Mulberry (Morus alba L.) belongs to the Moraceae family and is widely planted in Asia. Mulberry fruits are generally consumed as fresh fruits, jams and juices. They contain considerable amounts of biologically active ingredients that might be associated with some potential pharmacological activities that are beneficial for health. Therefore, they have been traditionally used in traditional medicine. Studies have reported that the presence of bioactive components in mulberry fruits, including alkaloids and flavonoid, are associated with bioactivities such as antioxidant. One of the most important compounds in mulberry fruits is anthocyanins which are water-soluble bioactive ingredients of the polyphenol class. Studies have shown that mulberry fruits possess several potential pharmacological health benefits including anti-cholesterol, anti-obesity and hepatoprotective effects which might be associated with the presence of some of these bioactive compounds. However, human intervention studies on the pharmacological activities of mulberry fruits are limited. Therefore, future studies should explore the effect of mulberry fruit consumption on human health and elucidate the detailed compounds. This paper provides an overview of the pharmacological activities of mulberry fruits.
Keywords: anthocyanins; health; mulberry; nutrition; polyphenols.