Natural berries are among the richest sources of bioactive compounds (1-2), which play significant roles in health maintenance, including as antioxidants, anti-inflammation, cardiovascular, eye and brain. Anthocyanins, which provide the distinctive colors of berries (reds, purple, blues), are among the most effective bioactives for the promotion of health.
A very important anthocyanin is C3G (Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside). Besides the beneficial health effects in the eyes and cardiovascular system, research has linked C3G to longevity. Using C. elegans as the experimental organism model, high percentage C3G purple anthocyanin extracts extended mean lifespans by 10%. (3) The mechanism involved with life extension involved the activation of the FOXO transcription factor analog (DAF16). FOXO is the transcription factor associated with extreme lifespan. Also noted in the study with c. elegans was significant decreases in oxidative stress and an increase in response to stress.
The myriad of bioactive compounds in berries include phenolic compunds (phenolic acids, flavonoids, (such as anthocyanins and flavonols, and tannins) and ascorbic acid. (1)
Since there are variations in the distribution of bioactives among the different types of berries, a mix of berries, including high content C3G, will provide the maximum health benefits.
(1) Skrovankova S, et al. Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Types of Berries.
Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Oct
(2) Manganaris GA, et al. Berry antioxidants: small fruits providing large benefits. J Sci Food Agric. 2014 Mar 30
(3) Chen W, et al. Anthocyanin-rich purple wheat prolongs the life span of Caenorhabditis elegans probably by activating the DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor. J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Mar.