How important are anthocyanins in human ability to fight skin damage?

A growing and strong body of evidence suggests that topical antioxidants in general and anthocyanins in particular, have significant beneficial effects for human skin. The benefits of a diet rich in anthocyanins and other polyphenols for helping the human immune system to work more efficiently against all type of infections, to modulate inflammation decreasing primary and secondary (damage generated by the immune response itself in addition to the damage caused by the original injury) tissue damage, and helping most cells to neutralize naturally occurring toxic free radicals, which not only produce direct oxidative tissue damage, but also increase energetic and metabolic demand, stressing mitochondria (isoflavones actually increase the number of mitochondria[1]) and dramatically aggravating ageing; are well established. These effects of anthocyanins have now been shown to be also obtainable after topical application.

As examples, anthocyanins protect against cell damage (oxidation) and cancer (mutagenesis) induced by ultraviolet light (UV light), Part of the effect is mediated by directly regulating second messengers (nuclear factor-kappaB and activator protein-1) inside keratinocytes[2-4] and fibroblast[5, 6]. Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins also promote wound healing [7-9] and enhance the effect of other rejuvenating therapies like intense pulsed light [10, 11]. Anthocyanins also have viricide effect [12-15], mediated in part by inducing macrophages to secrete tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) [16, 17], TNFα has a strong viricide effect [18]; and anthocyanins show a variety of direct effects against bacteria [19, 20].

However, not all antioxidants have been created equal, the antioxidant power and other biological characteristics vary accordingly with the source of anthocyanins (the fruit and soil type); with their combination (the proportional combination of multiple anthocyanins and other polyphenols specific to a plant species)[21], which determines a particular signature for the antioxidant and biological effects of a given plant extract[22] in the light that anthocyanins synergize with each other for those effects[23]; and with the extraction method[21]. In this regard, the source (wild bilberries and blackcurrants from Norway), particular composition (The most abundant anthocyanins in blackcurrants are Cyanidin-3-rutinoside, Delphinidin-3-rutinoside, Delphinidin-3-glucoside and Cyanidin-3-glucoside and their aglycones cyanidin and delphinidin [24]. The most abundant anthocyanins in bilberries are, in order of percentage composition, Delphinidin-3-galactoside, Delphinidin-3-glucoside, Delphinidin-3-arabinoside, Cyanidin-3-glucoside, Cyanidin-3-galactoside, Cyanidin-3-arabinoside, Malvidin-3-glucoside, Petunidin-3-glucoside, Malvidin-3-galactoside, Petunidin-3-galactoside, Peonidin-3-glucoside, Petunidin-3-arabinoside, Malvidin-3-arabinoside, Peonidin-3-galactoside and Peonidin-3-arabinoside[25, 26]); and finally the method for anthocyanin extraction (purification of anthocyanins present in the fruit extracts, by binding and eluting them from an anthocyanins-binding resin) used for MEDOX® production has big advantages for practical applications. This composition gives MEDOX® unique characteristics.

More practical comparison about what is discussed above is provided by Elham Hosseini Beheshti at The University of British Columbia in his doctoral thesis document, where he compares the antioxidant capacity (ORAC values) of several cultivars of crude grape extracts vs. several cultivars of blackcurrants. He demonstrates, not only that blackcurrant extracts have higher antioxidant power (and different anthocyanin composition) than grape extracts, but also that the cultivars of the same fruit have significant differences in antioxidant capacity among each other. Also it is demonstrated that anthocyanin semi-purification increases the antioxidant capacity about 5 to 8 times.

The method for anthocyanin purification in MEDOX® increases anthocyanin concentration about 10 times compared to the crude extract; alcohol elution prevents any type of residues; and after drying, mixing and packaging the anthocyanins content is about 4 times higher than in the crude extract. All these characteristics make MEDOX® one of the most (if not the most) powerful and standardized anthocyanins presentations available.

Author's Bio: 

Siri Torgersen

President of Medox USA,

Most Powerful Anthocyanins, Polyphenols and Antioxidant Supplement