Comparative analysis of phenolic content and profile, antioxidant capacity, and anti-inflammatory bioactivity in wild Alaskan and commercial Vaccinium berries

J Agric Food Chem. 2014 May 7;62(18):4007-17. doi: 10.1021/jf403810y. Epub 2013 Nov 19.


Wild Alaskan Vaccinium berries, V. vitis-idaea (lowbush cranberry) and V. uliginosum (bog blueberry), were investigated in parallel with their commercial berry counterparts, V. macrocarpon (cranberry) and V. angustifolium (lowbush blueberry). Lowbush cranberry accumulated about twice the total phenolics (624.4 mg/100 g FW) and proanthocyanidins (278.8 mg/100 g) content as commercial cranberries, but A-type proanthocyanidins were more prevalent in the latter. Bog blueberry anthocyanin and total phenolic contents of 220 and 504.5 mg/100 g, respectively, significantly exceeded those of the lowbush blueberry. Chlorogenic acid, however, was quite high in lowbush blueberry (83.1 mg/100 g), but undetected in bog blueberry, and the proanthocyanidins of lowbush blueberry had significantly higher levels of polymerization. Antioxidant capacity (DPPH, APTS, and FRAP) correlated with phenolic content for each berry. A polyphenol-rich fraction from lowbush cranberry exhibited dose-dependent inhibition of LPS-elicited induction of IL-1β in RAW 264.7 cells, indicative of strong anti-inflammatory activity. These results corroborate the historic use of wild Alaskan berries as medicinally important foods in Alaska Native communities.

Keywords: V. angustifolium; V. macrocarpon; V. uliginosum; Vaccinium vitis-idaea; anti-inflammatory; antioxidant; phenolics.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alaska
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / chemistry*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mice
  • Phenols / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Vaccinium / chemistry*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts