Cyanidin 3-glucoside improves diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats

Pharmacol Res. 2015 Dec:102:208-17. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2015.10.006. Epub 2015 Oct 23.


Increased consumption of dark-coloured fruits and vegetables may mitigate metabolic syndrome. This study has determined the changes in metabolic parameters, and in cardiovascular and liver structure and function, following chronic administration of either cyanidin 3-glucoside (CG) or Queen Garnet plum juice (QG) containing cyanidin glycosides to rats fed either a corn starch (C) or a high-carbohydrate, high-fat (H) diet. Eight to nine-week-old male Wistar rats were randomly divided into six groups for 16-week feeding with C, C with CG or QG, H or H with CG or QG. C or H were supplemented with CG or QG at a dose of ∼ 8 mg/kg/day cyanidin glycosides from week 8 to 16. H rats developed signs of metabolic syndrome including visceral adiposity, impaired glucose tolerance, hypertension, cardiovascular remodelling, increased collagen deposition in left ventricle, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, increased plasma liver enzymes and increased inflammatory cell infiltration in the heart and liver. Both CG and QG reversed these cardiovascular, liver and metabolic signs. However, no intact anthocyanins or common methylated/conjugated metabolites could be detected in the plasma samples and plasma hippuric acid concentrations were unchanged. Our results suggest CG is the most likely mediator of the responses to QG but that further investigation of the pharmacokinetics of oral CG in rats is required.

Keywords: Anthocyanins; Cyanidin 3-glucoside; Inflammation; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Queen Garnet plum.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology*
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects
  • Cardiovascular System / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fruit and Vegetable Juices
  • Glucosides / pharmacology*
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / drug therapy
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism
  • Prunus domestica / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Anthocyanins
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Glucosides
  • cyanidin-3-O-beta-glucopyranoside