Health Benefits of Aronia Berries

 

Aronia Berries  are extremely high in antioxidants.  Aronia Berries also have the highest anthocyanin concentrations (pigments), and are very high in proanthocyanidins (tannins), in addition to a lot of other polyphenols .  Aronia berries have been used in scientific research because of their extremely high levels of these phytonutrients.  Following an initial review of the available clinical data we feel there is evidence to suggest that regular aronia berry consumption may:

Reduce blood pressure

Reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol levels

Reduce inflammation

Reduce the chance of a heart attack

Reduce recovery time following a heart attack

Reduce weight gain

Reduce eye inflammation

Reduce muscle recovery time after workouts

Regulate Blood sugar

Reduce the chance of developing cancer


News  1/14/13

New Study shows berries high in flavinoids reduce heart attacks in women


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130114152954.htm

                 

The following is a list of conditions, and the clinical research on the consumption of Aronia Berries to treat these conditions:



Existing Research

Alzheimer’s Disease

(in vitro)

Published in:  Food Chemistry

“Lemonjuice and chokeberry mixture beverage inhibited hcolinesterase activity” ,“their inhibition of cholinesterase is of interest regarding neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or senile dementia.”

Phytochemicalprofile of ablend of blackchokeberry andlemonjuice with cholinesteraseinhibitoryeffect andantioxidantpotential


Blood Pressure

(human)

Published in: Official Journal of the European Atherosclerosis Society.

This study included 44 people who had previously had a heart attack and had been on statins, it administered Aronia extract 3 times daily to half of the participants (85mg/day, equivalent to 1 berry-3x times daily according to my math).  Aronia berry consumption reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a mean average of 11 and 7.2mmHg.

Combination therapy of statin with flavonoids rich extract from chokeberry fruits enhances reduction in cardiovascular risk markers in patients after myocardial infraction (MI).Atherosclerosis, 194, 179-184.


and

(human)

Published in: International medical journal of experimental and clinical research.

25 patients w/ metabolic syndrome consumed aronia 3 times daily for 2 months; Aronia berry consumption reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a mean average of 11.5 and 5 mmHg.  “Conclusion:Aronia extract may be of benefit to patients with MS. This seems to result from the influence of anthocyanins and possibly other flavonoids on blood pressure, serum level of ET-1, lipids, and oxidative status”

Aronia melanocarpa extract reduces blood pressure, serum endothelin, lipid, and oxidative stress marker levels in patients with metabolic syndrome. Med Sci Monit. 2010 Jan;16(1):CR28-34.

Blood Clotting

(in vitro)

Published in: Journal of Phytotherapy

Anticoagulant effect of polyphenols-rich extracts from black chokeberry and grape seeds.

Bijak M, Bobrowski M, Borowiecka M, Podsędek A, Golański J, Nowak P.

Cancer

Breast Cancer

(in vitro)

published in: Journal of medicinal plant research

Breast cancer patients have significantly higher oxidative stress markers.  The following study shows the reduction of these oxidative stresses when exposed to aronia extracts.  

An extract from berries of Aronia melanocarpa modulates the generation of superoxide anion radicals in blood platelets from breast cancer patients. Planta Med. 2009 Oct;75(13):1405-9. Epub 2009 May 14.


(mice)

published in: International journal of cancer. Predictive oncology

Mice fed aronia and exposed to cigarette smoke “were found to attenuate the yield of tumors induced by individual carcinogens in the rodent digestive tract and mammary gland”

Inhibition of lung tumor development by berry extracts in mice exposed to cigarette smoke.Int J Cancer. 2012 Feb 13. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27486. [Epub ahead of print]


Colon Cancer

(in vitro)

published in: Nutrition and Cancer: An International Journal, research from the University of Maryland

This study shows a  60% growth inhibition of human HT-29 colon cancer cells.

Anthocyanin-rich extract from Aronia meloncarpa E induces a cell cycle block in colon cancer but not normal colonic cells.  Nutr Cancer. 2003;46(2):186-96.


(in vitro) (mice)

published by:   The Ohio State Univeristy

This is incredibly positive research for the use of Aronia berries and other darkly pigmented food to help in the treatment of colon cancer ; “The dietary addition of the anthocyanin extracts reduced signs of colon tumors by 70 and 60 percent, respectively, when compared to control rats”,”But pigments from purple corn and chokeberries not only completely stopped the growth of cancer cells, but also killed roughly 20 percent of the cancer cells while having little effect on healthy cells.”

COMPOUNDS THAT COLOR FRUITS AND VEGGIES MAY PROTECT AGAINST COLON CANCER, a presentation at the American Chemical Society


and

(in vitro)

published in: The Journal of nutritional biochemistry.

Up-regulation of tumor suppressor carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 in human colon cancer Caco-2 cells following repetitive exposure to dietary levels of a polyphenol-rich chokeberry juice.J Nutr Biochem. 2007 Apr;18(4):259-71. Epub 2006 Jul 24.


Leukemia

(in vitro)

University of Illinois chemopreventative research done on Leukemia cells.  “Results from this study suggest that significant anticancer potential is present in both cultivated and wild Aronia”

Chemopreventive Potential of Flavonoid Extracts from Plantation-bred and Wild Aronia melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry) Fruits. JFS 71: C480-C488

Cholesterol

(human)

This study showed that regularly drinking aronia juice  had a  statistically significant increase in serum nitric oxide (NO) concentration and in the flow mediated dilatation (FMD).  35 of 35 patients with moderately high cholesteral had a >= 7% increase in FMD after consumption of aronia juice.

Drinking of chokeberry juice from the ecological farm Dzieciolowo and distensibility of brachial artery in men with mild hypercholesterolemia.Ann Agric Environ Med. 2009 Dec;16(2):305-8.


(human)

Human trials have shown a 25% reduction of the most dangerous of all cholesterol, Oxidized Low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL), following the consumption of Aronia.  ox-LDL can produce inflammation, and clog arteries that supply blood to your organs and other tissues, thus increasing high blood pressure, promoting atherosclerosis and increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.  

Combination therapy of statin with flavonoids rich extract from chokeberry fruits enhances reduction in cardiovascular risk markers in patients after myocardial infraction (MI).Atherosclerosis, 194, 179-184.


(rat)

Rats fed a high cholesterol diet along with aronia berries showed no increase in LDL and total cholesterol concentrations, vs control.

Antihyperlipidemic effect of Aronia melanocarpa fruit juice in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet.Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2007 Mar;62(1):19-24. Epub 2006 Nov 29.

Diabetes

(human)

This study was done on 48 patients with both insulin dependent and non-insulin dependant diabetes.  Results: “Accumulated data illustrated the hypoglycemic potential of Aronia juice. The precise mechanism of its action is unknown but its beneficial effects and good taste make it a valuable adjunct to the dietary treatment of patients with diabetes mellitus.”

Effects of Aronia melanocarpa juice as part of the dietary regimen in patients with diabetes mellitus.Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2002;44(3):20-3.


(rat)

Rat study also showing hypoglycemic potential of Aronia juice.

Ingestion of black chokeberry fruit extract leads to intestinal and systemic changes in a rat model of prediabetes and hyperlipidemia.Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2008 Dec;63(4):176-82. Epub 2008 Aug 23.


Gastric Damage

(rat)

Gastroprotective effect of red pigments in black chokeberry fruit (Aronia melanocarpa Elliot) on acute gastric hemorrhagic lesions in rats.  J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Apr 21;52(8):2226-9.

Heart Attack recovery

(human)

Endothelial progenitor cells(EPC) are bone marrow cells that repair damaged tissue resulting from a heart attack.  These cells are quickly used up because of oxidative stresses.  Aronia consumption increases telomerase activity in these cells, which allows them to increase the amount of repair they can do before they are exhausted.

Combination therapy of statin with flavonoids rich extract from chokeberry fruits enhances reduction in cardiovascular risk markers in patients after myocardial infraction (MI).Atherosclerosis, 194, 179-184.

Heart Attack prevention

In clinical trials Aronia was shown to reduce inflammation in arterial cell walls, reduce ACE (an inhibitor of vasodialation of the arteries), and reduce the number of ox-LDL that coagulate along the walls of the arteries an create blockage.  All of these processes are mechanisms that have been shown to cause Coronary Heart Disease, and eventually heart attacks or stroke.


(human)

The following link was done on 60 people who had previously had a heart attack and had been on statins.  This study administered Aronia extract 3 times daily to half of the participants (85mg/day, equivalent to 1 berry-3x times daily).  The results show a reduced blood pressure, reduced ox-LDL, reduced Inflammation Markers (IL-6), and other markers

Combination therapy of statin with flavonoids rich extract from chokeberry fruits enhances reduction in cardiovascular risk markers in patients after myocardial infraction (MI).Atherosclerosis, 194, 179-184.


(in vitro)

“These results suggest that such extracts could have significant beneficial effects in vascular disease.”

Direct vasoactive and vasoprotective properties of anthocyanin-rich extracts.  J Appl Physiol. 2006 Apr;100(4):1164-70. Epub 2005 Dec 8.


(rat)

Rat study focusing on using Aronia as a supplement to standard cardiovascular therapy.

Anthocyanins--an adjunct to cardiovascular therapy? Kardiol Pol. 2002 Oct;57(10):332-6.

Inflammation

(rat)

This study shows the anti-inflamatory power of Aronia.  “ the anti-inflammatory effect of 100 mg Aronia extract was as strong as that of 10 mg prednisolone”, ”The anti-inflammatory action of Aronia extract was stronger than that of either quercetin or anthocyanin administered alone.”

Anti-inflammatory effects of aronia extract on rat endotoxin-induced uveitis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005 Jan;46(1):275-81.


(human)

Aronia was shown to reduce IL-6 concentrations in blood by 30%.  Elevated levels of IL-6 is associated with chronic inflammation.  Chronic inflammation has been linked to heart disease, osteoporisis, cognitive decline, alzheimers, type-2 diebetes, and arthritis.

Combination therapy of statin with flavonoids rich extract from chokeberry fruits enhances reduction in cardiovascular risk markers in patients after myocardial infraction (MI).Atherosclerosis, 194, 179-184.


Liver protection

(rat)

Hepatoprotective effect of the natural fruit juice from Aronia melanocarpa on carbon tetrachloride-induced acute liver damage in rats.Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2004 Dec;56(3):195-201.

Muscle Recovery

(human)

This study was done to show potential for aronia consumption to reduce exercise-induced oxidative damage to red blood cells.

International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism The Influence of Chokeberry Juice Supplementation on the Reduction of Oxidative Stress Resulting from an Incremental Rowing Ergometer Exercise Lucja Pilaczynska-Szczesniak, A. Skarpanska-Steinborn, E. Deskur, P. Basta, and M. Horoszkiewicz-Hassan, 15(1), 2005


Viruses, Flu

(in vitro)

Aronia was used to slow the spread of flu virus, and other pathogenic organisms in vitro.

Valcheva-Kuzmanova S, Russev V, Bojkova K, Belcheva A. Study of natural Aronia melanocarpa fruit juice for antibacterial and antiviral аctivity. Scr Sci Med. 2003;35:21-3.

Weight Gain

Aronia has been proven to treat the underlie conditions of Metabolic Syndrome, a symptom of which is extra weight around your waist.  The following links are studies done on rats that show reduction in belly fat in rats with diabetic or prediabetic conditions.


(rat)

USDA study; "provides evidence that the chokeberry (Aronia) extract inhibits weight gain in insulin-resistant animals and that it modulates multiple genes associated with adipose tissue growth, blood glucose regulation, and inflammatory pathways."....

Chokeberry extract consumption inhibits weight gain by modulating adipogenesis, insulin signaling, and inflammatory related gene expression in adipose tissue in rats fed a fructose rich diet.  FASEB J.April 201024 (Meeting Abstract Supplement) 555.7


Polish Study; “In conclusion, chokeberry fruit derivatives may act as a promising supplementary therapeutic option in the prevention and treatment of disorders occurring in metabolic syndrome, as well as their complications.”

(rat)

Ingestion of black chokeberry fruit extract leads to intestinal and systemic changes in a rat model of prediabetes and hyperlipidemia. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2008 Dec;63(4):176-82. Epub 2008 Aug 23.


(human)

This study shows patients consuming aronia had a 23.6% increase in plasma adiponectin level, a protein hormone marker, inversely correlated to body fat.

Combination therapy of statin with flavonoids rich extract from chokeberry fruits enhances reduction in cardiovascular risk markers in patients after myocardial infraction (MI).Atherosclerosis, 194, 179-184.


Current Research

Inflammatory bowel disease

Research is currently being done on the use of Aronia berries to treat inflammatory bowel disease(IBD).  IBD effects 1.4 million americans, Children with IBD have increased risk of nutrient deficiencies, muscle wasting, and poor bone development.

http://www.dietandhealth.uconn.edu/projects/efficacy-of-aronia-chokeberry-polyphenols-to-inhibit-th17-in-vitro-and-in-a-mouse-model-of-inflammatory-bowel-diseases-ibd/


Heart Disease, Cholesterol of former smokers

UConn researcher Bradley Bolling has been awarded $417,076 for his research of consumption of Aronia berries and it’s impact on cardiovascular disease in former smokers.  “Our hypothesis is that dietary chokeberry polyphenols reduce cardiovascular disease risk in former smokers by improving cholesterol profiles and inhibiting inflammation and oxidative stress,” Bolling says.

http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2012/01/uconn-researchers-awarded-state-grants-for-study-of-tobacco-related-disease

 

                         How much should I eat?


Several of the human trials administered the equivalent of a few berries (3-5 berries)  3 times a day.  Multiple doses a day is important to keep consistently higher flavonoid contents in your blood stream. (i.e. anthocyanins/etc.. levels in your blood seem to drop off after a couple of hours.)  

    This seems to me to be a minimum amount and I would recommend staying on the high side of this,  I usually tell people to eat a good sized handful over the course of the day.