Plant Magazine of Botanical-online September 2017

Natural remedies

Aronia berry properties

(Aronia melanocarpa)

Aronia, antioxidant and anti -aging

The main antioxidant and protective component of aronia is its high content in polyphenols and flavonoids, natural antioxidants present in the fruit. These components include anthocyanins, tannins, rutin, quercetin and malvidin.

All these active ingredients fight free radicals formed in the body as a result of physical or mental activity, or due to prolonged exposure to sunlight or chemicals. Some of them also have specific functions, such as anthocyanins, substances that protect the capillaries of the retina from ultraviolet rays and help maintain good eye health.

Protective properties of aronia

These phytochemicals are fixed to the walls of arteries and organs preventing oxidation or aging of cells and improving the overall health of the organism. Similarly, they prevent fats present in the body to oxidize and form cholesterol plaques in the arteries, being excellent cardioprotective components.

By preventing the oxidation of body cells, aronia juice provides an excellent aging and its consumption in our diet supposes an additional contribution of beneficial plant substances.

One study showed the antioxidant effects of aronia juice in elite athletes. The study found that athletes who consumed aronia juice had less oxidative damage in red blood cells during intense exercise ("The influence of chokeberry juice supplementation on the reduction of oxidative stress resulting from an incremental rowing ergometer exercise", Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2005).

- More info in new window: The antioxidant properties of aronia.

Aronia for cardiovascular health

It is impossible to speak of the excellent antioxidant properties of this fruit without naming its medicinal applications in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The oxidation of tissues and cells is mainly produced by the activity. An athlete who exercises a lot is consuming oxygen and therefore generates a lot of oxidation in the body; the greatest "athlete" in our own body is the heart.

The cardiovascular system is always in a constant movement, both to pump blood (cardiac muscle) and to take it to different organs (arteries) and to return to the heart (veins). This prolonged muscular activity causes heart tissue and veins to have great need of antioxidants and minerals, which are provided in a balanced diet through vegetables, fruits, nuts mainly.

Aronia juice supplement, along with a suitable diet for the heart, is keen to prevent and treat cardiovascular problems both in people with a family history, and in patients with high cholesterol, hypertension or arteriosclerosis .

Specifically interesting is a study in patients who had suffered a heart attack, which showed that aronia extract decreased the inflammatory effects and reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure of patients. The remarkable benefits of aronia is that flavonoids do not interfere with statins, so they can be used clinically for the prevention of heart attacks. In these cases the control and medical supervision before autosuplementación is imperative.
Data from the study: "Combination therapy of statin with flavonoids rich extract from chokeberry fruits enhanced reduction in cardiovascular risk markers in patients after myocardial infraction (MI)" Atherosclerosis. 2007.

A fruit that protects the digestive system

The main components of natural aronia juice are anthocyanins and polyphenols. Anthocyanins have a protective role in gastric mucosa and have slight anti-inflammatory effect, being effective in treating gastritis, ulcers or heartburn.

This valuable fruit is also a natural liver protector. According to studies conducted, the aronia juice, rich in powerful antioxidants, exerts a hepatoprotective effect due to the amount of antioxidants, its ability to protect the liver necrosis, decrease the accumulation of cadmium in the liver and liver damage produced by chemicals.

At the intestinal level, intake of aronia is a contribution of pectin, soluble fiber with prebiotic effect, ie, it helps the intestinal balance, because it serves as food for beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract and is a good antioxidant for intestinal walls. In this direction, studies also suggest an important role of aronia juice in preventing colorectal cancer.

In addition, its high tannin content provides very stringent properties to fresh aronia, designed to stop diarrhea. In fact, in Scandinavia the powdered dried fruit skins are used for the same purpose.

For its antibacterial and antiviral activity, the consumption of fresh aronia is also useful in the treatment of tonsillitis, pharyngitis and mouth sores

Aronia juice to improve your vision

Anthocyanins are antioxidants that act to eye level. Their function is to protect the capillaries (very small arteries) of the retina, preventing their oxidation by solar radiation. A similar action is exerted by substance in the fruit itself: it is the natural protector of these against ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Another phytochemical aronia is rutine, a known flavonoid with a protective action onn your eyes, is also present in blackberries, raspberries or on the fruit of the elderberry.

Aronia juice is prevention for good eye health; especially recommended for people with night blindness, is also recommended for people with myopia or vision problems.

Similarly, for those people who need all the important nutrients for eye health a recommended diet must be high in Omega 3 fatty acids (especially DHA acid), vegetable oils, plenty of vegetables and fruits because they contain carotenoids, and food high in anthocyanins, such as aronia juice, blueberries, black currants, grapes, cherries, raspberries, cauliflower, chicory, etc..

Aronia, the ally of the immune system

Although we have seen anthocyanins are substances that are present in many plant foods, as we have highlighted in the antioxidant qualities of aronia, the content of anthocyanins and antioxidants in aronia is much higher than in other fruits. Therefore, aronia extract has been studied extensively. The concentration of phytochemicals in aronia is much higher.

If free radicals are produced, due to stress, intense sport, poor diet, smoking, etc..; and they are not fought with a diet rich in antioxidants, these radicals can damage cells, the proteins and fats that make up our body. This excess of free radicals is called "oxidative stress " and it is associated with various diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis.

A diet rich in polyphenols, as it may be supplemented with a intake of aronia berries, other berries or fruits provides lots of antioxidants that prevent oxidative stress and therefore its associated diseases.

In addition, a diet with the contribution of lactic bacteria, such as it is naturally contained in yogurt or kefir, improves gastrointestinal flora, which in turn increases the ability to digest these polyphenols.

Aronia anthocyanins also exerts a modulatory activity of the immune system. In this regard, aronia extract has demonstrated a great ability to stop the growth of cells involved in colon cancer (HT- 29 cells).

In the intestine, aronia juice inhibits the formation of carcinogens, the nitrosamines, formed by the breakdown of certain foods in the digestive tract. For example, nitrosamines are responsible for the toxicity of nitrates and nitrites used as food additives. These additives when they reach the intestine may degrade in nitrosamines, which are highly carcinogenic.

Beneficial effects of aronia in multiple sclerosis

Within the importance of aronia to help the body's immunity, scientific studies remark the importance of this berry in people with autoimmune disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

In studies to demonstrate the beneficial effects of aronia extract on cardiovascular health, it was observed that patients suffering from MS, when they supplemented their diet with 100g aronia extract three times a day for 2 months, they improved their symptoms.

These effects may be due to the additive effect between anthocyanins and flavonoids, which exert an anti-inflammatory role, lower blood pressure, lower serum level of endothelin (vasoconstrictor substances) protect the degradation of cholesterol in the arteries and have a powerful antioxidant effect.

Therefore, people with MS may use aronia juice as a supplement in their diet to provide anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds of plants, present mainly in other berries as blueberries or blackcurrants, although in in lesser proportion than in aronia.

Although aronia has proven beneficial for some autoimmune diseases, increasing immunity may negatively impact on such diseases. The dietary supplement of aronia regularly should be supervised by your specialist.

Aronia to prevent and improve diabetes and its complications

Another property that is associated with the large amount of anthocyanins in aronia extract is its power to normalize the carbohydrate metabolism in type II diabetic patients because of its hypoglycemic effect.

For this purpose the cardioprotective and beneficial for eye health properties, diseases can often appear as complications of diabetes are added.

A proper diet for diabetes, along with the weekly supplement of aronia juice is a good diabetes treatment and a preventive method of developing this disease in the future.

Aronia for urinary tract infections

Aronia juice is apparently very similar to blueberries, which are popularly known for their beneficial properties to help prevent urinary tract infections. Aronia also possesses antibacterial active principles and specifically quinic acid, which inhibits the growth of Candida in the bladder.

Therefore, aronia juice, along with medicinal guidelines and a specific food, it is also an aid to treat urinary disorders such as cystitis and vaginal infections.

Who should avoid taking Aronia?

  • Pregnant women should avoid eating aronia during pregnancy until aronia safety is proven in these cases, as there is not enough scientific literature.

  • People with autoimmune diseases shoud search prior consultation with a physician. Although aronia has proven beneficial for some diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, increased immunity may negatively impact on such diseases. Consultation l and specialist supervision is essential in these cases.

Toxicity of aronia

Currently, there are no data in the literature on the side effects, adverse reactions or toxic effects of Aronia melanocarpa both in fresh fruit juices or extracts..

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