We found Toufektsian adds that chronic consumption and effective absorption of anthocyanins rendered the rats more resistant to myocardial infarction; in other words, the size of the infarct was significantly reduced in rats fed the anthocyanin-rich diet.
The quantity of absorbed anthocyanins is important too. Maria Benedetta Donati, scientific coordinator of the Research Laboratories of Campobasso, argues that the rats fed the anthocyanin- rich diet received about 13- fold more anthocyanins than most people following a standard Western-type diet, where the daily consumption of flavonoids is relatively low and the average intake of anthocyanins is estimated to be only 12 mg per day.
The Authors turned their attention on Mediterranean diet stressing the crucial difference between this kind of diet and the so called Western Diet, that is rich in fats and poor in fibres. The anthocyanins content of the traditional Mediterranean diet is much higher than that of the Western Diet, which might explain why the Mediterranean diet is cardioprotective says Michel de Lorgeril, cardiologist, head of the Grenoble group.
However promising these results appear to be, researchers go easy on them. The cellular mechanisms of the protection are not clearly determined yet- Toufektsian warns- Moreover, there may be differences between humans and rats, for example in terms of flavonoid absorption and metabolism.
Human volunteers are the target of another phase of the FLORA Project. The Research Laboratories of the Catholic University of Campobasso are studying the process of absorption and metabolism of anthocyanins from blood orange juice- one of the most generous sources of flavonoids- in human body. In this way researchers aim at evaluating how these compounds are absorbed by human body to play their beneficial effects.
|Contact: Americo Bonanni|