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Aronia Berry Health Benefits

Aronia berries have been shown in studies to have measurable health benefits in many areas including cardiovascular health, glycemic support (healthy glucose metabolism), antioxidant capacity, anti-inflammatory effects, and even cancer. Here are just a few examples:

  • In a 2011 study, aronia berry extract exhibited anti-inflammatory effects in human aortic endothelial cells, which is important for combating conditions such as atherosclerosis. (Zapolska-Downar et at., 2011)
  • A 2009 human study concluded that regular aronia berry intake had a beneficial effect on endothelial function and lipid metabolism, showing decreases in serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Another human study indicated that aronia berry intake reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as other cardiovascular risk markers like C-reactive protein. (Naruszewicz et al., 2007)
  • In the area of glycemic support, human studies have reported that aronia berry helped to normalize carbohydrate metabolism in insulin-dependent diabetic pregnant women, as well as lower fasting blood glucose levels and have a beneficial effect on HbA1c. (Pawlowicz et al.)
  • Preliminary cancer studies showed that aronia berry had a marked effect on diffusing invasion by invasive brain gliomas and causing cell death in malignant brain tumor cell lines. (Rooprai, 2003)
  • Preliminary studies showed that aronia berries had a toxic effect on colon cancer cells without being equally toxic to normal colon cells (Zhao et al., 2004)
  • Several human clinical studies are currently underway (In the U.S.)

Polyphenols:  Why they matter and health benefits

  • Polyphenols are powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant rich micronutrients.
  • Consumption of foods rich in polyphenol, specifically aronia berries, have been linked to a wide range of health benefits in recent medical studies.
  • Until recently, the health benefits of polyphenols were thought to be related to their antioxidant properties which were thought to neutralize free radicals produced in the body. Although this may be the case in some instances, it is now thought that polyphenols play many different roles in their positive health impacts.  These roles include positive impacts of polyphenols on the makeup and performance of the microbiome and the metabolism of the polyphenols by the intestinal bacteria of the microbiome to produce a host of other compounds with positive health benefits once they enter the bloodstream.  These derivative compounds of polyphenols have been implicated in the positive impacts attributed to polyphenols in such areas as diabetes management (2)(8), osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases (3), cardiovascular disease (4) (8) and cancer (5).
  • A human study indicates that aronia berry intake improves total cholesterol, reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as other cardiovascular risk markers like C-reactive protein (4).
  • Results of studies show that polyphenols help with type 2 diabetes management and produce cardiovascular protective effects with regard to lipid metabolism, blood pressure, blood coagulation and vascular function (8).
  • There is also research demonstrating that, like cranberry juice, aronia juice reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections due to its extraordinary level of proanthocyanidins (6).
  • Unquestionably, emerging research indicates a diet high in polyphenols has positive impacts on health and wellness (7).
  • Not all foods with polyphenols are equal in their health benefits.

Aronia Berries have one of the absolute highest levels of ORAC

  • When comparing ORAC levels in fresh fruit, only black raspberry is slightly higher than aronia berries (19,220 versus 16,062 ORAC units/100g). Any level of concentrating aronia berry juice will provide even higher ORAC values, making it a great ingredient when formulating a high antioxidant product.
  • Note about ORAC: Recently the USDA removed the ORAC listings from its website due to concerns about its “real-life” applications, but the fact remains that it serves as a useful tool in comparing the antioxidant potential of various fruits and other consumables. It helps to identify certain trends like “the more anthocyanins, the higher the antioxidant capacity.”
The ORAC Connection