Absorption of anthocyanins from blueberries and serum antioxidant status in human subjects

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Dec 18;50(26):7731-7. doi: 10.1021/jf020690l.


In recent years, numerous studies have shown that the polyphenolics present in fruit and vegetable products exhibit a wide range of biological effects. However, there is little reliable information on the absorption of glycosylated and acylated anthocyanins in humans. In the present study, the absorption of anthocyanins in humans was investigated after the consumption of a high-fat meal with a freeze-dried blueberry powder containing 25 individual anthocyanins including 6 acylated structures. Nineteen of the 25 anthocyanins present in the blueberries were detected in human blood serum. Furthermore, the appearance of total anthocyanins in the serum was directly correlated with an increase in serum antioxidant capacity (ORAC(acetone), P < 0.01). These results show that anthocyanins can be absorbed in their intact glycosylated and possibly acylated forms in human subjects and that consumption of blueberries, a food source with high in vitro antioxidant properties, is associated with a diet-induced increase in ex vivo serum antioxidant status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Acylation
  • Anthocyanins / blood
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Blueberry Plants / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Glucosides / blood
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary Fats
  • Glucosides
  • malvidin-3-glucoside
  • delphinidin
  • malvidin 3-galactoside