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Bioactive anthocyanins detected in human urine after ingestion of blackcurrant juice.

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Institute of Nutritional Science, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany.


Anthocyanins are a group of very efficient bioactive compounds that are widely distributed in plant food. Several fruits (blackcurrant, blackberry, red grape) and some vegetables (eggplant, onion, red radish) are rich sources of these natural pigments. Extracts of some of them are used as food colorants as well as components of pharmaceutical preparations and functional foods. Anthocyanins, through their ability to inhibit radical reactions, are considered to exert several protective effects in the human body. Until now there has been only a small amount of data available on their capability, in intact or metabolized form, to reach the systemic circulation of humans. The present study was designed to determine the potential bioavailability in humans of the most important anthocyanins of blackcurrants: delphinidine-3-glucoside, delphinidine-3-rutinoside, cyanidine-3-glucoside, and cyanidine-3-rutinoside. Urinary samples from 4 healthy volunteers (2 women and 2 men) were collected before (baseline) and over a period of 5 hours with intervals of 30 minutes after the ingestion of 200 mL of blackcurrant juice (containing 153 mg of anthocyanins). Using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), it was possible to quantify the 4 main anthocyanins of blackcurrants, excreted unchanged in the urine (0.020-0.050% of the oral doses). We present data on the bioavailability in humans of blackcurrant anthocyanins, which are dietary antioxidants with possible biological effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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