Anthocyanins may help fight diabetes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Insulin, Diabetes

Fruit compounds called anthocyanins could help lower blood sugar
levels in people with diabetes, suggest preliminary tests on
animals.

Anthocyanins, a class of plant pigments responsible for the colour of many fruits such as cherries and blackberries, increased insulin production in animal pancreatic cells by 50 per cent, according to the study.

"It is possible that consumption of cherries and other fruits containing these compounds [anthocyanins] could have a significant impact on insulin levels in humans,"​ said study leader Muralee Nair, a natural products chemist at Michigan State University.

"We're excited with the laboratory results so far, but more studies are needed,​ he added.

The potent antioxidant compounds have previously been associated with a variety of health benefits, including protection against heart disease and cancer.

But the new study shows that they also have promise for both the prevention of type 2 diabetes, on the rise around the world, and for helping control glucose levels in those who already have the condition.

Diabetes has already increased by one-third during the 1990s, due to the prevalence of obesity and an ageing population. The worldwide numbers are expected to climb from 194 million people to more than 333 million diabetics by 2025, according to the International Diabetes Federation.

Food and supplement makers are increasingly looking at ways to help slow the onset of the disease and such products may be the most efficient way to provide the beneficial anthocyanins, according to Nair.

The researcher's team tested several types of anthocyanins extracted from tart cherries, popular in the United States, and the Cornelian cherry, which is widely consumed in Europe. They investigated their effects on mouse pancreatic-beta cells, which normally produce insulin in the presence of high concentrations of glucose.

Compared to cells that were not exposed to anthocyanins, exposed cells were associated with a 50 per cent increase in insulin levels, the researchers say.

The mechanism of action by which these anthocyanins boost insulin production is not known, Nair said, but the team is currently feeding anthocyanins to a group of obese, diabetic mice to determine how the chemicals influence insulin levels in live subjects.

Scientists in Nair's laboratory have also developed a patented process for removing sugar from fruit extracts that contain anthocyanins. This could lead to sugar-free products for people with diabetes.

The study is scheduled to appear in the 5 January issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry​. The online version was initially published on 17 December on the journal's website​.

Related news

Related products

show more

Are you ready for a new taste experience?

Are you ready for a new taste experience?

Lallemand Bio-Ingredients | 02-Dec-2020 | Technical / White Paper

The Plant-based movement is gaining traction and it is common to refer to Plant-based food as products that are direct replacements for animal-based products....

Big surprises in Ipsos survey of 6000 flexitarians

Big surprises in Ipsos survey of 6000 flexitarians

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences | 30-Nov-2020 | Technical / White Paper

Flexitarians in 9 countries give a meal-by-meal account of their preferences. Discover what it takes to make plant-based part of every meal in our groundbreaking...

Expanding the value of beverage through wellness

Expanding the value of beverage through wellness

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences | 19-Nov-2020 | Research Study

Fermentation and live cultures contents in food are perceived by consumers as healthier because these provide a wellness halo while Covid-19 is accelerating...

Clean-label Umami and Kokumi solutions

Clean-label Umami and Kokumi solutions

Kerry | 12-Nov-2020 | Case Study

The memorable sensory qualities of umami and kokumi used in perfect synergy can bring depth and taste to savoury foods. Integrating umami and kokumi effectively...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars