Berries: anti-inflammatory effects in humans

J Agric Food Chem. 2014 May 7;62(18):3886-903. doi: 10.1021/jf4044056. Epub 2014 Mar 17.


A sustained pro-inflammatory state is a major contributing factor in chronic disease development, progression, and complication, including the most commonly known diseases: cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's, and type 2 diabetes. Fruits, such as berries, contain polyphenol compounds purported to have anti-inflammatory activity in humans. Among the most notable polyphenols in berries are anthocyanins, responsible for their distinctive colors of red, blue, and purple. Berries have been studied widely for their antioxidant properties; however, preclinical data suggest important effects on inflammatory pathways. Correspondingly, the effects of berries, including extracts and purified anthocyanins, have been the subject of a number of human trials. This review aims to evaluate the current state of the human science on berry (products) as a source of dietary polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins, to modulate inflammatory status. Identifying dietary strategies that manage the modern-day inflammatory burden has important implications for chronic disease risk reduction and informing dietary guidelines aimed at achieving and maintaining health.

Keywords: anthocyanins; berries; clinical trials; inflammation; polyphenols; postprandial.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Plant Extracts