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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Feb;99(2):561-9. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-2845. Epub 2013 Nov 27.

Anthocyanin supplementation improves HDL-associated paraoxonase 1 activity and enhances cholesterol efflux capacity in subjects with hypercholesterolemia.

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Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Food, Nutrition, and Health, Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University (Northern Campus), Guangzhou, Guangdong Province 510080, People's Republic of China.



Paraoxonase 1 (PON1), an enzyme associated with high-density lipoprotein (HDL-PON1), is reported to have antioxidant and cardioprotective properties. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of anthocyanins on the HDL-PON1 activity and cholesterol efflux capacity in hypercholesterolemic subjects.


A total of 122 hypercholesterolemic subjects were given 160 mg of anthocyanins twice daily or placebo (n = 61 of each group) for 24 weeks in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Participants and investigators were masked to treatment allocation.


Anthocyanin consumption significantly increased HDL cholesterol and decreased low -density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations compared with placebo (P < .018 and P < .001, respectively). Anthocyanin supplementation also increased the activity of HDL-PON1 compared with placebo (P < .001). Furthermore, cholesterol efflux capacity was increased more in the anthocyanin group (20.0% increase) than in the placebo group (0.2% increase) (P < .001). The negative correlations established between HDL-PON1 activity and the levels of lipid hydroperoxides associated with HDL confirm the relationship between PON1 activity and lipid peroxidation of lipoproteins. Furthermore, a strong positive correlation was noted between increased HDL-PON1 activity and improved cholesterol efflux capacity both before and after adjustment for HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein AI in anthocyanin-treated subjects (both P < .001). Inhibition of HDL-PON1 activity strongly prevented the antioxidant ability of HDL and attenuated the cholesterol efflux capacity of subjects from anthocyanin group.


Our observations suggest that the alterations of PON1 activity by anthocyanin observed in hypercholesterolemic HDL reflect a shift to an improvement of cholesterol efflux capacity of HDL and may provide a link between anthocyanin and cardioprotective effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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