Effects of Berry Anthocyanins on Cognitive Performance, Vascular Function and Cardiometabolic Risk Markers: A Systematic Review of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Intervention Studies in Humans

S. Ahles, P.J. Joris, J. Plat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Supplementation with anthocyanins, which are a type of flavonoids mainly found in various berries, is hypothesized to be a promising approach to lower the risk of developing cognitive decline. The aim of this systematic review was to provide a comprehensive overview of dietary intervention trials describing effects of berry anthocyanins on cognitive performance in humans, while also addressing potential underlying mechanisms. A total of 1197 articles were identified through a systematic search, and 49 studies reporting effects on cognitive performance (n = 18), vascular function (n = 22), or cardiometabolic risk markers (n = 32) were included. Significant improvements were observed on memory, while some of the studies also reported effects on attention and psychomotor speed or executive function. Vascular function markers such as brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation were also affected and consistent evidence was provided for the beneficial effects of berry anthocyanins on endothelial function. Finally, studies reported improvements in blood pressure, but effects on metabolic risk markers (e.g. carbohydrate and lipid metabolism) were less consistent. In conclusion, this review provides evidence for the beneficial effects of berry anthocyanins on cognitive performance as memory improved. Whether observed anthocyanin-induced improvements in vascular function and blood pressure underlie beneficial effects on cognitive performance warrants further study.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6482
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • anthocyanins
  • cognitive performance
  • vascular function
  • cardiometabolic risk markers
  • DOUBLE-BLIND
  • BLACK-CURRANT
  • ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION
  • BLOOD-PRESSURE
  • ARTERIAL STIFFNESS
  • METABOLIC SYNDROME
  • BLUEBERRY SUPPLEMENTATION
  • OXIDATIVE STRESS
  • CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • OLDER-ADULTS

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