Effects of fruit juice processing & human metabolism on the functionality of anthocyanins for cardiovascular health

Lead Research Organisation: Quadram Institute Bioscience
Department Name: Contracts

Abstract

We hypothesise that the reported cardiovascular benefits of anthocyanins following human consumption are not directly the result of the parent structures, but results from yet uncharacterised derivatives of anthocyanins, including their degradation products and associated metabolites. Establishing the activity of these derivative compounds is essential to establishing the true mechanistic activity of anthocyanins and establishing the contribution of their dietary intake to disease prevention and treatment. Preliminary evidence in our lab (pilot data) confirms that the majority of anthocyanins are likely to be present as phenolic derivatives. These derivative compounds could potentially have differing or greater bioactivities than those suggested for their parent compounds.
Our primary objectives are to identify structural changes that occur to anthocyanins during standard processing techniques and storage and to assess the bioactivity of anthocyanin metabolites with regard to cardiovascular disease risk. We will use integrated human and cell culture studies focussed on cyanidin-3-glucoside, the most abundant anthocyanin in western diets. We will identify mechanisms of vascular reactivity by quantifying the relationships between blood levels and their biological activity in cells lining the vessel walls (endothelial cells in culture). Cell studies will identify the relative mechanism of action by identifying changes in the expression (gene and protein) of eNOS, NADPH-oxidase, endothelin-1, IL-6, TNF-a, and VCAM. Physiologically relevant forms and concentrations of compounds to be utilised in the proposed studies will be determined by a 48h anthocyanin recovery intervention and synthesised as pure labelled sources. This study will be the first of its kind to feed pure stable-isotope labelled anthocyanins to humans to characterise bioavailability and the first to use pure synthesised products of degradation and metabolism in cell culture studies.

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