With three times the antioxidant capacity of the high-bush blueberry1, packed with vitamin C2 and high levels of anthocyanins and other phenolic compounds3, we believe haskap berries are one of the most important and exciting new berry discoveries. In addition to compiling information from scientific literature, we are undertaking our own research into the berry’s health properties as well as constantly improving our processes to maintain the bioactive compounds in our Healthy Living (hyper link) products. The information on this page is taken from a number of published scientific studies and shows analysis of the raw fruit, not of our finished products. It is also important to note that nutritional properties vary with cultivar, degree of ripeness, growing location and practice, and soil.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are by-products generated in our body as a result of normal physiological processes. The overproduction of free radicals associated with low concentrations of antioxidants can lead to a condition known as oxidative stress, when damage to a wide range of molecular species including lipids and DNA can occur. Oxidative stress is believed to play a role in the development of many chronic diseases including heart disease, degenerative neurological diseases and cancer.4
What are antioxidants?
As the name implies, antioxidants are substances that are capable of counteracting the damaging, but normal, oxidative effects of free radicals in the body. There are different types of antioxidants found in the diet, e.g. vitamins (C and E), micronutrients (zinc), and polyphenols (flavonoids). Antioxidants are found in high concentrations in haskap berries.
What are polyphenols?
Polyphenols are metabolites produced by plants. They have strong antioxidant activity and are an integral part of our diet. Among polyphenols, flavonoids (such as anthocyanins and flavonols) are an important class of bioactive compounds that have been associated with several health-promoting benefits.
Anthocyanins are red, blue, and purple natural pigments with significant biological activity, found in high concentrations in haskap berries; up to 13 times more than blueberries. The main anthocyanin in haskaps is called cyanidin-3-glucoside, known as C3G.6 There is growing evidence from large prospective cohort studies that eating a diet rich in anthocyanins may be beneficial in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases including heart attacks, non-insulin dependent diabetes, high blood pressure and even erectile dysfunction. 7-9
1 Rupasinghe HPV, Yu LJ, Bhullar KS and Bors B. (2012). Haskap (Lonicera caerulea): A new berry crop with high antioxidant capacity. Can. J. Plant Sci., 92: 1311–1317
2 Ochmian I, Oszmiański J and Skupień K. (2009). Chemical composition, phenolics, and firmness of small black fruits. J. Appl. Bot. Food Qual., 83: 64–69
3 Bakowska-Barczak AM, Marianchuk M and Kolodziejczyk P. (2007). Survey of bioactive components in Western Canadian berries. Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol., 85: 1139–1152
4 Valko M, Leibfritz D, Moncol J, Cronin MTD, Mazur M and Telser J. (2007). Free radicals and antioxidants in normal physiological functions and human disease. Int. J. Biochem. Cell Biol., 39: 44–84
5 Naidu KA. (2003). Vitamin C in human health and disease is still a mystery? An overview. Nutr J., 2: 7–16.
6 Celli GB, Ghanem A and Brooks MS. (2014). Haskap Berries (Lonicera caerulea L.)—a critical review of antioxidant capacity and health-related studies for potential value-added products. Food Bioprocess Technol, 7: 1541–1554
7 Jacques, P. F., Cassidy, A., Rogers, G., Peterson, J. J., Dwyer, J. T. (2015) Dietary ﬂavonoid intakes and CVD incidence in the Framingham Offspring Cohort in British Journal of Nutrition 114. pp. 1496-1503
8 Cassidy, Aedin, Franz,Mary and Rimm, Eric B. (2016) Dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of erectile dysfunction. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 103 (2). pp. 534-541.
9 Bertoia, Monica L., Rimm, Eric B., Mukamal, Kenneth J., Hu, Frank B., Willett, Walter C. and Cassidy, Aedín (2016) Dietary flavonoid intake and weight maintenance: three prospective cohorts of 124,086 US men and women followed for up to 24 years. BMJ, 352.