Effects of blackcurrant anthocyanin intake on peripheral muscle circulation during typing work in humans

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2005 May;94(1-2):36-45. doi: 10.1007/s00421-004-1279-y. Epub 2004 Dec 17.


This double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study investigated the effect of blackcurrant anthocyanin (BCA) intake on peripheral circulation during rest and during typing work by using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), and it also assessed improvement in shoulder stiffness caused by poor local circulation. In a resting circulation study, nine healthy male subjects took capsules of BCA at a dosage of 17 mg kg(-1) or placebo (isoenergetic sugar). NIRS was used to measure left forearm blood flow (FBF) following venous occlusion and muscle oxygen consumption following arterial occlusion prior to and hourly for 4 h after ingestion of BCA. Plasma anthocyanin concentration was measured prior to ingestion and 1, 2, and 4 h later. FBF increased significantly 2 h after BCA ingestion [BCA 1.22 (0.13)-fold increase relative to pre-values vs placebo 0.83 (0.06) of pre-values; P < 0.05] and then tended to increase for a further 3 h after ingestion [BCA 1.26 (0.15)-fold increase relative to pre-values vs placebo 0.82 (0.07) of pre-values; P = 0.078]. There was, however, no significant difference in muscle oxygen consumption between BCA and placebo intake at any time point. In a typing work study, 11 healthy subjects took capsules of BCA (7.7 mg kg(-1)) or placebo (isoenergetic sugar) daily for 2 weeks. The subjects then performed intermittent typing workload for 30 min in order to induce acute shoulder stiffness. During the workload, total hemoglobin and oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) were determined using NIRS and myoelectric signals measured in the right trapezius muscle using electromyography (EMG). The viscoelasticity of the trapezius muscle was also evaluated using a muscle stiffness meter before and after the typing workload. BCA intake prevented the decrease in oxy-Hb significantly (P < 0.05), and also tended to alleviate the increase in root mean square (RMS) of the EMG during the typing workload, and also muscle stiffness after the workload. There was no improvement in typing performance with BCA intake. The results of this study suggest that intake of BCA may improve shoulder stiffness caused by typing work by increasing peripheral blood flow and reducing muscle fatigue.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Anthocyanins / administration & dosage*
  • Arm / blood supply
  • Arm / physiology
  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology*
  • Computer Peripherals
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion / drug effects
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Placebo Effect
  • Ribes / metabolism*
  • Word Processing


  • Anthocyanins