Aroniaberries (Aronia melanocarpa) are also commonly known as chokeberries and are not to be confused with "choke cherries." Aroniaberries are native to North America but thrive in Polish farming conditions. The berries are harvested in the fall but are not very palatable in their raw form due to their intense tart "bite." They have been used medicinally since ancient times and are currently growing in popularity as nature's best kept secret for remarkable health benefits, including (but not limited to) cardiovascular support.
Hierarchy of Actives
Polyphenolsare a large family of natural phytonutrients widely distributed in plant foods. They are characterized by the presence of more than one phenol unit per molecule.
Flavonoids(or "bioflavonoids") make up an important subcategory of polyphenols that exhibit potent antioxidant activity. Many health promoting effects are attributed to flavonoids.
Anthocyanins, with their incredible antioxidant and health-promoting potential, are one of the most widely-studied flavonoid categories. Anthocyanins are the water-soluble pigments that are responsible for the dark red-purple color found in fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The darker the berry, the more anthocyanins that are present.
Aroniaberry contains more anthocyanins and antioxidant capacity than any other North American cultivated berry. Each berry species contains a unique anthocyanin profile that contributes to its distinct health benefits. The aroniaberry contains 4 predominant anthocyanins:
- cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G)
Perhaps one of the most important health attributes of dark berries that are high in anthocyanins is the antioxidant capacity. Antioxidants neutralize free radical buildup, also known as oxidative stress. Free radicals are linked to the development of a number of degenerative diseases and conditions. Free radicals are by-products of normal bodily functions and are inevitable in daily life. However, it is the delicate balance of antioxidants and free radicals that determine our state of health. As we age, the body doesn't function as efficiently and as a result, an excess of free radicals are produced. We can do our best to arm ourselves by including sufficient amounts of antioxidants in our diet or by supplementing our diet with products rich in dark berry anthocyanins, including aroniaberry anthocyanins.
The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) test is one commonly used method for measuring the antioxidant capacity of a substance. The higher the ORAC value, the higher the antioxidant activity.
A study by Pilaczynska et al. in 2005 found that incorporation of aroniaberry anthocyanins by athletes resulted in a reduction in oxidative markers.
Additional Health Benefits
Aroniaberry is valuable not only for its antioxidant potential but also for the many particular health benefits that are substantiated in studies in the areas of:
- Cardiovascular support
- Healthy inflammation response
- Immune support
- Gastric support
Scientific Research at a Glance
Aroniaberry's extensive use in traditional medicine has interested modern researchers who continuously explore the health benefits of natural products and search for the active compounds like anthocyanins and the mechanisms by which they function. Current studies range fromin vitrolaboratory studies to animal studies and even human clinical studies.
Some noteworthy findings include:
- In a human clinical trial, subjects taking aroniaberry anthocyanins experienced a decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. There was also a drop in LDL-oxidation (which yields free radicals) as well as a drop in C Reactive Protein (CRP), a factor involved with inflammation. (Narnszewicz et al., 2000)
- In a human pilot study, subjects who consumed aroniaberry anthocyanins experienced an increase in flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery, indicative of improved circulation. (Bell et al., 2001)
- An animal study showed that when aroniaberry was administered to rats with gastric hemorrhage, the gastric mucosal protection was proportional to the increased anthocyanin levels from the aroniaberry extract. (Matsumoto et al., 2004)
Berries For Life™ Aroniaberry is the Answer
Our aroniaberry supplement includes astandardized extractthat delivers consistent high levels of the active aroniaberry anthocyanins, combined with awhole food aroniaberry powderthat delivers the full aroniaberry matrix, just as if you were eating the actual berries. We also include anaroniaberry juice powderfor an added boost of aroniaberry phytonutrients to deliver a well-rounded and complete product to help you stay healthy.