The bioavailability and absorption of anthocyanins: towards a better understanding

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):702-13. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200700092.


Evidence that anthocyanin compounds have beneficial effects for health are increasingly being reported in the scientific literature and these compounds are now widely recognised as potential therapeutic compounds. Berry fruit are rich sources of anthocyanins and berry fruit products or derived beverages can provide 10s to 100s of milligrams of anthocyanins in a single serve. Anthocyanins exhibit complex chemical behaviours in vitro and this will result in complex behaviour in vivo. This review attempts to summarize some aspects of anthocyanin biochemistry and discusses these in the context of what is currently known about bioavailability and absorption. Compared with other flavonoid groups, such as flavonols, relatively little is known about details and mechanisms of anthocyanin absorption and transport and much remains to be discovered.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / metabolism
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Biological Availability
  • Biological Transport
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Jejunum / metabolism


  • Anthocyanins