Purple pigments and obesity

February 11, 2008
Purple pigments and obesity
Here's to purple power: Colorful pigments found in the skin of blueberries, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables may help prevent obesity, according to recent animal studies.Courtesy of USDA Agricultural Research Service

Scientists in Arkansas are reporting new evidence that natural pigments responsible for the beautiful blue/purple/reddish color of certain fruits and vegetables may help prevent obesity. Their animal study, scheduled for the Feb. 13 issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, however, reports that eating the whole fruit containing these pigments seems to be less effective than eating an extract of the berry.

Ronald L. Prior and colleagues, who did the new study, note that past research has shown that the pigments — called anthocyanins — prevent obesity in laboratory mice fed a high-fat diet. Anthocyanins are found in grape skins, blueberries, blackberries, purple corn, and other foods. The mice also had other healthful changes in disease-related substances found in the blood.

In the new study, researchers found that mice fed a high-fat diet for 8 weeks plus drinking water with purified anthocyanins from blueberries and strawberries gained less weight and had lower body fat levels than a control group. “Anthocyanins fed as the whole blueberry did not prevent and may have actually increased obesity,” the study reported. “However, feeding purified anthocyanins from blueberries or strawberries reduced obesity.”

Source: ACS

Explore further: Compounds that color fruits and veggies may protect against colon cancer

Related Stories

Purple tomatoes: The richness of antioxidants against tumors

October 26, 2008

Researchers from the John Innes Centre in Norwich, Great Britain, in collaboration with other European centres participating to the FLORA project, have obtained genetically modified tomatoes rich in anthocyanins, a category ...

Blue and purple corn: Not just for tortilla chips anymore

May 17, 2017

Consumers today insist on all-natural everything, and food dyes are no exception. Even if food manufacturers are willing to make the change, current sources of natural dyes are expensive and hard to come by. Now, a large ...

Why are autumn leaves red in America and yellow in Europe?

August 13, 2009

Walking outdoors in the fall, the splendidly colorful leaves adorning the trees are a delight to the eye. In Europe these autumn leaves are mostly yellow, while the United States and East Asia boast lustrous red foliage. ...

Recommended for you

Artificially produced cells communicate with each other

January 18, 2019

Friedrich Simmel and Aurore Dupin, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), have for the first time created artificial cell assemblies that can communicate with each other. The cells, separated by fatty membranes, ...

Why do Hydra end up with just a single head?

January 18, 2019

Often considered immortal, the freshwater Hydra can regenerate any part of its body, a trait discovered by the Geneva naturalist Abraham Trembley nearly 300 years ago. Any fragment of its body containing a few thousands cells ...

Saturn hasn't always had rings

January 17, 2019

One of the last acts of NASA's Cassini spacecraft before its death plunge into Saturn's hydrogen and helium atmosphere was to coast between the planet and its rings and let them tug it around, essentially acting as a gravity ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.