Cyanidin belongs to the group of dark pigments called Anthocyanins. It can be found in various fruits and vegetables—specifically those with red, blue, or purple pigmentation.
These include (but are not limited to): strawberries, blueberries, boysenberries, blackberries, pomegranate, red cabbage, sweet potatoes, carrots, black beans, and several others. It’s becoming known more recently for its beneficial health effects. Most notable among these effects are its anti-diabetic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to consume cyanidin
It is most commonly taken orally, either in the form of eating the foods themselves or as a pill or capsule.
Evidence suggests that it is more beneficial to take it as a supplement, because while it is present in many foods, the absorption rate is moderate to low. Taking it in the form of a supplement allows higher doses to be taken than would be possible through consumption of the foods, allowing for more to be absorbed. In particular, one such study concluded that approximately 20% of the ingested cyanidin was absorbed through the stomach and intestines. However, only about 2% of that amount reached the blood stream.
What are the properties of cyanidin?
It is reported to have anti-carcinogenic properties. Studies have been conducted that have shown cyanidin’s propensity to reduce the proliferation of cancer cells. It has shown to be most effective against leukemia, lung cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer (Source: http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/cyanidin/anti-cancer.php).
Numerous other studies have been conducted indicating that cyanidin has an effect on fat cells, as well. In studies where the subjects were given a diet that causes obesity, the effect of cyanidin often reduced the effects of the diet, thereby inhibiting obesity.
Because of these anti-obesity effects, it is also effective in helping prevent and manage diabetes. It has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and even reduce blood sugar levels (Source: http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/cyanidin/diabetes.php). These studies in particular have shown, however, that the normal amount of Cyanidin that would be consumed and subsequently absorbed through food is insufficient to produce these results, and therefore, it was given directly.
Other benefits of cyanidin include anti-inflammatory properties, specifically in muscles, which helps to alleviate discomfort as well as preventing damage and oxidation. Other studies that have been conducted have shown it to be effective against certain forms of arthritis, as well. In those studies, even with lower doses, swelling in arthritic specimens was shown to be significantly reduced (Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16422543).
Additionally, cyanidin has also shown significant anti-oxidant properties, particularly against certain types of free radicals.
Proven or Too early to tell?
While the research on cyanidin and other Anthocyanins is still in its early days, results indicate that this organic compound has a multitude of beneficial health effects, both from consuming it though common fruits and vegetables and from taking it as a supplement.
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