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      Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits


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          Anthocyanins are colored water-soluble pigments belonging to the phenolic group. The pigments are in glycosylated forms. Anthocyanins responsible for the colors, red, purple, and blue, are in fruits and vegetables. Berries, currants, grapes, and some tropical fruits have high anthocyanins content. Red to purplish blue-colored leafy vegetables, grains, roots, and tubers are the edible vegetables that contain a high level of anthocyanins. Among the anthocyanin pigments, cyanidin-3-glucoside is the major anthocyanin found in most of the plants. The colored anthocyanin pigments have been traditionally used as a natural food colorant. The color and stability of these pigments are influenced by pH, light, temperature, and structure. In acidic condition, anthocyanins appear as red but turn blue when the pH increases. Chromatography has been largely applied in extraction, separation, and quantification of anthocyanins. Besides the use of anthocyanidins and anthocyanins as natural dyes, these colored pigments are potential pharmaceutical ingredients that give various beneficial health effects. Scientific studies, such as cell culture studies, animal models, and human clinical trials, show that anthocyanidins and anthocyanins possess antioxidative and antimicrobial activities, improve visual and neurological health, and protect against various non-communicable diseases. These studies confer the health effects of anthocyanidins and anthocyanins, which are due to their potent antioxidant properties. Different mechanisms and pathways are involved in the protective effects, including free-radical scavenging pathway, cyclooxygenase pathway, mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, and inflammatory cytokines signaling. Therefore, this review focuses on the role of anthocyanidins and anthocyanins as natural food colorants and their nutraceutical properties for health.

          Abbreviations: CVD: Cardiovascular disease VEGF: Vascular endothelial growth factor

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              The role of cyclooxygenases in inflammation, cancer, and development.

              The cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes catalyze a key step in the conversion of arachidonate to PGH2, the immediate substrate for a series of cell specific prostaglandin and thromboxane synthases. Prostaglandins play critical roles in numerous biologic processes, including the regulation of immune function, kidney development, reproductive biology, and gastrointestinal integrity. There are two COX isoforms, which differ mainly in their pattern of expression. COX-1 is expressed in most tissues, whereas COX-2 usually is absent, but is induced by numerous physiologic stimuli. Surprisingly, disruption of Cox1 (Ptgs1) in the mouse did not result in gastrointestinal abnormalities. cox-2 (Ptgs2) null mice show reproductive anomalies and defects in kidney development. Epidemiologic, animal, and human data indicate that NSAIDs, inhibitors of cyclooxygenase, are chemopreventive for colon cancer. COX-2 is overexpressed in 50% of benign polyps and 80-85% of adenocarcinomas. Offspring from cox-2 null by Apcdelta716 matings exhibit an 86% reduction in polyp number when compared to offspring from control animals, thus providing genetic evidence that COX-2 contributes to tumor formation or growth. The in vivo mechanism by which COX-2 affects tumor growth has not been determined. It is possible that both tumor and stromally derived COX-2 could influence tumor angiogenesis and/ or immune function.

                Author and article information

                Food Nutr Res
                Food Nutr Res
                Food & Nutrition Research
                Taylor & Francis
                13 August 2017
                : 61
                : 1
                [ a ] Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia , Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
                [ b ] Research Centre of Excellence for Nutrition and Non-communicable Diseases, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia , Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
                [ c ] Nutritional Sciences Program, School of Healthcare Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia , Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
                Author notes
                CONTACT Azrina Azlan azrinaaz@ 123456upm.edu.my Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia , 43400UPM Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.

                All authors contributed equally to this review.

                © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, References: 159, Pages: 22
                Review Article
                Review Article

                Nutrition & Dietetics

                anthocyanin, colorant, disease, health benefit, pigment


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