The significant noted effects were attributed to the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of action related to malvidin, resulting in beneficial outcomes including reduced lipid peroxidation, LDL-cholesterol, and blood pressure levels.
In addition, studies highlighted the beneficial influence of malvidin on the microbiota, increasing favourable intestinal populations of Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus–Enterococcus spp.
The ‘Nutrients’ published report concluded: “Various studies, including in vitro and in vivo, suggest that these molecules have the potential to counteract the onset and progression of several disease pathologies, in particular, with pathogenesis related to oxidative stress. Therefore, besides their colorant capacity, malvidin and its glycosides may have a wide range of health-promoting properties.”
“These findings suggest a potential market role for malvidin and its glycosides as functional food ingredients, offering both aesthetic and nutritional advantages,” the Polish researchers emphasise.
The health benefits of flavonoids, a class of polyphenols found within plants, have been widely reported in recent years. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid, which are responsible for the red, purple and blue pigments in a range of fruits and vegetables.
It has been observed that these compounds exhibit significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, which have been associated with potential cardioprotective, antidiabetic and neuroprotective properties. Malvidin is a well-known yet lesser studied type of anthocyanin which exhibits a visible purple colour. It is largely abundant in blue-coloured flowers and contributed to red pigment in red wine.
Seeking to bridge this knowledge gap, the present review sought to review the available evidence on the biological activity of malvidin, as well as its glycosides, with regards to its potential health-promoting effects.
The researchers collated data from the databases of PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus and ScienceDirect, utilising associated key words and inclusion criteria.
It was noted that malvidin and its glycosides possessed significant health benefits due to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of action. Studies noted the exhibited neuroprotective properties of the anthocyanin, due to the prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction and the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), whilst enhancing antioxidant enzyme activity within the cerebrum.
Furthermore, a human trial supplemented with 25g of blueberry powder were found to report significantly fewer cognitive symptoms and improved memory discrimination, suggesting a potential benefit of anthocyanin supplementation for those suffering with cognitive decline.
In addition, significant cardioprotective effects were observed, with a human trial reporting a reduction in blood pressure and arterial stiffness potentially due to increased nitric oxide (NO) production. Further studies noted reductions in the levels of lipid peroxidation and markers of inflammation.
In further studies, significant antidiabetic effects of malvidin and its glycosides were noted. A human trial observed a significant decrease in serum LDL cholesterol and triglycerides whilst improving antioxidant activities, following supplementation with two supplements daily containing 80 mg of anthocyanins.
Whilst the review concluded on the plethora of health benefits exhibited by malvidin, it is highlighted that there are limitations to its widespread utilisation within supplements due to its limited stability.
Yet, the researchers add: “The chemical stabilization of anthocyanins is currently the primary focus of recent studies due to their abundant potential applications, beneficial effects, and use as an alternative to artificial colorants.”