The Benefits of Anthocyanins in Disease Prevention


Anthocyanins are plant pigments found in deep colored fruits (cherries, berries, blackcurrant, apples, grapes, plums and nectarines), vegetables (eggplant, red radish and red cabbage) and nuts (pistachios and almonds) that have shown enormous benefits in disease prevention and overall well-being.  Recently they have become the focus of obesity research as they have shown to lower insulin spikes post-meal.

Insulin spiking from eating too many easily digested (processed) carbohydrates is the sole cause of insulin driven weight gain. It is well known that adding fat and protein to a carbohydrate meal slows gastric absorption of sugars and blunts the insulin spiking. This leads to lower weight gain. Recent research has shown that these plant compounds show a similar insulin blunting effect post-meal. Furthermore anthocyanins have shown to improve insulin resistance which is a precursor to type II diabetes[1]. Not only that they have also shown reduction in inflammation which is the root cause of many chronic diseases like heart disease, certain cancers and age related dementia.

One large study of 1950 Finnish men between the ages of 42-60 years showed decreased risk of stroke and cardiovascular mortality[2] and a reduction in risk of lung cancer[3] in middle-aged smoking men with increased consumption of these plant compounds.

In a large meta-analysis of 12 studies involving 9513 cases and 181,906 control subjects it was shown that increased consumption of these plant compounds decreased the risk of breast cancer especially in post-menopausal women[4].

Including some of these fruits and vegetables in your daily diet will go a long way towards preventing weight gain and imparting the health benefits for long term well-being.



[1] Jennings A1Welch AASpector TMacgregor ACassidy A. “Intakes of anthocyanins and flavones are associated with biomarkers of insulin resistance and inflammation in women.” Journal of Nutrition. 2014 Feb;144(2):202-8.



[2] Mursu J1Voutilainen SNurmi TTuomainen TPKurl SSalonen JT. “Flavonoid intake and the risk of ischaemic stroke and CVD mortality in middle-aged Finnish men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.” British Journal of Nutrition. 2008 Oct;100(4):890-5.


[3] Mursu J1Nurmi TTuomainen TPSalonen JTPukkala EVoutilainen S. “Intake of flavonoids and risk of cancer in Finnish men: The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.” International Journal of Cancer. 2008 Aug 1;123(3):660-3.


[4] Hui C1Qi XQianyong ZXiaoli PJundong ZMantian M. “Flavonoids, flavonoid subclasses and breast cancer risk: a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies.”PLoS One. 2013;8(1):


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