Berry Fruits: Compositional Elements, Biochemical Activities, and the Impact of Their Intake on Human Health, Performance, and Disease

Center for Human Nutrition, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (Impact Factor: 2.91). 03/2008; 56(3):627-9. DOI: 10.1021/jf071988k
Source: PubMed


An overwhelming body of research has now firmly established that the dietary intake of berry fruits has a positive and profound impact on human health, performance, and disease. Berry fruits, which are commercially cultivated and commonly consumed in fresh and processed forms in North America, include blackberry ( Rubus spp.), black raspberry ( Rubus occidentalis), blueberry ( Vaccinium corymbosum), cranberry (i.e., the American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, distinct from the European cranberry, V. oxycoccus), red raspberry ( Rubus idaeus) and strawberry ( Fragaria x ananassa). Other berry fruits, which are lesser known but consumed in the traditional diets of North American tribal communities, include chokecherry ( Prunus virginiana), highbush cranberry ( Viburnum trilobum), serviceberry ( Amelanchier alnifolia), and silver buffaloberry ( Shepherdia argentea). In addition, berry fruits such as arctic bramble ( Rubus articus), bilberries ( Vaccinuim myrtillus; also known as bog whortleberries), black currant ( Ribes nigrum), boysenberries ( Rubus spp.), cloudberries ( Rubus chamaemorus), crowberries ( Empetrum nigrum, E. hermaphroditum), elderberries ( Sambucus spp.), gooseberry ( Ribes uva-crispa), lingonberries ( Vaccinium vitis-idaea), loganberry ( Rubus loganobaccus), marionberries ( Rubus spp.), Rowan berries ( Sorbus spp.), and sea buckthorn ( Hippophae rhamnoides), are also popularly consumed in other parts of the world. Recently, there has also been a surge in the consumption of exotic "berry-type" fruits such as the pomegranate ( Punica granatum), goji berries ( Lycium barbarum; also known as wolfberry), mangosteen ( Garcinia mangostana), the Brazilian açaí berry ( Euterpe oleraceae), and the Chilean maqui berry ( Aristotelia chilensis). Given the wide consumption of berry fruits and their potential impact on human health and disease, conferences and symposia that target the latest scientific research (and, of equal importance, the dissemination of this information to the general public), on the chemistry and biological and physiological functions of these "superfoods" are necessary.

Full-text preview

Available from:
  • Source
    • "LB has a large variety of biological activities and contains a variety of constituents, such as vitamins, cerebroside, betaine, polysaccharides and beta-carotene. Therefore, LB has been considered as a strong antioxidant (Gan et al. 2004; Amagase & Nance 2008; Seeram 2008). LB extract can inhibit malondialdehyde formation and promote superoxide anion scavenging activities in rat liver homogenates (Wu et al. 2004). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A total of 64 5-month-old Pietrain pigs were randomly allocated to four treatments with four replicates per treatment according to body weight. The pigs were fed either a standard corn-soybean meal based control diet (treatments 1 and 2), the standard diet with 1% Lycium barbarum (LB) (treatment 3), or the standard diet with 1% Polygala tenuifolia Willd (PT) (treatment 4). Serum lactic acid and glucose concentrations were increased in stressed pigs (P < 0.05). Addition of the herbs in the diet had no effect on the serum lactic acid concentration, but 1% LB decreased (P < 0.05) serum glucose concentration in the stressed pigs. Pre-slaughter stress also decreased (P < 0.01) liver glycogen concentration and the decrease could be inhibited by addition of 1% LB in the diet (P > 0.05). Pre-slaughter stress increased the concentration of maleic dialdehyde (MDA) (P < 0.05) and decreased glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity in serum, while dietary 1% LB increased (P < 0.05) the activity of GSH-Px and decreased the concentration of MDA in the serum. In conclusion, pre-slaughter stress induces oxidative stress in pigs and dietary supplementation with 1% LB improves antioxidant capacity in stressed pigs before slaughtering. © 2015 Japanese Society of Animal Science.
    Animal Science Journal 10/2015; DOI:10.1111/asj.12537 · 0.96 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "flavonols and flavanols) and/ or to the presence of acylated anthocyanins (Stintzing and Carle 2004). In fact it is well known that bilberry contains a variety of phenolic compounds, including quercetin, catechins , tannins, ellagitannins, and phenolic acids, but anthocyanins make by far the largest contribution to its phytochemical mix (Seeram 2008). a-Tocopherol content in water (initial extrapolated dose level = 0.98 mg L -1 ) reached a mean percent decrease of 5.1 % after 24 h exposure time. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many compounds released into the environment are able to interact with genetic material. The main purpose of genetic toxicology is to investigate the adverse effects of genotoxic molecules such as reduced fitness, changes in gene frequencies and their impact on genetic diversity in populations following genotoxic exposure. However, the ecological effects of many genotoxic compounds remain poorly understood. The aim of this research was to evaluate the genotoxic activity of an artificial musk (musk xylene, MX) and the potential anti-genotoxicity against this chemical compound of two antioxidant substances (α-tocopherol and an anthocyanins enriched extract). The studies were performed both in vivo and in vitro, using the teleost Danio rerio and the DLEC (Dicentrarchus labrax embryonic cells) cell line. We carried out the exposure to these substances at different times. DNA and cell damage and their possible repair were detected by various experimental approaches: DNA strand breaks (Comet Assay), degree of apoptosis (Diffusion Assay) and molecular alterations at the genomic level (RAPD-PCR technique). Data were collected and analyzed for statistical significance using the Student's t test. The results of this study showed that MX exhibited a genotoxic activity even after short exposure times. The anti-genotoxicity experiments evidenced that both α-tocopherol and Anthocyanin were able to contrast the genotoxic effects induced by MX, both in vivo and in vitro.
    Ecotoxicology 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10646-015-1538-1 · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Strawberries (and other berries) have interesting nutritional properties and a very high antioxidant capacity mainly due to their high proportion of (poly)-phenolic compounds and beneficial effects on human health have been reported [1] [2] [3] [4]. Breeding programs aiming to improve fruit nutritional quality could have a positive impact on consumer health. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over the last few years, diploid strawberry (Fragaria vesca) has been recognized as a model species for applied research of cultivated strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) that is one of the most economically important crops. Berries, particularly strawberries, are known for their high antioxidant capacity due to a high concentration of (poly) phenolic compounds. Studies have already characterized the phenolic composition of fruits from sets of cultivated strawberries but the quantification of phenolics in a Fragaria mapping population has not been reported, yet. The metabolite profiling of a F. vesca near isogenic line (NIL) collection by LC–MS allowed the unambiguous identification of 22 (poly)-phenols, including anthocyanins, flavonols, flavan-3-ols, flavanones, hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, and ellagic acid in the diploid strawberry fruit. The variability in the collection revealed that the genetic factor was more decisive than the environmental factor for the accumulation of 18 of the 24 compounds. Genotyping the NIL collection with the Axiom® IStraw90® SNPs array, we were able to map 76 stable QTLs controlling accumulation of the (poly)-phenolic compounds. They provide a powerful new tool to characterise candidate genes to increase the antioxidant capacity of fruits and produce healthier strawberries for consumers.
    Plant Science 08/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.plantsci.2015.07.019 · 3.61 Impact Factor
Show more