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: 3.11). 03/2008; 56(3):627-9. DOI: 10.1021/jf071988k
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

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    • "Trolox (DPPH), 10–40 mM Trolox (FRAP), 6–25 mM Trolox (ORAC) and 10–40 mM Trolox (ABTS) (Seeram, 2008; Mena et al., 2011 "
    Processing and Impact on Active Components in Food, Edited by Victor Preedy, 12/2014: chapter Beverages: pages 629-636; Elsevier., ISBN: 978-0-12-404699-3
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    • "In general, berries are rich in polyphenols which are suggested to play a role in health benefits of plant-based diets [4, 6–8]. Plant phenolics are a large group of secondary metabolites which provide color and taste in fruits and berries and include flavonoids (anthocyanins, flavonols, and flavanols), tannins, stilbenoids, and phenolic acids [9]. The antioxidant effect of berry anthocyanins has been studied extensively, but still little is known about the biological activities linking berries and polyphenols to the prevention of type 2 diabetes [4] [10] [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. The aim of the study was to screen eight species of berries for their ability to prevent obesity and metabolic abnormalities associated with type 2 diabetes. Methods. C57BL/6J mice were assigned the following diets for 13 weeks: low-fat diet, high-fat diet or high-fat diet supplemented (20%) with lingonberry, blackcurrant, bilberry, raspberry, açai, crowberry, prune or blackberry. Results. The groups receiving a high-fat diet supplemented with lingonberries, blackcurrants, raspberries or bilberries gained less weight and had lower fasting insulin levels than the control group receiving high-fat diet without berries. Lingonberries, and also blackcurrants and bilberries, significantly decreased body fat content, hepatic lipid accumulation, and plasma levels of the inflammatory marker PAI-1, as well as mediated positive effects on glucose homeostasis. The group receiving açai displayed increased weight gain and developed large, steatotic livers. Quercetin glycosides were detected in the lingonberry and the blackcurrant diets. Conclusion. Lingonberries were shown to fully or partially prevent the detrimental metabolic effects induced by high-fat diet. Blackcurrants and bilberries had similar properties, but to a lower degree. We propose that the beneficial metabolic effects of lingonberries could be useful in preventing obesity and related disorders.
    Journal of nutrition and metabolism 01/2014; 2014:403041. DOI:10.1155/2014/403041
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    • "Berry fruits have long been regarded as having considerable health benefits due to their nutritional attributes, particularly their total antioxidant activity against cellular oxidation reactions (Seeram, 2008). These benefits have stimulated research to regularly investigate the phenolic status and antioxidant activity of distinct berry fruit species and new varieties in different countries. "
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    ABSTRACT: In the last 10 years, interest in research on polyphenol-rich fruit species has increased due to the potential health benefits of these species, mainly attributed to their high anthocyanin content and antioxidant activity. Six polyphenol-rich fruit species (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, pomegranates and maqui berries) were harvested at the same maturity stage during the same growing season and were compared according to their total phenolic (Folin-Ciocalteu method) and total anthocyanin (pH differential method) contents and antioxidant activity using ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP assay) and 2,2-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging capacity methods. With the results of this study, the polyphenolic status of the main polyphenol-rich fruit species that are grown in Chile were compared, and maqui berry showed the highest total phenolic (14.6 g gallic acid equivalent kg(-1) of fresh weight [g GAE kg(-1) FW]), total anthocyanin (9.3 g cyanidin-3-glu kg(-1) of fresh weight [g cy-3-glu kg(-1) FW]) contents, and antioxidant activity (152.0 mmol Fe2+ kg(-1) of fresh weight [mmol Fe2+ kg(-1) FW] and 1.5 mg of fresh weight [FW]) with significant differences from the other fruit species that were analyzed. Nevertheless, bioavailability studies to test the benefits of the species' dietary antioxidants should be performed in order to establish scientific evidence in this area.
    Ciencia e investigación agraria 01/2014; 41(1):49-60. DOI:10.4067/s0718-16202014000100005 · 0.44 Impact Factor
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