Over half of all cardiovascular (CV) events could be prevented by improved diet. This is reflected in government targets for fruit/vegetable intake, yet these are variable across the world (UK: 5-a-day; USA: 9-a-day), do not identify specific fruits/vegetables, and prove hard to achieve. Mounting evidence from prospective studies, supported by recent randomised controlled trials suggest that the benefits of fruits/vegetables may be due to bioactive substances called flavonoids. Specifically one sub-class of flavonoids, the anthocyanins, responsible for the red/blue hue, are receiving growing attention. Although promising data is emerging from cohort studies, and cell/animal studies, proof of efficacy from longer-term randomised controlled trials, and an understanding of the importance of differential metabolism in relation to clinical efficacy are distinctly lacking. Diet related ill-health are among the leading priorities of our time and simple dietary change, including incorporating a few portions of anthocyanin-rich fruit into our diet could have a significant impact at a public health level.
Keywords: Anthocyanins; Cardiovascular; Metabolism; Microbiome.
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