Polyphenolics enhance red blood cell resistance to oxidative stress: in vitro and in vivo

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Sep 1;1523(1):117-22. doi: 10.1016/s0304-4165(00)00109-4.


In this study we investigated the potential antioxidant properties of blueberry polyphenolics in vitro and vivo, using red blood cell (RBC) resistance to reactive oxygen species (ROS) as the model. In vitro incubation with anthocyanins or hydroxycinnamic acids (HCA) (0.5 and 0.05 mg/ml) was found to enhance significantly RBC resistance to H2O2 (100 microM) induced ROS production. This protection was also observed in vivo following oral supplementation to rats at 100 mg/ml. However, only anthocyanins were found to afford protection at a significant level, this at 6 and 24 h post supplementation. This protection was not consistent with the measured plasma levels of anthocyanins. Indeed, plasma polyphenolic concentrations were highest after 1 h, declining considerably after 6 h and not detected after 24 h. The difference in absorption between anthocyanins and HCA is likely to have contributed to the observed difference in their abilities to afford protection to RBC. This protection represents a positive role following dietary consumption of polyphenolics from blueberries, against ROS formation within RBC in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology*
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects
  • Erythrocytes / physiology*
  • Flavonoids*
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Phenols / chemistry
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Phenylpropionates / pharmacology
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Polymers / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / physiology


  • Anthocyanins
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Phenylpropionates
  • Polymers
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • 3-phenylpropionic acid
  • Hydrogen Peroxide