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Anthocyanins in Berries Promote Cardiovascular Health

Friday March 30, 2018

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is one of the leading causes of death, affecting 2.3 million people in the UK (1). CHD is initiated by the formation of fatty plaques (atherosclerosis) that restrict blood flow in the blood vessels.



High blood LDL (bad cholesterol) and inflammation are key drivers of atherosclerosis. Along with a healthy, balanced diet, consuming anthocyanin-rich berries may positively influence heart health, according to substantial evidence (2-3)

Anthocyanins are plant polyphenols naturally found in pigmented fruit and vegetables, such as lingonberries and bilberries. K. Shah compiled 17 trials involving anthocyanin supplementation and cardiovascular markers (2). The included studies administered a dose of 80-500mg/day, for a period of 4-24 weeks.

The heart-healthy effects of anthocyanins were supported, as results showed a positive effect of this polyphenol on cardiovascular markers. Specifically, anthocyanin supplementation contributed to a marked reduction in blood LDL and triglyceride levels, an increase in HDL (good cholesterol), and reduced inflammatory markers.

As natural anti-oxidative agents, anthocyanins can prevent oxidative damage and plaque build-up in the blood vessels, additionally reducing the synthesis of excess cholesterol that circulates around the body (3)

Considerable evidence supports the consumption of berries in heart health. However, long-term trials with larger sample sizes are required to assess these effects on cardiovascular disease incidence.

Thus, K. & P. Shah’s study adds to the extensive body of evidence that encourages berry supplementation in optimizing cardiovascular health.

Author: Salma Dawood is a Technical Advisor at Viridian Nutrition. She holds a BSc honours degree in Human Nutrition.

The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.


1) British Heart Foundation, CVD Statistics, available from:
2) Komal Shah, Pratik Shah, Effect of anthocyanin supplementations on lipid profile and inflammatory markers: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
3) Ângelo Luís, Fernanda Dominguesa , Luísa Pereira, (2018) Association between berries intake and cardiovascular diseases risk factors: a systematic review with meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis of randomized controlled trials, Food Funct., 2018,9, 740-757


TAGS: Nutrition News and ViewsHeart, Anthocyanins


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