The update of anthocyanins on obesity and type 2 diabetes: Experimental evidence and clinical perspectives

Abstract

With the dramatically increasing prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) worldwide, there is an urgent need for new strategies to combat the growing epidemic of these metabolic diseases. Diet is an essential factor affecting the development of and risk for obesity and T2DM and it can either help or hurt. In searching for preventative and therapeutic strategies, it is therefore advantageous to consider the potential of certain foods and their bioactive compounds to reverse or prevent the pathogenic processes associated with metabolic disease. Anthocyanins are naturally occurring polyphenolic compounds abundant in dark-colored fruits, vegetables and grains. Epidemiological studies suggest that increased consumption of anthocyanins lowers the risk of T2DM. Many in vitro and in vivo studies also reveal an array of mechanisms through which anthocyanins could prevent or reverse obesity- and T2DM-related pathologies including promotion of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, improvement of insulin resistance, and hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic actions. Here, we summarize the data on anthocyanin-mediated protection against obesity and T2DM and the underlying mechanisms. Further population-based and long-term human intervention studies are necessary to ultimately evaluate the use of anthocyanins for protection/prevention against the development of obesity and T2DM.

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Fig. 1

Abbreviations

CAN:

Anthocyanin

ACD:

Anthocyanidin

AMPK:

AMP-activated protein kinase

BMI:

Body mass index

C3G:

Cyanidin-3-O-β-glucoside

CETP:

Cholesteryl ester transfer protein

CVD:

Cardiovascular disease

GLUT4:

Glucose transporter 4

GSH:

Glutathione

HDL:

High-density lipoproteins

HFD:

High fat diet

hs-CRP:

High-sensitivity C-reactive protein

IL-8:

Interleukin-8

LDL:

Low-density lipoproteins

LPS:

Lipopolysaccharide

MAPK:

Mitogen-activated protein kinase

MCP-1:

Monocyte chemotactic protein 1

MMD:

Monocyte to macrophage differentiation associator

NF-Κb:

Nuclear factor κB

PPARγ:

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ

ROS:

Reactive oxygen species

SOD:

Superoxide dismutase

T2DM:

Type 2 diabetes mellitus

TNFα:

Tumor necrosis factor α

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by grants from the National Basic Research Program (973 Program, 2012CB517506) and the National Natural Science Foundation (81172655, 81372994).

Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest or financial relationship with the organization that sponsored some of the research described in this review article.

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Correspondence to Wenhua Ling.

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Guo, H., Ling, W. The update of anthocyanins on obesity and type 2 diabetes: Experimental evidence and clinical perspectives. Rev Endocr Metab Disord 16, 1–13 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11154-014-9302-z

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Keywords

  • Anthocyanin
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity
  • Oxidative stress
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus