Adherence to a 'Mediterranean diet' has been shown to be beneficial to human health. Fruit and vegetables represent some of the main components of the Mediterranean diet and their role has been increasingly considered in the process of preventing or reducing the risk of chronic degenerative diseases, such as cerebrovascular or coronary heart disorders, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. To investigate the beneficial effect of these dietary compounds, two EU-funded projects were conducted during the last 10 years. Their results from experimental models suggest that dietary anthocyanin enrichment is beneficial against a number of ischemic and degenerative conditions. On the other hand, human studies demonstrated that anthocyanin supplementation can counteract the inflammatory response to stress conditions, such as a fatty meal. Moreover, an intervention trial in patients with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy is presently testing the possible beneficial effect of the administration of a product enriched in anthocyanins on the inflammatory response to radiation and on its consequent skin toxicity, as well as on systemic low-grade inflammation reaction.
Keywords: anthocyanins; clinical trial; inflammation; oxidative stress; radiotherapy.
© 2016 The British Pharmacological Society.