What are Anthocyanins?

Anthocyanins are what give the black and purple pigments of Daucus Carota ssp. Sativus var. atrorubens Alef. and Black Carrot C3G®.

Anthocyanins are the largest and most diverse class of widely distributed water-soluble pigments in the plant kingdom and are collectively known as Flavonoids. They provide the darker colored fruits and vegetables their red, blue, purple and black hues and also provide the darker pigments for flowers and leaves. Anthocyanins protect plants from heavy metals, strong light and pathogens and are also a diverse class of colored flavonoid rich compounds.

Anthocyanins have been reported to exert cancer chemo preventive activity (Hou, 2003); (Marcello Iriti and Elena Maria Varoni, 2013) Hou (2003) reported that Anthocyanin C3G induced apoptosis in human promyelocytic leukemia cancer cells (HL-60). The presence of an ortho-dihydroxy substitution pattern in the ring B of these three types of anthocyanins was suggested to be responsible for this activity. 

Anthocyanins have the strongest anti-oxidizing power of all flavonoids. They are a group of natural phenolic compounds and are members of the flavonoid group in the chart of phytochemical's. During the past two decades, an increasing number of studies have investigated the various protective effects of polyphenols present in certain dark colored fruits and vegetables. Research has shown they have many beneficial effects on human health, including: anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic and allergy microcirculation improvement, anti-viral, anti-proliferative, anti-mutagenic, anti-microbial, reducing the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease, anti-carcinogenic functions, vision improvement through peripheral capillary fragility prevention; and the prevention and curing of diabetes. They are also beneficial in reducing age-related oxidative stress and improving cognitive and neuronal brain function.

The flavonoids are the most important single group of phenolics in foods, encompassing a group of over 8000 plant compounds with multiple sub patterns. Over 635 types of anthocyanins have been identified to date occurring in nature. Many common foods today amongst our consumption however possess only the six main aglycones and they are: Cyanidin, Pelargonidin, Delphinidin, Peonidin, Petunidin, and Malvidin and various types of glycosylated and acylated compounds attached to them. The number one potent and top player in this group of over 8000 plant compounds is Cyanidin… with its glycosylated and acylated compounds – (Cyanidin-3-Glucoside) also known as ‘C3G.’

Unfortunately, not too many people quite understand what anthocyanins are and surprisingly, even some nutritionists and dieticians don’t quite understand the complexity, yet importance of these powerful flavonoids. They don’t promote it enough, especially in regards to anthocyanins found in dark vegetables.  Statistically, only 3% of North Americans consume darker vegetables on a regular basis, in particular, deep purple and black vegetables. Dark fruits and berries such as acai berry, elderberry, chokeberry (aka Aronia fruit), goji berry, blackberry, blueberry, plums, grapes, blood orange, etc. which are all great sources of various anthocyanins, are often promoted and very well marketed, however, research shows that although these mentioned are great, there is still much greater, stronger sources available when it comes to anthocyanins.

To really get the true benefits of anthocyanins from berries for example, they need to be consumed in their fresh raw form, which could pose an issue in regards to seasonal availability, demand and of course cost. Low bush berries also face potential growth issues when it comes to climate and therefore more rising costs. In juice form, anthocyanins and flavonoids from berries, plums and even blood orange begin to degrade rapidly the moment they're bottled due to some anthocyanin substituents not being acylated and stable. Much research has demonstrated how anthocyanins from various organic fruit juices degrade as much as 60% depending on their shelf life and on average 40-50% in general. In comparison, Black Carrot C3G® carries upwards to 10 times more anthocyanins and flavonoids with very little degradation after 6 months of storage.

Once the consumer gets into the complexity of anthocyanins such as their aglycones, their stability or instability, acylated vs. non-acylated substituents, and the pharmacokinetics of them, they will really start to understand the importance and power of anthocyanins, their differences and excellent benefits on human health. Neurologists and Cardiologists understand these complexities and will often promote them for their neuroprotective and endothelial protective properties. All in all, any intake from any anthocyanin source should be consumed as much as possible on a daily basis. Average consumers should take the time to research this great flavonoid and include them in their daily lifestyle.

The anthocyanin in Black Carrot C3G® is 100% Cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G) - Cyanidin bound to glucose - regarded as the strongest and most potent of all anthocyanins. What makes Black Carrot C3G® the strongest and most powerful organic phenolic compound available, is that up to 93% of Cyanidin-3-Glucoside substituents are acylated compounds. Therefore, degradation and oxidation is extremely limited, allowing for longer shelf life and storage; making Black Carrot C3G® the most stable and bioavailable anthocyanin product on the market. No other food, grain, fruit or vegetable containing Anthocyanin C3G compares to the potency of that which is present in Black Carrot C3G®.