Effects of Anthocyanin-rich Berries on the Risk of Metabolic Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


  • Mikkel Roulund Wilken, Max Norman Tandrup Lambert, Christine Bodelund Christensen, Per Bendix Jeppesen Department of Clinical Medicine. Aarhus University Hospital. Aarhus University. Palle Juul-Jensens. Boulevard 165. Aarhus N. Denmark.


anthocyanins · berries · cardiovascular disease · lipids · metabolic syndrome · primary prevention


OBJECTIVE: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) can lead to fatal complications, including cardiovascular disease. Emerging evidence suggests has emerged that increased fruit and vegetable intake and decreased intake of saturated fats, simple sugars, and processed foods can improve cardiovascular health. Anthocyanins (color pigments) have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities but are of low bioavailability. In this systematic review and metaanalysis, we investigate the possible beneficial effects of the intake of berries high in anthocyanins on MetS risk factors. We also investigate the influences of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), lowdensity lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides (TG), and total cholesterol (TC). METHODS: We identified 2,274 articles from PUBMED and EMBASE following a search input designed to include studies of interest of these, 21 met inclusion criteria. RESULTS: The studies showed an overall reduction in low-density lipoprotein (p=0.04). Increases in HDL were found with cranberry and freeze-dried berry intake during a 4-6-week intervention. No statistically significant findings were detected for fasting glucose, Hb1Ac, insulin levels, blood pressure, oxidized LDL (OX-LDL), BMI, and overall HDL. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude from this systematic review and meta-analysis that increased berry intake improves MetS key risk factors and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Pronounced effects were apparent for concentrated berry products, such as freeze-dried strawberries.