Berry anthocyanin intake and cardiovascular health

Mol Aspects Med. 2018 Jun;61:76-82. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2017.05.002. Epub 2017 May 11.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology*
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects
  • Cardiovascular System / metabolism*
  • Eating*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Microbiota / drug effects


  • Anthocyanins