Berries are associated with health benefits. Little is known about the effect of baseline metabolome on the overall metabolic responses to berry intake.
Starch in white wheat bread (WB) induces high postprandial glucose and insulin responses. For rye bread (RB), the glucose response is similar, whereas the insulin response is lower. In vitro studies suggest that polyphenol-rich berries may reduce digestion and absorption of starch and thereby suppress postprandial glycemia, but the evidence in humans is limited. We investigated the effects of berries consumed with WB or RB on postprandial glucose and insulin responses. Healthy females (n = 13-20) participated in 3 randomized, controlled, crossover, 2-h meal studies. They consumed WB or RB, both equal to 50 g available starch, with 150 g whole-berry purée or the same amount of bread without berries as reference. In study 1, WB was served with strawberries, bilberries, or lingonberries and in study 2 with raspberries, cloudberries, or chokeberries. In study 3, WB or RB was served with a mixture of berries consisting of equal amounts of strawberries, bilberries, cranberries, and blackcurrants. Strawberries, bilberries, lingonberries, and chokeberries consumed with WB and the berry mixture consumed with WB or RB significantly reduced the postprandial insulin response. Only strawberries (36%) and the berry mixture (with WB, 38%; with RB, 19%) significantly improved the glycemic profile of the breads. These results suggest than when WB is consumed with berries, less insulin is needed for maintenance of normal or slightly improved postprandial glucose metabolism. The lower insulin response to RB compared with WB can also be further reduced by berries.
The mechanism action of the polyphenol-rich extracts from berries of Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry) and from grape seeds in the defence against homocysteine (Hcy) and its derivatives action in blood platelets is still unknown. In this study, the influence of the aronia extract and grape seeds extract (GSE) on the platelet adhesion to collagen and fibrinogen and the platelet aggregation during a model of hyperhomocysteinemia was investigated. The aim of our study in vitro was also to investigate superoxide anion radicals (O 2 (-•) ) production after incubation of platelets with Hcy, HTL and the aronia extract and GSE during a model of hyperhomocysteinemia (induced by reduced form of homocysteine at final dose of 100 μM) and the most reactive form of Hcy-its cyclic thioester, homocysteine thiolactone (HTL, 1 μM). Moreover, the additional aim of our study was also to establish and compare the influence of the aronia extract, GSE and resveratrol (3,4',5-trihydroxystilben), a phenolic compound, which has been supposed to be beneficial for the prevention of cardiovascular events, on selected steps of platelet activation.
Triphala, a herbal formula composed of the three fruits of Terminalia chebula Retz. (Haritaki, Family: Combretaceae), Terminalia bellirica Roxb. (Bibhitaki, Family: Combretaceae) and Phyllanthus emblica Linn. or Emblica officinalis Gaertn. (Amalaki or the Indian gooseberry, Family: Euphorbiaceae) is considered to be a universal panacea in the traditional Indian system of medicine the Ayurveda. It has been described in the Ayurveda text as a “Rasayana' and to rejuvenat the debilitated organs. Ayurvedic physicians use Triphala for many ailments but most importantly to treat various gastrointestinal disorders. Scientific studies carried out in the past two decades have validated many of the ethnomedicinal claims and researches have shown Triphala to possess free radical scavenging, antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antipyretic, analgesic, antibacterial, antimutagenic, wound healing, anticariogenic, antistress, adaptogenic, hypoglycaemic, anticancer, chemoprotective, radioprotective and chemopreventive effects. Clinical studies have also shown that Triphala was found to have good laxative property, to improve appetite and reduce gastric hyperacidity. Studies have also shown that Triphala was effective in preventing dental caries and that this effect was equal to that of chlorhexidine. The current review addresses the validated pharmacological properties of Triphala and also emphasizes on aspects that need further investigation for its future clinic application.
Berries and red fruits are rich dietary sources of polyphenols with reported health benefits. More than 50 different flavonols (glycosides of quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, syringetin and laricitrin) have been detected and quantified with HPLC-MS(n) in fruits of blueberry, bilberry, cranberry, lingonberry, eastern shadbush, Japanese wineberry, black mulberry, chokeberry, red, black and white currants, jostaberry, red and white gooseberry, hardy kiwifruit, goji berry, rowan, dog rose, Chinese and midland hawthorn, wild and cultivated species of blackberry, raspberry, strawberry and elderberry. The phenolic constituents and contents varied considerably among the analyzed berry species. Elderberry contained the highest amount of total flavonols (450-568 mgkg(-1) FW), followed by berry species, containing more than 200 mgkg(-1) FW of total: chokeberry (267mgkg(-1)), eastern shadbush (261 mgkg(-1)), wild grown blackberry (260 mgkg(-1)), rowanberry (232 mgkg(-1)), american cranberry (213 mgkg(-1)) and blackcurrants (204 mgkg(-1)). Strawberry (10.5 mgkg(-1)) and white currants (4.5 mgkg(-1)) contained the lowest amount of total flavonols. Quercetins represent the highest percentage (46-100%) among flavonols in most analyzed berries. In wild strawberry and gooseberry the prevailing flavonols belong to the group of isorhamnetins (50-62%) and kaempferols, which represent the major part of flavonols in currants (49-66%). Myricetin glycosides could only be detected in chokeberry, rowanberry and species from the Grossulariaceae, and Adoxaceae family and Vaccinium genus. Wild strawberry and blackberry contained from 3- to 5-fold higher total flavonols than the cultivated one.
Glycation is associated with several neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), where it potentiates the aggregation and toxicity of proteins such as β-amyloid (Aβ). Published studies support the anti-glycation and neuroprotective effects of several polyphenol-rich fruits, including berries, which are rich in anthocyanins. Herein, blackberry, black raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, red raspberry, and strawberry extracts were evaluated for: (1) total phenolic and anthocyanins contents, (2) free radical (DPPH) scavenging and reactive carbonyl species (methylglyoxal; MGO) trapping, (3) anti-glycation (using BSA-fructose and BSA-MGO models), (4) anti-Aβ aggregation (using thermal- and MGO-induced fibrillation models), and, (5) murine microglia (BV-2) neuroprotective properties. Berry crude extracts (CE) were fractionated to yield anthocyanins-free (ACF) and anthocyanins-enriched (ACE) extracts. The berry ACEs (at 100 μg/mL) showed superior free radical scavenging, reactive carbonyl species trapping, and anti-glycation effects compared to their respective ACFs. The berry ACEs (at 100 μg/mL) inhibited both thermal- and MGO-induced Aβ fibrillation. In addition, the berry ACEs (at 20 μg/mL) reduced H₂O₂-induced reactive oxygen species production, and lipopolysaccharide-induced nitric oxide species in BV-2 microglia as well as decreased H₂O₂-induced cytotoxicity and caspase-3/7 activity in BV-2 microglia. The free radical scavenging, reactive carbonyl trapping, anti-glycation, anti-Aβ fibrillation, and microglial neuroprotective effects of these berry extracts warrant further in vivo studies to evaluate their potential neuroprotective effects against AD.
Low-grade metabolic inflammation and hypertension are primary mechanisms involved in obesity-associated adverse health effects. Berries, especially Nordic wild blueberries (hereafter referred to as bilberries), represent an important source of dietary anthocyanins, a group of polyphenols with potential beneficial effects to combat obesity-associated metabolic disturbances.
Berry fruits are recognized, worldwide, as “superfoods” due to the high content of bioactive natural products and the health benefits deriving from their consumption. Berry leaves are byproducts of berry cultivation; their traditional therapeutic use against several diseases, such as the common cold, inflammation, diabetes, and ocular dysfunction, has been almost forgotten nowadays. Nevertheless, the scientific interest regarding the leaf composition and beneficial properties grows, documenting that berry leaves may be considered an alternative source of bioactives. The main bioactive compounds in berry leaves are similar as in berry fruits, i.e., phenolic acids and esters, flavonols, anthocyanins, and procyanidins. The leaves are one of the richest sources of chlorogenic acid. In various studies, these secondary metabolites have demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective properties. This review focuses on the phytochemical composition of the leaves of the commonest berry species, i.e., blackcurrant, blackberry, raspberry, bilberry, blueberry, cranberry, and lingonberry leaves, and presents their traditional medicinal uses and their biological activities in vitro and in vivo.
Ellagitannins have shown anti-inflammatory and anti-Helicobacter pylori properties; however, their anti-inflammatory activity at gastric level was not previously investigated. The aim of this research was to evaluate the effects of ellagitannins from Rubus berries on gastric inflammation. Ellagitannin enriched extracts (ETs) were prepared from Rubus fruticosus L. (blackberry) and Rubus idaeus L. (raspberry). The anti-inflammatory activity was tested on gastric cell line AGS stimulated by TNF-α and IL-1β for evaluating the effect on NF-kB driven transcription, nuclear translocation and IL-8 secretion. In vivo the protective effect of ellagitannins was evaluated in a rat model of ethanol-induced gastric lesions. Rats were treated orally for ten days with 20 mg/kg/day of ETs, and ethanol was given one hour before the sacrifice. Gastric mucosa was isolated and used for the determination of IL-8 release, NF-kB nuclear translocation, Trolox equivalents, superoxide dismutase and catalase activities. In vitro, ETs inhibited TNF-α induced NF-kB driven transcription (IC50: 0.67-1.73 µg/mL) and reduced TNF-α-induced NF-kB nuclear translocation (57%-67% at 2 µg/mL). ETs inhibited IL-8 secretion induced by TNF-α and IL-1β at low concentrations (IC50 range of 0.7-4 µg/mL). Sanguiin H-6 and lambertianin C, the major ETs present in the extracts, were found to be responsible, at least in part, for the effect of the mixtures. ETs of blackberry and raspberry decreased Ulcer Index by 88% and 75% respectively and protected from the ethanol induced oxidative stress in rats. CINC-1 (the rat homologue of IL-8) secretion in the gastric mucosa was reduced in the animals receiving blackberry and raspberry ETs. The effect of ETs on CINC-1 was associated to a decrease of NF-κB nuclear translocation in ETs treated animals. The results of the present study report for the first time the preventing effect of ETs in gastric inflammation and support for their use in dietary regimens against peptic ulcer.
Small berry fruits are consumed due to their attractive colour, special taste and are considered as one of the richest sources of natural antioxidants. Their consumption has been linked to the prevention of chronic and degenerative diseases. The term ‘berry fruits’ commonly encompass the so-called ‘soft fruits’, primarily strawberry, currants, gooseberry, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, and cranberry. The objective of this review was to highlight the nutraceutical value of berries and to summarize the factors affecting berry fruit antioxidants. Particular attention is given to postharvest and processing operation factors that may affect fruit phytochemical content. The structure-antioxidant relationships for phenolic compounds, the main group of antioxidants in this fruit group are presented and major areas for future research are identified.