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Supplementation with Aronia Berry (Black Chokeberry) Extract Improves Clinical and Biochemical Parameters of Metabolic Syndrome

Date 11-30-2021
HC# 052132-677
Aronia Berry (aka Black Chokeberry; Aronia melanocarpa, Rosaceae)
Metabolic Syndrome

Tasic N, Jakovljevic VLJ, Mitrovic M, et al. Black chokeberry Aronia melanocarpa extract reduces blood pressure, glycemia and lipid profile in patients with metabolic syndrome: a prospective controlled trial. Mol Cell Biochem. July 2021;476(7):2663-2673. doi: 10.1007/s11010-021-04106-4. 

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) affects approximately one-quarter of the global population, according to the World Health Organization. Common risk factors for MetS include obesity, improper diet, insufficient physical activity, and inadequate diabetes mellitus management. A generalized pro-oxidative status of the body is a common denominator in individuals at risk for developing MetS. Studies report that fruits rich in antioxidants and phytoestrogens, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, are effective in reducing MetS symptoms. These authors conducted a prospective controlled trial to examine the effect of Alixir 400 PROTECT® (Pharmanova; Belgrade, Serbia), a standardized aronia berry, also known as black chokeberry, (Aronia melanocarpa, Rosaceae) extract, on clinical and biochemical parameters in patients with MetS.

The study was conducted from February 2018 to November 2019 in Belgrade, Serbia, and included 143 males and females aged 50-60 years. [Note: Although the text routinely states "143" in the article, the numbers assigned to the groups total 144.] The patients had been diagnosed with MetS based on the presence of at least three of the following criteria defined by the American Heart Association: high blood pressure, high waist circumference, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and hyperglycemia after fasting or a previous diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

The patients were classified by two categories (presence of T2DM and gender) and assigned to the following groups to take 30 mL of the black chokeberry supplement before or during dinner for 28 days:

  • fMetS group: females with MetS (n = 42)
  • mMetS group: males with MetS (n= 42)
  • fMetS-DM group: females with MetS and T2DM (n = 32)
  • mMetS-DM group: males with MetS and T2DM (n = 28)

A 30 mL dose of the supplement contained 431 mg polyphenols, 120 mg anthocyanins, 35.1 mg potassium sorbate, and 0.04% ethanol per volume. Based on quantitative and qualitative analyses, the supplement contained the following compounds: 2.68 cyanidin 3-galactoside (80.40 mg/mL), 0.16 cyanidin 3-glucoside (4.92 mg/mL), 0.66 cyanidin 3-arabinoside (19.71 mg/mL), 0.14 cyanidin 3-xyloside (4.26 mg/mL), 0.12 rutin (3.55 mg/mL), 0.27 hyperoside (8.12 mg/mL), and 0.15 isoquercetin (4.36 mg/mL).

Assessments of anthropometric data, lipid profile, serum glucose, hepatic function and inflammatory markers, hematological parameters, and blood pressure were recorded at baseline, and again at two weeks and four weeks.

Compared with baseline, body weight significantly decreased in the mMetS-DM group after two weeks and in all groups after four weeks (P < 0.05 for all). Waist size significantly decreased in the fMetS group after two weeks and in all groups after four weeks (P < 0.05 for all). Systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure significantly decreased in all groups at two weeks and four weeks compared with baseline (P < 0.05); heart rate did not change significantly in any group during the study.

After two weeks of treatment, cholesterol levels significantly decreased in the fMetS-DM group, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels decreased in the fMetS group (P < 0.05). After four weeks of treatment, significant decreases in LDL-C levels were observed in all groups compared with baseline; triglyceride levels significantly decreased in the two groups of patients with T2DM; and HDL-C levels significantly increased in the fMetS group (P < 0.05 for all).

The mean values of glycemia significantly decreased in all groups at two weeks and four weeks after the start of treatment (P < 0.05). After four weeks, the changes in liver function markers included a decrease in aspartate aminotransferase in the mMetS, fMetS, and fMetS-DM groups (P < 0.05) and a decrease in alanine aminotransferase in the groups of female patients (P < 0.05). In the groups of patients with diabetes, direct bilirubin significantly increased after four weeks (P < 0.05).

Changes in inflammatory markers included a significant decrease in white blood cell count in the patients without diabetes after four weeks (P < 0.05) and a decrease in C-reactive protein after two weeks and four weeks in the fMetS group (P < 0.05). Platelets significantly increased in the patients with diabetes compared with baseline after four weeks (P < 0.05).

The main limitation of this study is its short duration.

The authors conclude that the consumption of polyphenols in the aronia berry supplement "is correlated with a positive effect on body weight, total cholesterol, low and high-density lipoproteins, blood pressure and glycemia" and "could be a promising strategy to reduce cardiovascular risk."

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Shari Henson