Analysis and biological activities of anthocyanins

Phytochemistry. 2003 Nov;64(5):923-33. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9422(03)00438-2.


Anthocyanins are naturally occurring compounds that impart color to fruits, vegetables, and plants. They are probably the most important group of visible plant pigments besides chlorophyll. Apart from imparting color to plants, anthocyanins also have an array of health-promoting benefits, as they can protect against a variety of oxidants through a various number of mechanisms. However, anthocyanins have received less attention than other flavonoids, despite this. This article reviews their biological functions and pre-clinical studies, as well as the most recent analytical techniques concerning anthocyanin isolation and identification.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / chemistry*
  • Anthocyanins / isolation & purification
  • Anthocyanins / metabolism
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Chemistry Techniques, Analytical / methods
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Humans


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • DNA