From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


While anthocyanins are antioxidants the importance of dietary antioxidants is contentious. For the statement anthocyanins are "why fruits and vegetables with red skins and tissues are a nutritious food source." either properly cite or remove.


I am confused as to why the heading of the article reads:

"Not to be confused with anthocyanidins, the sugar-free counterparts of anthocyanins," and then a few lines underneath, the text reads: "Anthocyanins are derivatives of anthocyanidins, which include pendant sugars." Which is correct? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:54, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

The way its worded is is bit confusing, but both do, in fact, say the same thing. Anthocyanidins do not have an attached sugar moiety. Anthocyanins are derived from anthocyanidins by adding a sugar molecule. (Skoot13 (talk) 01:11, 15 April 2013 (UTC))

-- (talk) 16:38, 21 August 2012 (UTC)I propose adding: However, products in a jar or can sold as "Natural Black Olives" are not naturally ripened and therefore do not contain anthocyanins. The are, in fact, unripe green olives which have been treated in a brine and lye solution to turn them black.-- (talk) 16:38, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

What color is Anthocyanin in plants? Save page

In which December was the study performed?

All the pigments listed (e.g. malvidine, delphinidine, etc) are spelled, if I'm not mistaken, accoding to the French not the English norms -- they should be malvadin, delphinidin, etc. Comparative Google searches bear this out. Someone who knows for certain regarding spelling should make the change.

I found complete information in german wiki: Anthocyane--Quer 00:37, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I noticed that the leaves inside of copper beeches are less purple that the leaves outside. The article mentions that anthocyanin acumulation depends on light (all other things being equal). I suppose this explains that? Should this be so, maybe worthwhile to explain this and the mechanism by which light exposure enhances anthocyanin production? --Harol2 08:18, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Biosynthesis section should move[edit]

I think the biosynthesis section should be moved to flavonoids. --Kupirijo 02:38, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Create anthocyanidin article[edit]

What do people think about making an anthocyanidin article out of this article? --Kupirijo 02:40, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

There's something wrong with this table[edit]

I've learned at school that the darker coloured a fruit is, the more anhocyanins it contains. Why red currants and raspberries are higher than blackcurrants then??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:45, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

This article talk page was automatically added with {{WikiProject Food and drink}} banner as it falls under Category:Food or one of its subcategories. If you find this addition an error, Kindly undo the changes and update the inappropriate categories if needed. The bot was instructed to tagg these articles upon consenus from WikiProject Food and drink. You can find the related request for tagging here . Maximum and careful attention was done to avoid any wrongly tagging any categories , but mistakes may happen... If you have concerns , please inform on the project talk page -- TinucherianBot (talk) 05:50, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Anthocyans: obsolete term and/or alternative spelling or misspelling?[edit]

Because I stumbled on the entry anthocyans, which is being redirected to this entry since then, I did some research on the two terms/spelling variants. I include the results here purely for future reference. I found 67 English books that contain the word "anthocyans" on with the „Search Inside“ function, compared to 1512 English books containing „anthocyanins“. I then excluded all books with author names that did not make the impression of the author being a native English speaker. Next, I excluded all books looking non-scientific, possibly dubious or with a topic suggesting that the author was no expert for plant ingredients (for instance books on wine tasting, cosmetics, or cancer therapy). I ended up with only eight books, which I have grouped as follows:

1) From the 1920s, „anthocyans“ is used as umbrella term for anthocyanins and anthocyanidins:
-The Chemical Age - Chemical Dictionary - Chemical Terms, Hesperides (
-Chemistry in the Twentieth Century by E. F. Armstrong ( )
2) Books edited by native speaker(s), but article was written by non-native speaker(s):
-Advances in Food and Nutrition Research: 49 ( Contains more instances of „anthocyanins“ than of „anthocyans“, used apparently synonymous.)
-Food Flavors and Chemistry: Advances of the New Millennium by A. M. Spanier, F. Shahidi , T. H. Parliament ( Contains more instances of „anthocyanins“ than of „anthocyans“, used apparently synonymous.)
-Methods of Analysis for Functional Foods And Nutraceuticals (Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals) by W. Jeffrey Hurst ( Contains more instances of „anthocyanins“ than of „anthocyans“, used apparently synonymous.)
3) Funny entry in encyclopedia:
-Concise Encyclopedia Chemistry by Mary Eagleson ( )
„Anthocyanidins: see Anthocyans
Anthocyanins: a group of [...]“
(No entry for Anthocyans.)
4) Genuine modern finds:
-The Applied Genetics of Humans, Animals, Plants and Fungi by Bernard C. Lamb ( „In petunia, Petunia hybrida, the red and purple flower pigments are due to anthocyans, with the enzyme chalcone synthase being limiting in pigment product.“)
-Handbook of Food-Drug Interactions (Nutrition Assessment) by Beverly J. McCabe-Sellers, Eric H. Frankel, Jonathan J. Wolfe,( Mentioned in a table as an active substance of hibiscus, quote from a phytotherapy guide.)

So, in total, I have found two modern instances of the word „anthocyans“ used by native experts in a published book. It’s the same with web finds. Hardly any google hits on .edu or .uk pages, and many of those hits were written by non-native speakers or are quotes of literature from the 1920s. I therefore assume that the use of „anthocyans“ as an umbrella term for anthocyanins and anthocyanidins is obsolete, maybe to avoid confusion, or because there is no need for such a term. (AFAIK, plants contain only the water-soluble glucoside form, anthocyanins.) Other uses of the word seem to be non-valid spellings by non-native speakers (the French and German terms for „anthocyanin” are “anthocyane” and “Anthocyan”, respectively) or by non-experts.--Biologos (talk) 09:23, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Image needs replacement[edit]

Hello all...

An image used in the article, specifically Image:Juvenile anthocyanin.jpg, has a little bit of a licensing issue. The image was uploaded back when the rules around image uploading were less restrictive. It is presumed that the uploader was willing to license the picture under the GFDL license but was not clear in that regard. As such, the image, while not at risk of deletion, is likely not clearly licensed to allow for free use in any future use of this article. If anyone has an image that can replace this, or can go take one and upload it, it would be best.

You have your mission, take your camera and start clicking.--Jordan 1972 (talk) 01:12, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Purple Carrots[edit]

Someone should add info on the old purple carrot varieties. They were eliminated from our diet around 17th century when Dutch breeders created orange ones. The varieties which appear to be richest in anthos are Purple Haze and Purple Dragon.. but I'm not totally sure there isn't a better variety. There is also a commercial Texas hybrid called BetaSweet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:05, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

We had some yesterday, after the Australian TV station ABC had a show "Catalyst" which showed some beneficial results of Anthocyanin. There is also a plum, bred in Queensland, which has an enormously high Anthocyanin content. It is a developing field. (talk) 03:56, 15 October 2015 (UTC)


Do they contain cyanide? Badagnani (talk) 23:27, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

No, they do not contain cyanide, despite the similar-sounding names. -- Ed (Edgar181) 15:47, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Function section could be improved[edit]

[1] tells that "anthocyanin-related pigments serve as a UV screen and are produced in response to exposure of the plant to UV radiation, protecting the plant's DNA from damage by sunlight." This is not mentioned in the article where "In photosynthetic tissues (such as leaves and sometimes stems), anthocyanins have been shown to act as a "sunscreen", protecting cells from high-light damage by absorbing blue-green and UV light, thereby protecting the tissues from photoinhibition, or high-light stress." which doesn't mention the DNA damage that seems to be unrelated to the photoinhibition damage. The DNA damage contention is difficult to corroborate outside books which aren't open-access eg Fractions of anthocyanins in petals of Centaurea cyanus L. "in their secondly major role, anthocyanin-related pigments serve as a UV screen, protecting the plant's DNA from damage by sunlight ..." [2]

Someone involved in research could improve this methinks. DadaNeem 18:48, 6 October 2009

Errors, Mistakes[edit]

Animals blind to the red wavelength wouldn't miss the leaves because of that single fact, the leaves would merely be a different color, not invisibile, d'oh! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:56, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

I found an important error in this fragment:

"On a molecular level, berry anthocyanins were shown to turn off genes involved with proliferation, apoptosis[dubious – discuss], inflammation and angiogenesis.[25][26][27]"

The apoptosis is switched on not off. The sentence is an unfortunate construct that put together things that are switched off (genes involved with cell proliferation, inflamation and angiogenesis) and that are switched on (apoptosis).

In fact this fragment contradicts previous paragraph. A brief search on Pubmed for "anthocyanins apoptosis REVIEW" will support my view. I changed this fragment to: "On a molecular level, berry anthocyanins were shown to turn off genes involved with proliferation, inflammation and angiogenesis [25][26][27] while switching on the apoptosis [28][29]" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Crazypancake (talkcontribs) 07:18, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I got in trouble once...[edit]

for posting the Environmental Working Group's findings on the fruits and vegetables most contaminated with pesticides, etc., for the relevant types of produce. But for some reason, (apparently) one contributor gets to blast, shotgun-style, one study on antioxidant effects on every type of produce imaginable. There are hundreds of studies that have determined the likely benefit of antioxidant consumption when it obtains from whole foods. And yet, we apparently need a disclaimer, from one or two studies, on every type of plant-related flavanoid, polyphenol, etc. I just don't get it. That's not NPOV, in my opinion. If we wanted to, we could follow the approach of citing every single study that has determined likely health benefits from these foods. I'm not recommending that, but I'm saying the current approach is completely unbalanced. Skepticism is great, but if numerous cumulative studies have found a benefit, and a few a tangential (if not direct) benefit, whom is the evidence to favor? (talk) 13:20, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Potential references[edit]

--Ronz (talk) 19:29, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Table of anthocyanin content misleading for red wine versus grape juice and blueberries.[edit]

The table gives the impression that red grapes contain much more anthocyanins than red wine made from them. This is not true. The very high value of 888 mg/100g is for the grape juice of one particular variety of USA non-Vitis vinifera grape called Foch. Two others were also measured in the same paper giving values of 258mg/100g(Norton) and 326mg/100g(Concord). They did not analyze wines made from any of these grapes. Another paper not quoted in the article shows that a selection of red Vitis vinifera wines and also wines made from blueberry juice have a very similar range for the amount of anthocyanins. A useful and comprehensive table of total antioxidant capacity in food and drink, rates red wines about half as powerful as blueberries and blackcurrants with chokeberries twice as high again. Of course antioxidant ability is not the same as anthocyanin content. Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). The Antioxidant Food Table, Carlsen et al. 2010. Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 52:22 2004 Nov 3 pg 6779-86. Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). J. Agric. Food Chem. 2003, 51, 48894896 4889.Ggaylmer (talk) 00:27, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Ggaylmer (talk) 00:27, 19 January 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ggaylmer (talkcontribs) 00:06, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree and have hidden grapes and wine in the table until accurate numbers can be found.(Skoot13 (talk) 03:24, 19 January 2013 (UTC))

Horses becoming sick after eating fallen Red Maple leaves in the fall[edit]

Not sure if Anthocyanin is involved, or the metabolites or breakdown chemicals from anthocyanin, but there are many reports of equine species getting sick, and dying, after eating the fallen leaves from Red Maple trees in the fall. Here are three of them:

The horses apparently do not get sick if they eat the leaves of the red maple a bit earlier, so chemical changes in the anthocyanin levels are of interest here. N2e (talk) 00:04, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Nomenclature - is a mess[edit]

According to the IUPAC Gold Book: "anthocyanins [are] Plant pigments of the flavonoid class; they are glycosides that on hydrolysis yield coloured aglycons called anthocyanidins " However, I can cite a multitude of sources which consider anthocyanidins to be "anthocyanin pigments". Specific examples from REPUTABLE sources include:"The primary players in this group include the anthocyanins (eg, cyanidin, pelargonidin, petunidin)..." from the NIH ( Please note that all three examples are anthrocyanidins! So, either we should consolidate the two articles anthocyanins and anthocyanidins OR we need to somehow make clear that anthocyanidins are included as anthocyanin pigments. IN EITHER CASE, they ARE to be confused, despite the text above the lede. Or, rather, they are conflated in general use. Worse, not a single example of a anthocyanin structure is provided in the article. (I understand the difficulty (vaguely) in ISOLATING a polysaccharide in order to determine its structure). So we have an obvious conflict between usage in general and chemical specificity. It is, IMHO, completely MEANINGLESS to make the claim, as is done in the article, that one is a "counterpart" of another. It should be obvious that the term "counterpart" must be in the context of some sort of differentiation. That it, it is a relative term, and the context needs to be clear - which it is NOT here. (Its used twice, differently). Why keep two articles? Why are the glucosides separate from the aglycons? I recommend merging them. If not, then we must distinguish them (structure of a specific glucoside and its aglycon would be great - anybody know of any well characterized anthocyanin?) and make clear that they are both considered "anthocyanin pigments".Abitslow (talk) 16:29, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Article Critique[edit]

This article overall is informative and I would also say it is relatively factually correct. It seems to stay relatively on topic, which is difficult since Anthocyanin (the topic of this article) has many components of relevance and involves many different fields. Bias especially doesn't seem to be a problem in this article. Most, if not all, of the information presented here is strictly factual. The unfortunate aspect of this article is the organization. Each single section is well organized and thought out, but you can really tell that they were all constructed separately because the article itself has no real flow. As I read this article, it feels as if someone crammed many different articles into one page with the hopes that someone would be able to make sense of them all. I think some serious thought needs to be put into the cohesiveness and the narrative of the article. There is also another major problem here, which is there is no section describing the relevance of anthocyanin, other than coloration, as a part of the plants it is produced in. I plan to create a whole new section in this article describing how anthocyanin effects processes in plants and better describing its relevance as a food source/antioxidant to humans. Also, speaking of antioxidants, in the section titled 'Potential Food Value,' a claim that anthocyanins have "little or no direct antioxidant food value following digestion" is made, which is simply not true. There is plenty of data supporting anthocyanin as a viable antioxidant source that has linked it to prevention of Cardio vascular disease, certain types of cancer, and other ailments. These are all issues that I plan to address when I do a full edit on this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by BradHolben (talkcontribs) 03:12, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

I agree with many of these statements. What about the references? Are they reliable? Are there enough to support the information presented? As701914 (talk) 21:00, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

There is no science showing that anthocyanins have any biological role in lab animals or humans. Specifically, there is no in vivo evidence that anthocyanins are antioxidants; this occurs only in vitro. This topic has been extensively reviewed, such as by the European Food Safety Authority with no evidence of safety from long-term use and no evidence of supporting health or anti-disease activity. As shown in the EFSA report (position also held by the FDA), anthocyanins are approved for use only as a food colorant. --Zefr (talk) 21:12, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Anthocyanins and cancer[edit]

There has already been discussion about cancer and antioxidants with someone saying there is zero research to demonstrate anti cancer activity or antioxidant activity. This is incorrect. The following studies clearly demonstrate this:

There are also more studies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2003:84:AA58:3694:C4E6:D9F4:9FF5:71DA (talk) 21:22, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

Those are preliminary lab studies, WP:PRIMARY, which are inadequate to assess human disease mechanisms and therefore are not suitable in an encyclopedia to infer anti-cancer effects. We need quality of sources meeting WP:MEDASSESS (left pyramid, level of evidence needed, where the studies you cite are the lowest quality) to discuss anti-cancer effects of anthocyanins, for which there are no adequate studies. --Zefr (talk) 23:09, 12 August 2017 (UTC)