Background and aim: Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease and previous studies have demonstrated that anthocyanin inhibits atherosclerosis. In the present study, we explored the effects of anthocyanins on inflammatory cytokines in hypercholesterolemic adults and cell lines.
Methods and results: A total of 150 subjects with hypercholesterolemia consumed a purified anthocyanin mixture (320 mg/d) or a placebo twice a day for 24 weeks in a randomized, double-blind trial. Anthocyanin consumption significantly decreased the levels of serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) (-21.6% vs. -2.5%, P = 0.001), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) (-12.3% vs. 0.4%, P = 0.005) and plasma IL-1β (-12.8% vs. -1.3%, P = 0.019) compared to the placebo. We also found a significant difference in the LDL-cholesterol (-10.4% vs. 0.3%, P = 0.030) and HDL-cholesterol level changes (14.0% vs. -0.9%, P = 0.036) between the two groups. In cell culture assays in vitro, purified anthocyanin mixture, delphinidin-3-Ο-β-glucoside (Dp-3g) and cyanidin-3-Ο-β-glucoside (Cy-3g) inhibited IL-6 and IL-1β-induced CRP production (P < 0.05) in HepG2 cell line and LPS-induced VCAM-1 secretion (P < 0.05) in porcine iliac artery endothelial cell line respectively in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the reduction of inflammatory cytokines associated with anthocyanin mixture was stronger when compared with the effects of Dp-3g and Cy-3g separately (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Anthocyanin mixture reduced the inflammatory response in hypercholesterolemic subjects. In addition, different anthocyanin compounds were found to have additive or synergistic effects in mediating anti-inflammatory responses in vitro cell culture assays.
Keywords: Anthocyanin; C-reactive protein; Hypercholesterolemia; Interleukin-1 beta; Randomized controlled trial; Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1.
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