Haskapa

ANTHOCYANINS: THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT IN HASKAP BERRIES

FIRSTLY, WHAT ARE ANTHOCYANINS?
Anthocyanins are naturally occurring plant pigments that give fruit and vegetables their deep purple, blue and red colours. Haskap berries contain up to four times more anthocyanins and three times more antioxidants than blueberries.

Haskap berries have one of the highest recorded anthocyanin values of any berry. It is these properties that are associated with their health promoting benefits. Haskapa is your convenient, tasty and cost-effective anthocyanin daily boost.

 

 

HOW MUCH DO I NEED PER DAY?

Scientists are recommending we consume 50mg anthocyanins per day. This is equivalent to ONE TEASPOON of Haskapa freeze dried powder.

see more here: https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmz065 

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THE POWER OF PURPLE

Anthocyanins are naturally occurring plant pigments that give fruit and vegetables their deep purple, blue and red colours. Haskap berries contain up to four times more anthocyanins and three times more antioxidants than blueberries. Pronounced an-tho-sigh-an-ins (from the Greek anthos, a flower, and kyanos, dark blue).

The first pilot clinical study on haskap berries was published by a team from the University of Reading in the European Journal of Nutrition, December 2018: A pilot dose–response study of the acute effects of haskap berry extract (Lonicera caerulea L.) on cognition, mood, and blood pressure in older adults1

The study had a double blind crossover design, and looked at the acute effects of three haskap berry doses and a sugar matched placebo on 20 older adults, age 62-81 years. Results showed improvements in cognition (word recall and recognition i.e. episodic memory effects) and diastolic blood pressure, with higher doses appearing more effective. The positive blood pressure result was probably caused by dilation of blood vessels, as observed in previous anthocyanin research.

1 A pilot dose–response study of the acute effects of haskap berry extract (Lonicera caerulea L.) on cognition, mood, and blood pressure in older adults. Bell, L. & Williams, C.M. Eur J Nutr (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-018-1877-9

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ANTHOCYANIN PROPERTIES: ANTIOXIDANT

Helps fight chronic oxidative stress which is associated with the development of many chronic diseases

Antioxidants are natural compounds found in certain foods, which can help our bodies fight the damage caused by potentially harmful chemicals called free radicals.

These free radicals are generated as a result of normal biological processes occurring every day in our cells. The mismatch of too many free radicals and too few antioxidants can lead to a state known as oxidative stress, when damage can occur to DNA and other structures in our cells.

Oxidative stress is believed to play a role in the development of many chronic diseases including heart disease and neurological diseases.

It is thought antioxidants in our diet can help fight chronic oxidative stress associated with the development of these chronic diseases.

HASKAP RESEARCH

Scientists have used different tests to measure the antioxidant content of haskap berries compared with other fruits. They found that haskap berries have up to three times the antioxidant content of blueberries, and higher levels than many other berries.

Haskaps contain particularly high levels of antioxidants because they are have a double purple-blue skin, where many of the antioxidants are found. (This high antioxidant content helps haskap berries survive harsh northern winters.)

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

Rupasinghe HPV, Arumuggam N, Amararathna M, De Silva ABKH. (2018) The potential health benefits of haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.): Role of cyanidin-3-O-glucoside. Journal of Functional Foods. 44. 24-39. 10.1016/j.jff.2018.02.023.

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ANTHOCYANIN PROPERTIES: ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Helps combat chronic inflammation which is thought to play a role in the development of many chronic diseases

Acute inflammation occurs as a response to injury, infection or toxins and is an important part of our body’s defence system. The damaged tissues release chemical messengers which initiate increased blood flow and an influx of white blood cells into the affected area to protect and fight infection. This causes symptoms such as redness, heat and swelling which normally settle over a few hours or days.

Chronic inflammation can last for months or years and occurs when the body perceives itself to be under ongoing attack. In this situation the immune system continues to produce chemical messengers, and white cells can start to attack healthy tissues and organs. Chronic inflammation can occur in response to a variety of triggers such as toxins from cigarettes smoke, or obesity, when excessive visceral fat cells (the fat cells that surround organs in the abdomen) are viewed by the body as a threat. Scientists believe chronic inflammation plays a role in the development of many chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

It is thought that chronic inflammation can be reduced by modifying lifestyle factors such as weight, diet and exercise. Research on dietary anthocyanins has suggested that they may help protect against conditions associated with chronic inflammation by reducing the production of chemical messengers.

One study looked at 2,375 American adults using food frequency questionnaires to assess their intake of dietary flavonoids including anthocyanins. The researchers calculated an inflammation score for each participant based on 12 inflammatory biomarkers. An anthocyanin intake of 32mg per day was associated with a 73% lower inflammation score. The authors suggested that the anti-inflammatory effect of anthocyanins may contribute to the reduction of risk in several age-related chronic conditions.

Higher dietary anthocyanin and flavonol intakes are associated with anti-inflammatory effects in a population of US adults. Cassidy A, Rogers G, Peterson JJ, Dwyer JT, Lin H, Jacques PF. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;102(1):172-81.

HASKAP RESEARCH

Canadian researchers have demonstrated that in laboratory experiments haskap berry extracts significantly inhibited the expression of several major chemical messengers involved in the development of chronic inflammation. They also showed that the anti-inflammatory effect of haskap was comparable to diclofenac, a commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.

Rupasinghe, H.P.V., M.A. Boehm, S. Sekhon-Loodu, I. Parmar, B. Bors, A.R. Jamieson. 2015. Anti-inflammatory activity of haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.) cultivars is dependent on their polyphenol content. Biomolecules. 5:1079-1098.

Rupasinghe HPV, Arumuggam N, Amararathna M, De Silva ABKH. (2018) The potential health benefits of haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.): Role of cyanidin-3-O-glucoside. Journal of Functional Foods. 44. 24-39. 10.1016/j.jff.2018.02.023.

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ANTHOCYANIN PROPERTIES: CARDIO-PROTECTIVE

Anthocyanins are associated with reducing the risk of developing chronic cardiac diseases such as high blood pressure and heart attacks

Lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity, managing stress, stopping smoking and eating a healthier diet can prevent, treat and even sometimes reverse heart and circulatory diseases. There is growing evidence to suggest a diet containing anthocyanins may help reduce the risk of developing chronic cardiac diseases, such as high blood pressure and heart attacks.

Large population studies have shown that a higher anthocyanin diet was associated with:

In addition, a major review published in 2017 concluded that eating a diet rich in anthocyanins was associated with a reduced risk of dying from all causes, and specifically from heart and circulatory diseases.4

A 2019 study from King’s College London demonstrated that anthocyanins have a major role to play in how blood vessels in our bodies function, helping to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.5

HASKAP RESEARCH

The first pilot clinical study on haskap berries was published by a team from the University of Reading in the European Journal of Nutrition, December 2018: A pilot dose–response study of the acute effects of haskap berry extract (Lonicera caerulea L.) on cognition, mood, and blood pressure in older adults6

The study had a double blind crossover design, and looked at the acute effects of three haskap berry doses and a sugar matched placebo on 20 older adults, age 62-81 years. Results showed improvements in cognition (word recall and recognition i.e. episodic memory effects) and diastolic blood pressure, with higher doses appearing more effective. The researchers wrote that the positive blood pressure result was probably caused by dilation of blood vessels, as observed in previous anthocyanin research.

References:

  1. High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women. Cassidy A, Mukamal KJ, Liu L, Franz M, Eliassen AH, Rimm EB. Circulation. 2013 Jan 15;127(2):188-96
  2. Habitual intake of anthocyanins and flavanones and risk of cardiovascular disease in men. Cassidy A, Bertoia M, Chiuve S, Flint A, Forman J, Rimm EB. Am J Clin Nutr 2016;104:587–94.
  3. Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults. Cassidy A, O’Reilly ÉJ, Kay C, Sampson L, Franz M, Forman JP, Curhan G, Rimm EB.Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):338-47.
  4. Dietary Flavonoid and Lignan Intake and Mortality in Prospective Cohort Studies: Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis. Grosso, Agnieszka Micek, Justyna Godos, Andrzej Pajak, Salvatore Sciacca, Fabio Galvano, Edward L. Giovannucci. American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 185, Issue 12, 15 June 2017, Pages 1304–1316, https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kww207
  5. Circulating Anthocyanin Metabolites Mediate Vascular Benefits of Blueberries: Insights From Randomized Controlled Trials, Metabolomics, and Nutrigenomics. Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, Geoffrey Istas, Lisa Boschek, Rodrigo P Feliciano, Charlotte E Mills, Céline Boby, Sergio Gomez-Alonso, Dragan Milenkovic, Christian Heiss, The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, Volume 74, Issue 7, July 2019, Pages 967–976, https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glz047

A pilot dose–response study of the acute effects of haskap berry extract (Lonicera caerulea L.) on cognition, mood, and blood pressure in older adults. Bell, L. & Williams, C.M. Eur J Nutr (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-018-1877-9

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ANTHOCYANIN PROPERTIES: NEURO-PROTECTIVE

Anthocyanins are associated with reducing the risk of cognitive decline as we age

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) around 50 million people are currently living with dementia, and this has become a major cause of worldwide disability. Dementia is a rapidly growing public health challenge and the WHO has estimated that the number of people affected will grow to around 82 million by 2030. Although age is the most important risk factor for cognitive decline, dementia is not an inevitable outcome of our ageing process. Recent research has shown there is a relationship between several of our lifestyle choices and the development of cognitive decline including lack of exercise, unhealthy diet and harmful use of alcohol and tobacco. The good news is that we can modify these risk factors with the aim of delaying or slowing cognitive decline and dementia.1

Diet is one of the most important risk factors that can be modified. For example, doctors from Harvard Medical School have recommended we eat five foods which have been linked to slowing cognitive decline and achieving “better brainpower”. They are green vegetables, fatty fish, berries, tea/coffee and walnuts.2

There is growing research evidence to suggest a diet containing anthocyanins may help reduce the risk of cognitive decline as we age. A large population study published in 2012 in the Annals of Neurology assessed cognition and diet in 16,010 female participants age 70 or older.  The women who had consumed a higher anthocyanin diet (from berries) showed a delay in cognitive ageing by up to two and a half years.3

A new study4 recently published by scientists from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Massachusetts, showed that older adults who regularly ate higher amounts of anthocyanin-rich foods (such as berries) had a significant four-fold reduction in developing Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). (Many studies have looked at the association between anthocyanin intake and cognition over the short term, however this study focused on the role of dietary anthocyanins and the risk of developing ADRD over a 20-year period.)

The research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 2,800 adults aged over 50 for twenty years.  The participants were part of the Framingham Heart Study, a long-term study exploring cardiovascular and other disease risk factors in residents of the city of Framingham, Massachusetts. The researchers examined the long-term relationship between eating flavonoid-rich foods and the risks of developing ADRD. The researchers looked at six main flavonoid subclasses consumed in the American diet, including anthocyanins (found in berries and red wine), flavonols (in apples and pears), and flavonoid polymers (in tea). The study participants filled in detailed food frequency questionnaires completed as part of 4 yearly medical assessments. The researchers analysed the long-term intake of these six flavonoid subclasses and the number of ADRD diagnoses in the study participants. They found that lower consumption (15th percentile or lower) of three of the flavonoid subclasses was linked to a higher risk of dementia than the highest intake (greater than 60th percentile).

The most striking results were associated with anthocyanins. Low intake of anthocyanins (no berries per month) was associated with a four-fold risk of developing ADRD, compared to those with the highest anthocyanin intake (equivalent to 7.5 cups of berries per month or 16.4mg anthocyanins per day). Low intake of flavonols (one and a half apples per month) and flavonoid polymers (no cups of tea) were each associated with twice the risk of developing ADRD compared to the highest intakes (8 apples and pears or 19 cups of tea per month). The same pattern of associations was specifically seen with Alzheimer's disease for flavonols and anthocyanins but not for flavonoid polymers.

It is thought flavonoids exert their beneficial neuroprotective effects by a combination of actions. These include protecting our brain cells from neurotoxins, combating neuroinflammation, improving brain blood flow, and also via their antioxidant activity.

The study concludes that higher long-term dietary intakes of flavonoids are associated with lower risks of ADRD in American adults. Anthocyanins were associated with the most significant risk reduction.

One of the leading researchers, Dr. Paul Jacques, says that the good news is that 50 years old is not too late to make positive dietary changes.

“The risk of dementia really starts to increase over age 70, and the take-home message is, when you are approaching 50 or just beyond, you should start thinking about a healthier diet if you haven't already," he said. 

HASKAP RESEARCH

The first pilot clinical study on haskap berries was published by a team from the University of Reading in the European Journal of Nutrition, December 2018: A pilot dose–response study of the acute effects of haskap berry extract (Lonicera caerulea L.) on cognition, mood, and blood pressure in older adults5

The study had a double blind crossover design, and looked at the acute effects of three haskap berry doses and a sugar matched placebo on 20 older adults, age 62-81 years. Results showed improvements in cognition (word recall and recognition i.e. episodic memory effects) and diastolic blood pressure, with higher doses appearing more effective. The researchers wrote that the positive blood pressure result was probably caused by dilation of blood vessels, as observed in previous anthocyanin research.

References:

    1. Risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia: WHO guidelines. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2019. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
    2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat
    3. Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline. Devore EE, Kang JH, Breteler MM, Grodstein F.Ann Neurol. 2012 Jul;72(1):135-43.
    4. Paul F Jacques, Rhoda Au, Jeffrey B Blumberg, Gail T Rogers, Esra Shishtar. Long-term dietary flavonoid intake and risk of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in the Framingham Offspring CohortThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2020; DOI: 1093/ajcn/nqaa079
    5. A pilot dose–response study of the acute effects of haskap berry extract (Lonicera caerulea) on cognition, mood, and blood pressure in older adults. Bell, L. & Williams, C.M. Eur JNutr (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-018-1877-9

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ANTHOCYANIN PROPERTIES: ROLE IN SPORTS NUTRITION

Anthocyanins have important antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vasoactive properties which have the potential to mitigate the development of exercise-induced oxidative stress and improve exercise performance.

Antioxidant: Antioxidants are thought to have a positive influence on exercise performance by reducing the exhaustive effects of excessive oxygen and
free-radical accumulation during physical activities. Haskap and its
main anthocyanin C3G have been shown to have significant antioxidant properties.1-2

Anti-inflammatory: Anthocyanin anti-inflammatory effects may have a role to play in improving exercise recovery.

Vasoactive: Anthocyanins also have important vasoactive properties helping to lower blood pressure and increase vasodilation leading to improved muscle blood flow and oxygen delivery during exercise.

Cook, M., & Willems, M. (2019). Dietary Anthocyanins: A Review of the Exercise Performance Effects and Related Physiological Responses, International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 29(3), 322-330.

HASKAP RESEARCH

Haskap berries have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vasoactive properties.1-4 Haskapa is currently working with a UK university sports nutrition department to research haskap supplementation and exercise endurance. An initial pilot study with 15 student athletes showed exciting results. The plan to progress to a full-sized study has been halted due to coronavirus but we hope this research can restart very soon.

References:

  1. Rupasinghe HPV, Arumuggam N, Amararathna M, De Silva ABKH. (2018) The potential health benefits of haskap (Lonicera caerulea): Role of cyanidin-3-O-glucoside. Journal of Functional Foods. 44. 24-39. 10.1016/j.jff.2018.02.023.
  2. Rupasinghe, H P Vasantha & Yu, Li & B., K. & Bors, Bob. (2012). Short Communication: Haskap (Lonicera caerulea): A new berry crop with high antioxidant capacity. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 92. 1311-1317. 10.4141/cjps2012-073.
  3. Rupasinghe, H P Vasantha & Boehm, Mannfred & Sekhon, Satvir & Parmar, Indu & Bors, Bob & Jamieson, Andrew. (2015). Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Haskap Cultivars is Polyphenols-Dependent. Biomolecules. 2015. 1079-1098. 10.3390/biom5021079.
  4. Wu, S., He, X., Wu, X., Qin, S., He, J., Zhang, S., & Hou, D.-X. (2015). Inhibitory effects of blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L.) on adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats: Crosstalk of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Journal of Functional Foods, 17, 514–523.