Food anthocyanins decrease concentrations of TNF-α in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: A randomized, controlled, double blind clinical trial

Publication Name

Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases


Background & aims: Vascular function, blood pressure and inflammation are involved in the pathogenesis of major chronic diseases, including both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This study investigated the effects of food anthocyanins on microvascular function, 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) and inflammatory biomarkers in older adults with MCI. Methods and results: Thirty-one participants with MCI [19 female, 12 male, mean age 75.3 (SD 6.9) years and body mass index 26.1 (SD 3.3) kg/m ], participated in a randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trial (Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12618001184268). Participants consumed 250 mL fruit juice daily for 8 weeks, allocated into three groups: a) high dose anthocyanins (201 mg); b) low dose anthocyanins (47 mg); c) control. Microvascular function (Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging combined with a post-occlusive reactive hyperaemia test), 24h ABP and serum inflammatory biomarkers were assessed before and after the nutritional intervention. Results: Participants in the high anthocyanins group had a reduction in serum tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (P = 0.002) compared to controls and the low anthocyanins group (all P's > 0.05). Serum IL-6, IL-1β, c-reactive protein, and parameters of microvascular function and 24h ABP were not altered by any treatment. Conclusion: A daily high dose of fruit-based anthocyanins for 8 weeks reduced concentrations of TNF-α in older adults with MCI. Anthocyanins did not alter other inflammatory biomarkers, microvascular function or blood pressure parameters. Further studies with a larger sample size and longer period of follow-up are required to elucidate whether this change in the immune response will alter CVD risk and progression of cognitive decline. 2

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Funding Sponsor

Queensland Government



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