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Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2013 Jun;68(2):97-106. doi: 10.1007/s11130-013-0349-x.

Biological activities of extracts from Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.): a review.

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Laboratory of Fruit Quality Biology/The State Agriculture Ministry Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Growth, Development and Quality Improvement, Zhejiang University, Zijingang Campus, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China.


Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.) is a subtropical fruit tree native to China and other Asian countries, and culture of this Myricaceae plant has been recorded in Chinese history for more than 2000 years. Bayberry fruit is delicious with attractive color, flavor, and high economic value. Compared with other berries, bayberry fruit is a rich source of cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G, e.g., 64.8 mg/100 g fresh weight in 'Biqi' cultivar), which accounts for at least 85 % of the anthocyanins in the fruit. Bayberry is also a plant with high medicinal value since different organs have been used historically as folk medicines. Research efforts suggest bayberry extracts contain antioxidants that exhibit bioactivities counteracting inflammation, allergens, diabetes, cancer, bacterial infection, diarrhea and other health issues. Bayberry compounds have been isolated and characterized to provide a better understanding of the chemical mechanisms underlying the biological activities of bayberry extracts and to elaborate the structure-activity relationships. As the identification of compounds progresses, studies investigating the in vivo metabolism and bioavailability as well as potential toxicity of bayberry extracts in animal models are receiving more attention. In addition, breeding and genetic studies of bayberry with high accumulation of health-benefiting compounds may provide new insight for the bayberry research and industry. This review is focused on the main medicinal properties reported and the possible pharmaceutically active compounds identified in different bayberry extracts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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