Dr. Hank Liers, PhD biography HPDI integratedhealth formulator scientist physicist black currant extractUltimate Protector contains black currant extract, as well as components from 29 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each of these ingredients contain substances that may be considered to be polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators. In this article I will explore the ingredient black currant extract, which is a component of Anthocomplete™ from Futureceuticals.


AnthoComplete™ (N669) is a specially designed blend of anthocyanins derived from wild bilberry and wild blueberry, açaí, black currant extract, sweet cherry, raspberry, elderberry, blackberry, aronia, black soybean hull extract, and blue corn. Anthocyanins are powerful plant polyphenols associated with a variety of areas of human health, including healthy aging, healthy glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, and inflammation management.

Carefully designed to maximize the amount of beneficial anthocyanins that can be available in a single source, AnthoComplete™ is a proprietary formula suitable for a wide range of applications.

With its diverse blend, AnthoComplete™ contains a minimum level of 10% anthocyanins, 3,000 ORAC μmole TE/g (typical), and 15% total phenolics (typical).

Owing to the high levels of anthocyanins and vitamin C, two types of important antioxidants, black currants have been shown by scientific research to have many benefits in promoting health and wellness. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient required for the body’s normal functions and the antioxidant polyphenols in black currants (particularly anthocyanins) may help in maintaining cardiovascular health, aging and brain health, urinary tract health, and healthy vision.

Black Currant

Black Currant Berries


Black currants (Ribes nigrum) have been used in a wide variety of foods for many years. They contain a relatively large vitamin C content, more than almost any other commonly consumed fruit. Ongoing research is further showing the benefits of black currants based largely on the polyphenolic content of the fruit and its related products.

Black currants have antioxidant value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity – ORAC) of 7950 Trolex Equivalents per 100 g, which is one of the highest value for fruits after chokeberries, elderberry, and cranberries.

The intensely dark color of blackcurrants is due to its high content of anthocyanin — primarily 3-glucosides and 3-rutinosides of cyanidin and delphinidin. It has been found that these components exhibit powerful hydroxyl radical scavenging abilities and protect endothelial cells in model systems.

In addition, the anthocyanins have been shown to positively influence the α-glucosidase phase of starch digestion providing a reduction of sugar release during starch food digestion.

Also, black currants are a good source of glycosylated flavonols such as quercetin, myrecetin and kaempferol. Scientific studies at the fundamental cellular level have indicated that these compounds can interact with the bodies own innate Antioxidant Response Elements (ARE), such as the transcription factor Nrf2, and more specifically stimulate expression of the detoxification enzymes such as NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase, glutathione S-transferase, and uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase isoenzymes.


Below, we provide a few relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects and potential health benefits of black currant extracts.

Biological activity of blackcurrant extracts (Ribes nigrum L.) in relation to erythrocyte membranes.
From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24527456


Compounds contained in fruits and leaves of blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.) are known as agents acting preventively and therapeutically on the organism. The HPLC analysis showed they are rich in polyphenol anthocyanins in fruits and flavonoids in leaves, that have antioxidant activity and are beneficial for health. The aim of the research was to determine the effect of blackcurrant fruit and leaf extracts on the physical properties of the erythrocyte membranes and assess their antioxidant properties. The effect of the extracts on osmotic resistance, shape of erythrocytes and hemolytic and antioxidant activity of the extracts were examined with spectrophotometric methods. The FTIR investigation showed that extracts modify the erythrocyte membrane and protect it against free radicals induced by UV radiation. The results show that the extracts do not induce hemolysis and even protect erythrocytes against the harmful action of UVC radiation, while slightly strengthening the membrane and inducing echinocytes. The compounds contained in the extracts do not penetrate into the hydrophobic region, but bind to the membrane surface inducing small changes in the packing arrangement of the polar head groups of membrane lipids. The extracts have a high antioxidant activity. Their presence on the surface of the erythrocyte membrane entails protection against free radicals.


Anthocyanin-rich black currant extract suppresses the growth of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.


Dietary antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, are helpful in the prevention and control of various diseases by counteracting the imbalance of oxidative and antioxidative factors in the living systems. Black currant (Ribes nigrum L., Grossulariaceae) is known to contain high amounts of anthocyanins (250 mg/100 g fresh fruit). Black currant fruits have been used in Asian and European traditional medicine for the treatment of a variety of diseases. Black currant extract has recently been found to be the second most effective amongst nine different berry extracts studied for their free radical scavenging activity. Constituents present in black currant juice have been found to exert a number of health-promoting effects, including immunomodulatory, antimicrobial and antiinflammatory actions, inhibition of low-density lipoprotein, and reduction of cardiovascular diseases. Although antioxidant and antiinflammatory effects of black currant juice could be of value in preventing and treating oxidative stress- and inflammation-driven cancers, no experimental evidence is available to now. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the potential antiproliferative effects of black currant fruit skin extract against HepG2 human liver cancer cells. The aqueous extract yielded an anthocyanin-rich fraction with cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside as one of the major anthocyanins. This fraction exhibited a potent cytotoxic effect on HepG2 cells and this effect was more pronounced than that of delphinidin and cyanidin, two major aglycones of anthocyanins present in black currant. Our results indicate, for the first time, that black currant skin containing an anthocyanin-rich fraction inhibits the proliferation of liver cancer cells, possibly due to additive as well as synergistic effects. This product could be useful in the prevention and treatment of human hepatocellular carcinoma.


Black currant anthocyanins abrogate oxidative stress through Nrf2-mediated antioxidant mechanisms in a rat model of hepatocellular carcinoma.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), considered to be one of the most lethal cancers with almost > 1 million deaths reported annually worldwide, remains a devastating disease with no known effective cure. Hence, chemopreventive strategies come into play, offering an effective and safe mode of treatment, ideal to ward off potential cancer risks and mortality. A major predisposing condition, pertinent to the development and progression of HCC is oxidative stress. We previously reported a striking chemopreventive effect of anthocyanin-rich black currant skin extract (BCSE) against diethylnitrosamine (DENA)-initiated hepatocarcinogenesis in rats. The current study aims to elucidate the underlying antioxidant mechanisms of black currant anthocyanins implicated in the previously observed chemopreventive effects against experimental hepatocarcinogenesis. Dietary BCSE (100 and 500 mg/kg) administered four weeks before and 18 weeks after DENA challenge decreased abnormal lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, and expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) in a dose-responsive fashion. Mechanistic studies revealed that BCSE upregulated the gene expression of a number of hepatic antioxidant and carcinogen detoxifying enzymes, such as NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase, glutathione S-transferase, and uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase isoenzymes, in DENA-initiated animals. Protein and mRNA expressions of nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) were substantially elevated with BCSE treatment, providing a direct evidence of a coordinated activation of the Nrf2-regulated antioxidant pathway, which led to the upregulation of a variety of housekeeping genes. The results of our study provide substantial evidence that black currant bioactive anthocyanins exert chemopreventive actions against DENA-inflicted hepatocarcinogenesis by attenuating oxidative stress through activation of Nrf2 signaling pathway.


Black currant phytoconstituents exert chemoprevention of diethylnitrosamine-initiated hepatocarcinogenesis by suppression of the inflammatory response.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22213170


Black currant fruits containing high amounts of anthocyanins are known to possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. We have previously reported that anthocyanin-rich black currant skin extract (BCSE) inhibits diethylnitrosamine (DENA)-initiated hepatocarcinogenesis in rats although the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Our present study investigates the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of BCSE during DENA rat liver carcinogenesis. Dietary BCSE (100 or 500 mg/kg) treatment for 22 wk afforded a striking inhibition of DENA-induced hepatic gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase-positive preneoplastic foci in a dose-responsive fashion. There was a significant increase in hepatic expression of heat shock proteins (HSP70 and HSP90), cyclooxygenase-2, and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in DENA-exposed rat livers. Dietary BCSE dose-dependently abrogated all these elevated inflammatory markers. The possible cardiotoxicity of BCSE was assessed by monitoring cardiac functions using transthoracic echocardiography. BCSE-mediated anti-inflammatory effects during rat liver carcinogenesis have been achieved without any cardiotoxicity. Our results provide convincing evidence, for the very first time, that suppression of the inflammatory cascade through modulation of the NF-κB signaling pathway could be implicated, at least in part, in the chemopreventive effects of black currant bioactive phytoconstituents against experimental hepatocarcinogenesis. These results coupled with an excellent safety profile of BCSE support the development of black currant phytochemicals for the chemoprevention of inflammation-driven hepatocellular cancer.


Anthocyanin-rich black currant (Ribes nigrum L.) extract affords chemoprevention against diethylnitrosamine-induced hepatocellular carcinogenesis in rats.


Anthocyanins are known to possess potent anticarcinogenic properties against several cancers thus demonstrating potential for cancer prevention. Black currant (Ribes nigrum L., Grossulariaceae) fruits have a high anthocyanin content. This “superfruit” is known to possess various pharmacological effects including alleviation of chronic oxidative stress and inflammation. In contrast to a large volume of literature on the health benefits of black currant, limited evidence on antitumor effects of black currant exists with virtually no data on the prevention of experimental carcinogenesis. In the current study, we have investigated the chemopreventive effects of an anthocyanin-rich black currant skin extract (BCSE) utilizing our well-characterized model of rat liver carcinogenesis. Initiation of hepatocarcinogenesis was done by intraperitoneal injection of diethylnitrosamine (DENA) followed by promotion with phenobarbital. The rats were exposed to dietary BCSE for 4 weeks prior to initiation, and the treatment was continued for 22 consecutive weeks. BCSE dose-dependently decreased the incidence, total number, multiplicity, size and volume of preneoplastic hepatic nodules. The antihepatocarcinogenic effect of BCSE was confirmed by histopathological examination of liver sections. Immunohistochemical analysis of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and DNA fragmentation revealed BCSE-mediated inhibition of abnormal cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis in DENA-induced rat liver tumorigenesis respectively. Mechanistic studies revealed that BCSE-mediated proapototic signal during experimental hepatocarcinogenesis may be propagated via the up-regulation of Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2 expression at the translational level. These results along with a safety profile of BCSE encourage the development of black currant bioactive constituents as chemopreventive agents for human liver cancer.


Purified Anthocyanins from Bilberry and Black Currant Attenuate Hepatic Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Steatohepatitis in Mice with Methionine and Choline Deficiency


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The berries of bilberry and black currant are a rich source of anthocyanins, which are thought to have favorable effects on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This study was designed to examine whether purified anthocyanins from bilberry and black currant are able to limit the disorders related to NASH induced by a methionine-choline-deficient (MCD) diet in mice. The results showed that treatment with anthocyanins not only alleviated inflammation, oxidative stress, steatosis, and even fibrosis but also improved depletion of mitochondrial content and damage of mitochondrial biogenesis and electron transfer chain developed concomitantly in the liver of mice fed the MCD diet. Furthermore, anthocyanins treatment promoted activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α). These data provide evidence that anthocyanins possess significant protective effects against NASH and mitochondrial defects in response to a MCD diet, with a mechanism maybe through affecting the AMPK/PGC-1α signaling pathways.


Black currants are an important fruit full of polyphenols, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector such an outstanding nutritional supplement.



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