According to data from experiments with rats, a dose of 23 milligrams per kilogram of body weight was sufficient to prevent a decrease in levels of glutathione, a non-essential nutrient and co-factor in the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase.
The study, using Chr Hansen’s food grade lingonberry extract (Vaccinium vitisidaea), provides scientific support to the ingredient launched globally back in 2008.
Researchers from Chr Hansen, UMR408 INRA (University of Avignon), and Avantage Nutrition in Marseilles report their fidings in a paper published online ahead of print in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Chr Hansen rolled out the ingredient globally in 2008 of the Nordic red berry as part of its NutriPhy range that includes cranberry, bilberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, lutein and lycopene.
The lingonberry is commonly consumed in Nordic countries in the format of a juice or a food, but is relatively unheard of outside of Scandinavia.
Like most superfruits, the lingonberry has elevated levels of phytonutrients such as flavonoids and phenolic acids. It is being marketed on its heart health, immunity and anti-aging benefits as well as the cranberry-dominated urinary tract infection (UTI) area.
Before testing the ingredient in the rats, the researchers set about characterizing the polyphenolic content. Results showed that the extract contained procyanidins B1, B2, and A2, along with other flavanol oligomers. The researchers also noted large concentrations of aglycones for ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid, and quercetin.
The main anthocyanin was confirmed as cyanidin-3-O-galactoside, while “ten anthocyanins detected in the processed extract were characterized for the first time in lingonberry”, they added. These included “3-O-Galactoside derivatives of peonidin and malvidin, respectively”, they said.
For the rat study, the researchers divided animals up into five groups: The first group received a cholesterol-free, low-fat diet (control group); the second group received a diet high in fat and cholesterol only, while the other groups received the same high-fat, cholesterol diet with supplemental doses of lingonberry of 41.7, 83.3, and 250 mg per 100 grams of diet.
“As compared with [high-fat and cholesterol only diet, the diets] enriched with lingonberry extract exhibit a significant antioxidant protective effect and total antioxidant status is lowered by 25 percent whatever the dosage,” reported the researchers.
“Although not statistically different, the total oxidant status is 13 percent lower in animals consuming diets [the lingonberry-supplemented diets] compared to the low-fat control diet,” they added.
In terms of antioxidant effect in vivo, the researchers noted that all the doses of lingonberry used promoted the apparent antioxidant protective effects, with the optimal promotion observed for the intermediate dose.
“From this study, the use of lingonberry extract as a dietary supplement may be considered in the future to improve the antioxidant activity in human health while minimizing the active volume to be ingested compared to berries,” they concluded.
Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1021/jf103965b
“Food Grade Lingonberry Extract: Polyphenolic Composition and In Vivo Protective Effect against Oxidative Stress”
Authors: C. Mane, M. Loonis, C. Juhel, C. Dufour, C. Malien-Aubert