocyanins from bilberries and blackcurrants may improve cardiometabolic risk factors in people with metabolic syndrome (MetS), says a new study from Australia.

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a condition characterized by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. The syndrome has been linked to increased risks of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Four weeks of supplementation with 640 mg per day of anthocyanins led to reductions in the average serum fasting blood glucose (13%), as well as reductions in triglyceride and LDL-cholesterol in the MetS group of 25% and 33%, respectively, compared to baseline.

Women in the anthocyanin group also experienced an average of 28% reductions in levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). The study used berry and currant extracts manufactured in Norway by MedPalett Pharmaceuticals and the Biolink Group.

“The current study results indicated that a 4-week anthocyanin intervention had favorable effects on cardiometabolic risk factors and platelet activity,”​ wrote scientists from Griffith University in the journal Nutrition Research​.

“Further analysis suggested that MetS participants with elevated metabolic markers may obtain more beneficial improvements in cardiometabolic profiles. Thus, as a preventive approach, berry-rich anthocyanins may inhibit the progression of atherosclerosis in the MetS population.”

Study details

The researchers recruited 55 people aged between 25 and 75 for their study. The participants were either classed as healthy or with metabolic syndrome. Both normal and MetS participants received the anthocyanin supplements for 28 days, and cardiometabolic biomarkers were measured at the start and end of the intervention period for both groups.

There was no placebo group in this study and the researchers noted that this was one of the big limitations with this particular piece of research.

Results showed that, in addition the beneficial changes to LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, that anthocyanin supplementation also reduced total cholesterol levels by 14%, compared to baseline.

The researchers also reported that people with MetS receiving anthocyanin supplements had decreases in ADP-induced platelet activation configuration expressed as P-selectin by 40%.

On the other hand, no significant changes were observed for these measures in the normal/ healthy volunteers.

“Findings suggested that anthocyanin supplements mitigate biomarkers of platelet hyperactivation and hyper-aggregation in the MetS population. Platelet activation, oxidative stress, and inflammation are important contributors to pro-thrombotic progression, particularly in MetS populations,” ​wrote the researchers.

Source: Nutrition Research
Volume 76, April 2020, Pages 82-93, doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2020.02.011
“Anthocyanins in berries exhibited anti-atherogenicity and antiplatelet activities in a metabolic syndrome population”
Authors: A. Aboonabi et al.

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