Dr. Hank Liers, PhD biography about us HPDI integratedhealth formulator founder CEO scientist physicist wild bilberry and wild blueberryUltimate Protector+ contains whole grape extract, as well as components from 12 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 explore the ingredient whole grape extract (including seeds, pulp, and skin), which is a component of SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend and VinCare® from Ethical Naturals, Inc.

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Whole Grape Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Whole Grape Extract

SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend

SFB® Standardized Fruit Blend is a proprietary formula that combines extracts from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry. High in fruit polyphenols, anthocyanidins, proanthocyanidins, catechins, ellagic acid, chlorogenic acid, resveratrol, and quinic acid. With its diverse blend, SFB® offers 40-50% polyphenols as well as >9,000 ORAC units in a single gram.

Polyphenols, anthocyanidins, and other known plant components are powerful ingredients associated with a variety of areas of human health, including healthy aging, healthy glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, and inflammation management.

VinCare® – Standardized Whole Grape Extract

VinCare® is a whole grape extract from the seeds, skin, and pulp of red grapes. Whole Grape Extract contains highly bioavailable bioflavonoid complexes that in research studies have been shown to have powerful antioxidant capability. The Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) in grape extract are able to strengthen collagen fibers in aging or damaged connective tissue and can act as a preventative against connective tissue degradation. Some research indicates that anthocyanidins, which are found in extracts of grape seed, skin, and pulp (but not in grape seed extract), can reduce oxidized glutathione while at the same time become reduced themselves. In addition, extracts of grape skin and pulp (but not those of grape seed extract) contain trans-resveratrol that has been shown to have cell protective effects.

Grape seed extract has been reported to demonstrate a remarkable spectrum of biological, pharmacological and therapeutic properties against oxidative stress. The antioxidative activities of grape seed extract have been found to be much stronger than those of vitamins C and E. Studies have indicated that grape seed extract showed a protective effect on cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, atherosclerosis, and neuropathy, among other conditions.

Vincare® contains ~80% polypnenols and has an ORAC value of about 19,000 µmole TE/g. ORAC 5.0 testing of grape seed extract exhibits one of the highest values of any tested material at about 100,000 µmole TE/g.

It has been shown that grape seed OPCs activate nuclear erythroid2-related factor2 (Nrf2), which is a key antioxidative transcription factor, with the concomitant elevation of downstream hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1).

grape extract


During the last 24 years I have designed more than 20 products incorporating OPCs from whole grape and grape seed extracts. Some of these products include: Antioxidant Formula, Diabetes Support Formula, Eye & Vision Formula, Joint Health FormulaChewable Kid’s Mighty-MultiHank & Brian’s Mighty Multi-vite!Mini MultiMulti Two, OPC-C, PRO-CProlytRejuvenate! Pro, and Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs.

In 1993 I prepared an extensive review of OPCs including the sources of grape seed extract and pine bark extract. In this review article entitled Review of Scientific Research on Oligomeric Proanthcyanidins (OPC), I pointed out that grape seed extract consists of approximately 92% polyphenols, 32% monomers (flavan-3-ol), and 68% OPCs. OPCs consist of  catechins (referring to both catechins and epicatechins) that have the peculiar property of forming polymers with themselves. When the number of connected catechins is 10 or less they are called oligomers and thus the term used is “oligomeric proanthocyanidins.” When the number of connected catechins is more than 10 the term condensed tannins is generally used. The term proanthocyanidins comes about because when these materials are subjected to 10% hydrochloric acid and heated to boiling (this is what is termed the Bate-Smith test), they yield an anthocyanidin, with its intense red coloration, and a catechin.

grape and grape seeds

Below we provide information from several research articles that highlight some of the potential health effects of whole grape and grape seed extracts.

Procyanidins from Wild Grape (Vitis amurensis) Seeds Regulate ARE-Mediated Enzyme Expression via Nrf2 Coupled with p38 and PI3K/Akt Pathway in HepG2 Cells

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3269721/


Procyanidins, polymers of flavan-3-ol units, have been reported to exhibit many beneficial health effects such as antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects. In this study, we investigated the cancer chemopreventive properties of procyanidins from wild grape (Vitis amurensis) seeds in particular their roles in inducing phase II detoxifying/antioxidant enzymes as well as in modulating the upstream kinases. Ethanolic extract of V. amurensis seeds was fractionated with a series of organic solvents and finally separated into six fractions, F1–F6. Chemical properties of the procyanidins were analyzed by vanillin assay, BuOH-HCl test, and depolymerization with phloroglucinol followed by LC/MS analysis. The F5 had the highest procyanidin content among all the fractions and strongly induced the reporter activity of antioxidant response element as well as the protein expression of nuclear factor E2-related factor (Nrf2) in HepG2 human hepatocarcinoma cells. The procyanidin-rich F5 also strongly induced the expression of the phase II detoxifying and antioxidant enzymes such as NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase1 and hemeoxygenase1. Phosphorylations of the upstream kinases such as MAPKs and PI3K/Akt were significantly increased by treatment with procyanidin fraction. In addition, the procyanidin-mediated Nrf2 expression was partly attenuated by PI3K inhibitor LY294002, and almost completely by p38 inhibitor SB202190, but neither by JNK inhibitor SP600125 nor by MEK1/2 inhibitor U0126. Taken together, the procyanidins from wild grape seeds could be used as a potential natural chemopreventive agent through Nrf2/ARE-mediated phase II detoxifying/antioxidant enzymes induction via p38 and PI3K/Akt pathway.

Keywords: wild grape seed, Vitis amurensis, procyanidin, chemoprevention, MAPKs, Nrf2, phase II detoxifying enzyme, antioxidant enzyme


Grape seed extract induces apoptotic death of human prostate carcinoma DU145 cells via caspases activation accompanied by dissipation of mitochondrial membrane potential and cytochrome c release.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12419835

Carcinogenesis. 2002 Nov;23(11):1869-76, Agarwal C1, Singh RPAgarwal R.


Grape seed extract (GSE), rich in the bioflavonoids commonly known as procyanidins, is one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements in the United States because of its several health benefits. Epidemiological studies show that many prostate cancer (PCA) patients use herbal extracts as dietary supplements in addition to their prescription drugs. Accordingly, in recent years, we have focused our attention on assessing the efficacy of GSE against PCA. Our studies showed that GSE inhibits growth and induces apoptotic death of human PCA cells in culture and in nude mice. Here, we performed detailed studies to define the molecular mechanism of GSE-induced apoptosis in advanced human PCA DU145 cells. GSE treatment of cells at various doses (50-200 micro g/ml) for 12-72 h resulted in a moderate to strong apoptotic death in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In the studies assessing the apoptotic-signaling pathway induced by GSE, we observed an increase in cleaved fragments of caspases 3, 7 and 9 as well as PARP in GSE-treated cells after 48 and 72 h of treatment. Pre-treatment of cells with general caspases inhibitor, z-Val-Ala-Asp(OMe)-FMK or caspase 3-like proteases inhibitor [z-Asp(OMe)-Glu(OMe)-Val-Asp(OMe)-FMK], almost completely (approximately 90%) inhibited the GSE-induced apoptotic cell death. In a later case, GSE-induced caspase-3 activity was completely inhibited. Selective caspase 9 inhibitor [z-Leu-Glu(OMe)-His-Asp(OMe)-FMK] showed only partial inhibition of GSE-induced apoptosis whereas GSE-induced protease activity of caspase 9 was completely inhibited. Upstream of caspase cascade, GSE showed disappearance of mitochondrial membrane potential and an increase in cytochrome c release in cytosol. Together, these results suggest that GSE possibly causes mitochondrial damage leading to cytochrome c release in cytosol and activation of caspases resulting in PARP cleavage and execution of apoptotic death of human PCA DU145 cells. Furthermore, GSE-caused caspase 3-mediated apoptosis also involves other pathway(s) including caspase 9 activation.

Differential effect of grape seed extract against human non-small-cell lung cancer cells: the role of reactive oxygen species and apoptosis induction.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23682782


The present study examines grape seed extract (GSE) efficacy against a series of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines that differ in their Kras and p53 status to establish GSE potential as a cytotoxic agent against a wide range of lung cancer cells. GSE suppressed growth and induced apoptotic death in NSCLC cells irrespective of their k-Ras status, with more sensitivity toward H460 and H322 (wt k-Ras) than A549 and H1299 cells (mutated k-Ras). Mechanistic studies in A549 and H460 cells, selected, based on comparative efficacy of GSE at higher and lower doses, respectively, showed that apoptotic death involves cytochrome c release associated caspases 9 and 3 activation, and poly (ADP-ribosyl) polymerase cleavage, strong phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and JNK1/2, downregulation of cell survival proteins, and upregulated proapoptotic Bak expression. Importantly, GSE treatment caused a strong superoxide radical-associated oxidative stress, significantly decreased intracellular reduced glutathione levels, suggesting, for the first time, the involvement of GSE-caused oxidative stress in its apoptotic inducing activity in these cells. Because GSE is a widely-consumed dietary agent with no known untoward effects, our results support future studies to establish GSE efficacy and usefulness against NSCLC control.

Role of oxidative stress in cytotoxicity of grape seed extract in human bladder cancer cells.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23831192

Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Nov;61:187-95. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.06.039. Epub 2013 Jul 3. Raina K1, Tyagi AKumar DAgarwal RAgarwal C.


In present study, we evaluated grape seed extract (GSE) efficacy against bladder cancer and associated mechanism in two different bladder cancercell lines T24 and HTB9. A significant inhibitory effect of GSE on cancer cell viability was observed, which was due to apoptotic cell death. Cell death events were preceded by vacuolar appearance in cytoplasm, which under electron microscopy was confirmed as swollen mitochondrial organelle and autophagosomes. Through detailed in vitro studies, we established that GSE generated oxidative stress that initiated an apoptotic response as indicated by the reversal of GSE-mediated apoptosis when the cells were pre-treated with antioxidants prior to GSE. However, parallel to a strong apoptotic cell death event, GSE also caused a pro-survival autophagic event as evidenced by tracking the dynamics of LC3-II within the cells. Since the pro-death apoptotic response was stronger than the pro-survival autophagy induction within the cells, cell eventually succumbed to cellular death after GSE exposure. Together, the findings in the present study are both novel and highly significant in establishing, for the first time, that GSE-mediated oxidative stress causes a strong programmed cell death in human bladder cancer cells, suggesting and advocating the effectiveness of this non-toxic agent against this deadly malignancy.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Target identification of grape seed extract in colorectal cancer using drug affinity responsive target stability (DARTS) technique: role of endoplasmic reticulum stress response proteins.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24724981


Various natural agents, including grape seed extract (GSE), have shown considerable chemopreventive and anti-cancer efficacy against different cancers in pre-clinical studies; however, their specific protein targets are largely unknown and thus, their clinical usefulness is marred by limited scientific evidences about their direct cellular targets. Accordingly, herein, employing, for the first time, the recently developed drug affinity responsive target stability (DARTS) technique, we aimed to profile the potential protein targets of GSE in human colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. Unlike other methods, which can cause chemical alteration of the drug components to allow for detection, this approach relies on the fact that a drug bound protein may become less susceptible to proteolysis and hence the enriched proteins can be detected by Mass Spectroscopy methods. Our results, utilizing the DARTS technique followed by examination of the spectral output by LC/MS and the MASCOT data, revealed that GSE targets endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response proteins resulting in overall down regulation of proteins involved in translation and that GSE also causes oxidative protein modifications, specifically on methionine amino acids residues on its protein targets. Corroborating these findings, mechanistic studies revealed that GSE indeed caused ER stress and strongly inhibited PI3k-Akt-mTOR pathway for its biological effects in CRC cells. Furthermore, bioenergetics studies indicated that GSE also interferes with glycolysis and mitochondrial metabolism in CRC cells. Together, the present study identifying GSE molecular targets in CRC cells, combined with its efficacy in vast pre-clinical CRC models, further supports its usefulness for CRC prevention and treatment.

Polyphenolics in grape seeds-biochemistry and functionality.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14977436

J Med Food. 2003 Winter;6(4):291-9.


Grape seeds are waste products of the winery and grape juice industry. These seeds contain lipid, protein, carbohydrates, and 5-8% polyphenols depending on the variety. Polyphenols in grape seeds are mainly flavonoids, including gallic acid, the monomeric flavan-3-ols catechin, epicatechin, gallocatechin, epigallocatechin, and epicatechin 3-O-gallate, and procyanidin dimers, trimers, and more highly polymerized procyanidins. Grape seed extract is known as a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from premature aging, disease, and decay. Grape seeds contains mainly phenols such as proanthocyanidins (oligomeric proanthocyanidins). Scientific studies have shown that the antioxidant power of proanthocyanidins is 20 times greater than vitamin E and 50 times greater than vitamin C. Extensive research suggests that grape seed extract is beneficial in many areas of health because of its antioxidant effect to bond with collagen, promoting youthful skin, cell health, elasticity, and flexibility. Other studies have shown that proanthocyanidins help to protect the body from sun damage, to improve vision, to improve flexibility in joints, arteries, and body tissues such as the heart, and to improve blood circulation by strengthening capillaries, arteries, and veins. The most abundant phenolic compounds isolated from grapeseed are catechins, epicatechin, procyanidin, and some dimers and trimers.

Anti-tumor-promoting activity of a polyphenolic fraction isolated from grape seeds in the mouse skin two-stage initiation-promotion protocol and identification of procyanidin B5-3′-gallate as the most effective antioxidant constituent.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10469619


Procyanidins present in grape seeds are known to exert anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and anti-allergic activities, prevent skin aging, scavenge oxygen free radicals and inhibit UV radiation-induced peroxidation activity. Since most of these events are associated with the tumor promotion stage of carcinogenesis, these studies suggest that grape seed polyphenols and the procyanidins present therein could be anticarcinogenic and/or anti-tumor-promoting agents. Therefore, we assessed the anti-tumor-promoting effect of a polyphenolic fraction isolated from grape seeds (GSP) employing the 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-initiated and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA)-promoted SENCAR mouse skin two-stage carcinogenesis protocol as a model system. Following tumor initiation with DMBA, topical application of GSP at doses of 0.5 and 1.5 mg/mouse/application to the dorsal initiated mouse skin resulted in a highly significant inhibition of TPA tumor promotion. The observed anti-tumor-promoting effects of GSP were dose dependent and were evident in terms of a reduction in tumor incidence (35 and 60% inhibition), tumor multiplicity (61 and 83% inhibition) and tumor volume (67 and 87% inhibition) at both 0.5 and 1.5 mg GSP, respectively. Based on these results, we directed our efforts to separate and identify the individual polyphenols present in GSP and assess their antioxidant activity in terms of inhibition of epidermal lipid peroxidation. Employing HPLC followed by comparison with authentic standards for retention times in HPLC profiles, physiochemical properties and spectral analysis, nine individual polyphenols were identified as catechin, epicatechin, procyanidins B1-B5 and C1 and procyanidin B5-3′-gallate. Five of these individual polyphenols with evident structural differences, namely catechin, procyanidin B2, procyanidin B5, procyanidin C1 and procyanidin B5-3′-gallate, were assessed for antioxidant activity. All of them significantly inhibited epidermal lipid peroxidation, albeit to different levels. A structure-activity relationship study showed that with an increase in the degree of polymerization in polyphenol structure, the inhibitory potential towards lipid peroxidation increased. In addition, the position of linkage between inter-flavan units also influences lipid peroxidation activity; procyanidin isomers with a 4-6 linkage showed stronger inhibitory activity than isomers with a 4-8 linkage. A sharp increase in the inhibition of epidermal lipid peroxidation was also evident when a gallate group was linked at the 3′-hydroxy position of a procyanidin dimer. Procyanidin B5-3′-gallate showed the most potent antioxidant activity with an IC(50) of 20 microM in an epidermal lipid peroxidation assay. Taken together, for the first time these results show that grape seed polyphenols possess high anti-tumor-promoting activity due to the strong antioxidant effect of procyanidins present therein. In summary, grape seed polyphenols in general, and procyanidin B5-3′-gallate in particular, should be studied in more detail to be developed as cancer chemopreventive and/or anticarcinogenic agents.


Whole Grape and Grape Seed Extracts (GSE) is an exciting natural ingredient full of important polyphenols, anthocyanidins, oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), antioxidants and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector+ such an outstanding nutritional supplement. This ingredient has been used extensively in nutritional supplement formulations for almost 25 years now. Continued research shows an amazing list of health benefits for this substance including its ability to function as a powerful stimulator of Nrf2 activity. It truly belongs in the Ultimate Protector+™ formula.



Dr. Hank Liers, PhD biography about us HPDI integratedhealth formulator founder CEO scientist physicist wild bilberry and wild blueberryUltimate Protector+ contains cranberry extract, as well as components from 12 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 cranberry, which is a component of SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend from Ethical Naturals, Inc.

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Cranberry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Cranberry Extract

SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend

SFB® is a proprietary formula that combines extracts from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry. It is high in fruit polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, catechins, proanthocyanins, ellagic acid, xanthines, chlorogenic acid, pterostilbenes, resveratrol, phloridzin, quercetin, zeaxanthin, carotenoids, polysaccharides, quinic acid, and more. With its diverse blend, SFB® offers over 40-50% polyphenols as well as >9,000 ORAC units in a single gram.

Polyphenols, anthocyanins and other plant elements are powerful ingredients associated with a variety of areas of human health, including healthy aging, healthy glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, and inflammation management.


Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) are native to the boggy regions of temperate and subalpine North America and Europe. Although Native Americans used them extensively, they were first cultivated in the U.S. in the early 19th century. Cranberries grow on viney plants belonging to the heath family Ericaceae that also includes blueberries, bilberries, huckleberries, and bearberries (Arctostaphylos uva ursi). Cranberries contain tannins, fiber, anthocyanins (and other flavonoids), and Vitamin C. Their tannins prevent bacteria from attaching to cells. Consequently, cranberries have been used against infections, including urinary tract infections. In addition, cranberries may be helpful in protecting against heart disease and stroke.

Cranberry extract is an especially good source of antioxidant polyphenols. In animal studies, the polyphenols in cranberries have been found to decrease levels of total cholesterol and so-called “bad” cholesterol. Cranberries may also inhibit the growth of tumors in human breast tissue and lower the risk of both stomach ulcers and gum disease. 

Here is a list of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in found in cranberry extract.

Type of Phytonutrient             Specific Molecules
Phenolic Acids                             hydroxybenzoic acids including vanillic acids;
—Phenolic Acids (cont.)             hydroxycinnamic acids inculding caffeic,
—Phenolic Acids (cont.)             coumaric, cinnamic, and ferulic acid
Proanthocyanidins                     epicatechins
Anthocyanins                              cyanidins, malvidins, and peonidins
Flavonoids                                   quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol
Triterpenoids                              ursolic acid


    • Cranberries hold significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC’s). Scientific studies have shown that consumption of the berries have potential health benefits against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections.
    • Antioxidant compounds in cranberry extract including OPC’s, anthocyanidin flavonoids, cyanidin, peonidin and quercetin may prevent cardiovascular disease by counteracting against cholesterol plaque formation in the heart and blood vessels. Further, these compounds help the human body lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL-good cholesterol levels in the blood.
    • Scientific studies show that cranberry juice consumption offers protection against gram-negative bacterial infections such as E.coli in the urinary system by inhibiting bacterial-attachment to the bladder and urethra.
    • It is known that cranberries turns urine acidic. This, together with the inhibition of bacterial adhesion helps prevent the formation of alkaline (calcium ammonium phosphate) stones in the urinary tract by working against proteus bacterial-infections.
    • In addition, the berries prevent plaque formation on the tooth enamel by interfering with the ability of the gram-negative bacterium, Streptococcus mutans, to stick to the surface. In this way cranberries helps prevent the development of cavities.
    • The berries are also good source of many vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, ß-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and folate and minerals like potassium, and manganese.
  • Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) demonstrates cranberry at an ORAC score of 9584 µmol TE units per 100 g, one of the highest in the category of edible berries.

For more information on cranberries visit: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=145


Below, I provide relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects and potential health benefits of cranberries.



Cranberry fruit has been reported to have high antioxidant effectiveness that is potentially linked to its richness in diversified polyphenolic content. The aim of the present study was to determine the role of cranberry polyphenolic fractions in oxidative stress (OxS), inflammation and mitochondrial functions using intestinal Caco-2/15 cells. The combination of HPLC and UltraPerformance LC®-tandem quadrupole (UPLC-TQD) techniques allowed us to characterize the profile of low, medium and high molecular mass polyphenolic compounds in cranberry extracts. The medium molecular mass fraction was enriched with flavonoids and procyanidin dimers whereas procyanidin oligomers (DP > 4) were the dominant class of polyphenols in the high molecular mass fraction. Pre-incubation of Caco-2/15 cells with these cranberry extracts prevented iron/ascorbate-mediated lipid peroxidation and counteracted lipopolysaccharide-mediated inflammation as evidenced by the decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and interleukin-6), cyclo-oxygenase-2 and prostaglandin E2. Cranberry polyphenols (CP) fractions limited both nuclear factor κB activation and Nrf2 down-regulation. Consistently, cranberry procyanidins alleviated OxS-dependent mitochondrial dysfunctions as shown by the rise in ATP production and the up-regulation of Bcl-2, as well as the decline of protein expression of cytochrome c and apoptotic-inducing factor. These mitochondrial effects were associated with a significant stimulation of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator-1-α, a central inducing factor of mitochondrial biogenesis and transcriptional co-activator of numerous downstream mediators. Finally, cranberry procyanidins forestalled the effect of iron/ascorbate on the protein expression of mitochondrial transcription factors (mtTFA, mtTFB1, mtTFB2). Our findings provide evidence for the capacity of CP to reduce intestinal OxS and inflammation while improving mitochondrial dysfunction.



Oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated cell damage are implicated in various chronic pathologies. Emerging studies show that polyphenols may act by increasing endogenous antioxidant defense potential. Cranberry has one of the highest polyphenol content among commonly consumed fruits. In this study, the hepato-protective activity of a cranberry juice (CJ) and cranberry extract (CE) powders against oxidative stress was screened using HepG2 cells, looking at ROS production, intracellular non-enzymatic and enzymatic antioxidant defenses by reduced glutathione concentration (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GR) activity and lipid peroxidation biomarker malondialdehyde (MDA). Involvement of major protein kinase signaling pathways was also evaluated. Both powders in basal conditions did not affect cell viability but decreased ROS production and increased GPx activity, conditions that may place the cells in favorable conditions against oxidative stress. Powder pre-treatment of HepG2 cells for 20 h significantly reduced cell damage induced by 400 μM tert-butylhydroperoxide (t-BOOH) for 2 h. Both powders (5–50 μg/ml) reduced t-BOOH-induced increase of MDA by 20% (CJ) and 25% (CE), and significantly reduced over-activated GPx and GR. CE, with a significantly higher amount of polyphenols than CJ, prevented a reduction in GSH and significantly reduced ROS production. CJ reversed the t-BOOH-induced increase in phospho-c-Jun N-terminal kinase. This study demonstrates that cranberry polyphenols may help protect liver cells against oxidative insult by modulating GSH concentration, ROS and MDA generation, antioxidant enzyme activity and cell signaling pathways.


From: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464613000364


It is known that cranberry inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori (HP). In human stomach, HP basically induces chronic inflammation by stimulating stomach cells to secrete interleukin (IL)-8 and other inflammatory cytokines, and causes stomach cancer, etc. The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibiting effects of cranberry on HP growth and IL-8 secretion from stomach cells induced by HP, using clinically separated HP strains. HP growth in liquid culture and on-plate culture was evaluated by titration after 2-day incubation and by agar dilution technique, respectively. For IL-8 experiments, MKN-45, a stomach cancer cell line, was incubated with HP for 24 h and IL-8 in the medium was assayed by ELISA. Cranberry suppressed growth of the bacteria only in six of the 27 strains. Meanwhile, it suppressed IL-8 secretion in all the strains. The results may suggest a possible role of cranberry in prevention of stomach cancer by reducing gastric inflammation.


From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24353827


Increased oxidative stress in obese diabetes may have causal effects on diabetic complications, including dyslipidemia. Lipopolysccharides (LPS) along with an atherogenic diet have been found to increase oxidative stress and insulin resistance. Cranberry has been recognized as having beneficial effects on diseases related to oxidative stress. Therefore, we employed obese diabetic animals treated with an atherogenic diet and LPS, with the aim of examining the effects of cranberry powder (CP) on diabetic related metabolic conditions, including lipid profiles, serum insulin and glucose, and biomarkers of oxidative stress. Forty C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice were divided into the following five groups: normal diet + saline, atherogenic diet + saline, atherogenic diet + LPS, atherogenic diet + 5% CP + LPS, and atherogenic diet + 10% CP + LPS. Consumption of an atherogenic diet resulted in elevation of serum total cholesterol and atherogenic index (AI) and reduction of high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol. However, with 10% CP, the increase in mean HDL-cholesterol level was close to that of the group with a normal diet, whereas AI was maintained at a higher level than that of the group with a normal diet. LPS induced elevated serum insulin level was lowered by greater than 60% with CP (P < 0.05), and mean serum glucose level was reduced by approximately 19% with 5% CP (P > 0.05). Mean activity of liver cytosolic glutathione peroxidase was significantly increased by LPS injection, however it was reduced back to the value without LPS when the diet was fortified with 10% CP (P < 0.05). In groups with CP, a reduction in mean levels of serum protein carbonyl tended to occur in a dose dependent manner. Particularly with 10% CP, a reduction of approximately 89% was observed (P > 0.05). Overall results suggest that fortification of the atherogenic diet with CP may have potential health benefits for obese diabetes with high oxidative stress, by modulation of physical conditions, including some biomarkers of oxidative stress.


Cranberry extract is full of polyphenols, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector+ such an outstanding nutritional supplement.



Dr. Hank Liers, PhDUltimate Protector+ contains blueberry and bilberry extracts, as well as components from 12 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 ingredients blueberry and bilberry, which are components of SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend from Ethical Naturals, Inc.

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Blueberry and Bilberry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Bilberry and Blueberry

SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend

SFB® is a proprietary formula that combines extracts from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry. High in fruit polyphenols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, catechins, ellagic acid, chlorogenic acid, resveratrol, and quinic acid. With its diverse blend, SFB® offers over 40–50% polyphenols as well as >9,000 ORAC units in a single gram.

Polyphenols, anthocyanins, and other plant components are powerful ingredients associated with a variety of areas of human health, including healthy aging, healthy glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, and inflammation management.


Bilberry is any of several Eurasian  species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium, bearing edible, nearly black berries. The species most often referred to is Vaccinium myrtillus L., but there are several other closely related species. Bilberries are distinct from blueberries but closely related. Whereas the bilberry is native to Europe, the blueberry is native to North America.

The bilberry fruit is smaller than that of the blueberry, but with a fuller taste. Bilberries are darker in color, and usually appear near black with a slight shade of purple. While blueberry fruit pulp is light green in color, bilberry is red or purple, heavily staining the fingers, lips, and tongue of consumers eating the raw fruit. The color comes from diverse anthocyanins.

So-called wild (lowbush) blueberries, smaller than cultivated highbush ones, are prized for their intense color. “Wild” has been adopted as a marketing term for harvests of managed native stands of lowbush blueberries. The bushes are not planted or genetically manipulated, but they are pruned or burned every two years, and pests are “managed.” The content of polyphenols and anthocyanins in lowbush (wild) blueberries (V. angustifolium) exceeds values found in highbush cultivars.

wild bilberry and wild blueberry

Wild bilberry and wild blueberry provide Nrf2 activators.

The key compounds in bilberry fruit are called anthocyanins and anthocyanosides. These compounds help build strong blood vessels and improve circulation to all areas of the body. They also prevent blood platelets from clumping together (helping to reduce the risk of blood clots), and they have antioxidant properties (preventing or reducing damage to cells from free radicals). Anthocyanins boost the production of rhodopsin, a pigment that improves night vision and helps the eye adapt to light changes.

Bilberry fruit is also rich in tannins, a substance that acts as an astringent. The tannins have anti-inflammatory properties and may help control diarrhea.

Bilberries have been shown to have the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) rating of more than 20 fresh fruits and berries. The antioxidant properties of bilberries were shown to be even stronger than those of cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, or cultivated blueberries.

The antioxidant powers and health benefits of bilberries and blueberries can be attributed to a number of remarkable compounds contained in them, including the following:

  • Anthocyanins
    • malvidins
    • delphinidins
    • pelargonidins
    • cyanidins
    • peonidins
  • Hydroxycinnamic acids
    • caffeic acids
    • ferulic acids
    • coumaric acids
  • Hydroxybenzoic acids
    • gallic acids
    • procatchuic acids
  • Flavonols
    • kaempferol
    • quercetin
    • myricetin
  • Other phenol-related phytonutrients
    • pterostilbene
    • resveratrol
  • Other nutrients
    • lutein
    • zeaxanthin
    • Vitamin K
    • Vitamin C
    • manganese

Scientific Studies on the Antioxidant Effects of Bilberry and Blueberry

Databases of scientific studies (like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PubMed database) contain thousands of up-to-date studies and abstracts about various Vaccinium species, including wild bilberry and wild blueberry (V. myrtillis and V. angustfolium, respectively).

We provide a few relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects of wild bilberry and wild blueberry.

In vitro anticancer activity of fruit extracts from Vaccinium species.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8693031


Fruit extracts of four Vaccinium species (lowbush blueberry, bilberry, cranberry, and lingonberry) were screened for anticarcinogenic compounds by a combination of fractionation and in vitro testing of their ability to induce the Phase II xenobiotic detoxification enzyme quinone reductase (QR) and to inhibit the induction of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the rate-limiting enzyme in polyamine synthesis, by the tumor promoter phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (TPA). The crude extracts, anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin fractions were not highly active in QR induction whereas the ethyl acetate extracts were active QR inducers. The concentrations required to double QR activity (designated CDqr) for the ethyl acetate extracts of lowbush blueberry, cranberry, lingonberry, and bilberry were 4.2, 3.7, 1.3, and 1.0 microgram tannic acid equivalents (TAE), respectively, Further fractionation of the bilberry ethyl acetate extract revealed that the majority of inducer potency was contained in a hexane/chloroform subfraction (CDqr = 0.07 microgram TAE). In contrast to their effects on QR, crude extracts of lowbush blueberry, cranberry, and lingonberry were active inhibitors of ODC activity. The concentrations of these crude extracts needed to inhibit ODC activity by 50% (designated IC50) were 8.0, 7.0, and 9.0 micrograms TAE, respectively. The greatest activity in these extracts appeared to be contained in the polymeric proanthocyanidin fractions of the lowbush blueberry, cranberry, and lingonberry fruits (IC50 = 3.0, 6.0, and 5.0 micrograms TAE, respectively). The anthocyanidin and ethyl acetate extracts of the four Vaccinium species were either inactive or relatively weak inhibitors of ODC activity. Thus, components of the hexane/chloroform fraction of bilberry and of the proanthocyanidin fraction of lowbush blueberry, cranberry, and lingonberry exhibit potential anticarcinogenic activity as evaluated by in vitro screening tests.

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) anthocyanins modulate heme oxygenase-1 and glutathione S-transferase-pi expression in ARPE-19 cells.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17460300


PURPOSE: To determine whether anthocyanin-enriched bilberry extracts modulate pre- or posttranslational levels of oxidative stress defense enzymes heme-oxygenase (HO)-1 and glutathione S-transferase-pi (GST-pi) in cultured human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells.

METHODS: Confluent ARPE-19 cells were preincubated with anthocyanin and nonanthocyanin phenolic fractions of a 25% enriched extract of bilberry (10(-6)-1.0 mg/mL) and, after phenolic removal, cells were oxidatively challenged with H(2)O(2). The concentration of intracellular glutathione was measured by HPLC and free radical production determined by the dichlorofluorescin diacetate assay. HO-1 and GST-pi protein and mRNA levels were determined by Western blot and RT-PCR, respectively.

RESULTS: Preincubation with bilberry extract ameliorated the intracellular increase of H(2)O(2)-induced free radicals in RPE, though H(2)O(2) cytotoxicity was not affected. By 4 hours, the extract had upregulated HO-1 and GST-pi protein by 2.8- and 2.5-fold, respectively, and mRNA by 5.5- and 7.1-fold, respectively, in a dose-dependent manner. Anthocyanin and nonanthocyanin phenolic fractions contributed similarly to mRNA upregulation.

CONCLUSIONS: Anthocyanins and other phenolics from bilberry upregulate the oxidative stress defense enzymes HO-1 and GST-pi in RPE, suggesting that they stimulate signal transduction pathways influencing genes controlled by the antioxidant response element.

Berry anthocyanins suppress the expression and secretion of proinflammatory mediators in macrophages by inhibiting nuclear translocation of NF-κB independent of NRF2-mediated mechanism.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24565673


The objectives of this study were to compare the anti-inflammatory effects of anthocyanins from blueberry (BBA), blackberry (BKA), and blackcurrant (BCA) and to determine the relationship between their antioxidant capacity and anti-inflammatory effect in macrophages. Major anthocyanins in BBA, BKA and BCA were malvidin-3-glucoside (16%), cyanidin-3-glucoside (98%) and delphinidin-3-rutinoside (44%), respectively. BKA showed higher total antioxidant capacity than BBA and BCA. RAW 264.7 macrophages were incubated with 0-20 μg/ml of BBA, BKA and BCA, and subsequently activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to measure proinflammatory cytokine production. Interleukin 1β (IL-1β) messenger RNA (mRNA) levels were significantly decreased by all berry anthocyanins at 10 μg/ml or higher. Tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) mRNA levels and secretion were also significantly decreased in LPS-treated macrophages. The levels of the repression were comparable for all berry anthocyanins. LPS-induced nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) p65 translocation to the nucleus was markedly attenuated by all of the berry anthocyanins. In bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) from nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 wild-type (Nrf2(+/+)) mice, BBA, BKA and BCA significantly decreased cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels with a concomitant decrease in IL-1β mRNA levels upon LPS stimulation. However, in the BMM from Nrf2(-/-) mice, the anthocyanin fractions were able to significantly decrease IL-1β mRNA despite the fact that ROS levels were not significantly affected. In conclusion, BBA, BKA and BCA exert their anti-inflammatory effects in macrophages, at least in part, by inhibiting nuclear translocation of NF-κB independent of the NRF2-mediated pathways.

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

From: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf504926n


The berries of bilberry and black currant are rich source of anthocyanins, which are thought to have favorable effects on non-alcoholic 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 the 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 mechanism maybe through affecting the AMPK/PGC-1α signaling pathways.

Effect of blueberry on hepatic and immunological functions in mice.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20382588


Background: Conventional drugs used in the treatment and prevention of liver diseases often have side effects, therefore research into natural substances are of significance. This study examined the effects of blueberry on liver protection and cellular immune functions.

METHODS: To determine the effects of blueberry on liver protective function, male mice were orally administered blueberry (0.6 g/10 g) or normal saline for 21 days. Hepatic RNA was extracted by Trizol reagent, and the expression of Nrf2, HO-1, and Nqo1 was determined by real-time RT-PCR. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in liver homogenate were determined, and liver index was measured. To assess the effects of blueberry on cellular immune function, male mice received blueberry (0.4, 0.6, or 0.8 g/10 g) for 35 days, and the percentages of CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T lymphocyte subgroups in peripheral blood were detected by flow cytometry, the index of the thymus and spleen was measured, and lymphocyte proliferation in the spleen was determined by MTT assay.

RESULTS: Blueberry treatment significantly increased the expression of Nrf2, HO-1, and Nqo1, the important antioxidant components in the liver. Hepatic SOD in the blueberry group was higher and MDA was lower than that in the control group (P<0.05). Blueberry also increased the index of the spleen and enhanced the proliferation of lymphocytes of the spleen (P<0.05). The percentages of the CD3+ and CD4+ T lymphocyte subsets and the CD4+/CD8+ ratio were also increased by blueberry (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Blueberry induces expression of Nrf2, HO-1, and Nqo1, which can protect hepatocytes from oxidative stress. In addition, blueberry can modulate T-cell function in mice.

Anthocyanins: Janus Nutraceuticals Displaying Chemotherapeutic and Neuroprotective Properties

From: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-007-4575-9_21


Anthocyanins are natural polyphenolic compounds widely distributed as pigments in many fruits and vegetables. In addition to displaying antioxidant properties, these nutraceuticals exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and pro-apoptotic activities suggesting their potential as novel chemotherapeutic agents. Through cell cycle down-regulation, and context-specific pro-oxidant activity, anthocyanins induce cytotoxicity in cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Specifically, via regulation of the Bcl-2 protein family and induction of caspase-dependent or caspase-independent apoptotic pathways, anthocyanins inhibit the growth of cancers by inducing cell death. Moreover, by modulating the activities of specific kinases and proteases, including (but not limited to) cyclin-dependent kinases, mitogen-activated protein kinases, matrix metalloproteases, and urokinase-type plasminogen activators, anthocyanins induce apoptosis, inhibit motility, and suppress invasion of cancer cells. In marked contrast to their effects in cancer cells, we have found that anthocyanins display significant anti-apoptotic activity in neurons. Antioxidant properties of these nutraceuticals, particularly at the level of the mitochondria, appear to underlie their neuroprotective effects. The opposing effects of anthocyanins on cancer cells and neurons suggest that these nutraceuticals are promising candidates for development as either chemotherapeutic agents or novel neuroprotective compounds for the treatment of cancers or neurodegenerative diseases, respectively.

Recent Research on Polyphenolics in Vision and Eye Health

From: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf903038r#end-1


A long-standing yet controversial bioactivity attributed to polyphenols is their beneficial effects in vision. Although anecdotal case reports and in vitro research studies provide evidence for the visual benefits of anthocyanin-rich berries, rigorous clinical evidence of their benefits is still lacking. Recent in vitro studies demonstrate that anthocyanins and other flavonoids interact directly with rhodopsin and modulate visual pigment function. Additional in vitro studies show flavonoids protect a variety of retinal cell types from oxidative stress-induced cell death, a neuroprotective property of significance because the retina has the highest metabolic rate of any tissue and is particularly vulnerable to oxidative injury. However, more information is needed on the bioactivity of in vivo conjugates and the accumulation of flavonoids in ocular tissues. The direct and indirect costs of age-related vision impairment provide a powerful incentive to explore the potential for improved vision health through the intake of dietary polyphenolics.

Bilberry Extracts Induce Gene Expression Through the Electrophile Response Element

From: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15327914nc5401_11#.VLK6LVqBO24


A number of genes important for detoxification and antioxidant defense induced by mild stress generated by, for example, physical activity/exercise, caloric restriction, or alcohol may provide health benefits by causing the organism to mount such a defense response. More recently, induction of these defenses has also been attributed to phytochemicals or secondary metabolites from dietary plants. Many polyphenols, which constitute a large fraction of these phytochemicals, increase cellular levels of antioxidants, such as glutathione and other components of the detoxification systems, via the transactivation of genes containing electrophile response elements (EpREs) within their promoters. One such gene, γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase, has previously been shown to be positively regulated by quercetin, a flavonoid found in high concentrations in onions, apples, and bilberries through EpRE transactivation. As a further step, we have investigated whether bilberries and quercetin have the ability to induce transcription of Fos-related antigen 1 (Fra-1), which contains two EpREs in its promoter. Fra-1 is a member of the activator protein 1 (AP-1) family of transcription factors and, due to the lack of transactivation domain Fra-1, can suppress activation of AP-1. We present results demonstrating that extracts from bilberries, and the flavonoid quercetin, abundant in bilberries, induce the fra-1 promoter and the cellular content of Fra-1 mRNA. We further provide evidence that this induction is mediated through EpREs.

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

From: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/life-science/nutrition-research/learning-center/plant-profiler/vaccinium-myrtillus.html

Synonyms / Common Names / Related Terms
Airelle, anthocyanins, Bickbeere (German), bilberry leaf, black whortle, Blaubeere (Dutch), blaubessen, bleaberry, blueberry, blueberry leaf, bogberry, bog bilberry, burren myrtle, cranberry, dwarf bilberry, dyeberry, Ericaceae (family), European blueberry, Heidelbeere (Dutch), Heidelbeereblatter, heidelberry, huckleberry, hurtleberry, lingonberry, lowbush blueberry, Mirtillo nero (Italian), Myrtilli folium, Myrtilli fructus, Myrtilus niger Gilib., Optiberry, resveratrol, sambubiosides, trackleberry, Vaccinium angulosum Dulac, Vaccinium montanum Salibs., Vaccinium myrtillus anthocyanoside extract, VMA extract, VME, whortleberry, wineberry
Mechanism of Action


  • Constituents: Bilberry contains several compounds that have demonstrated biological activity. The main chemicals contained in bilberry extract have been shown to be: anthocyanins30,31, flavonoids, hydroquinone, oleanolic acid, neomyrtillin, sodium, tannins, and ursolic acid17,20,32,33,34. Bilberry also contains resveratrol.28,29 The anthocyanosides, tannins, and flavonoids have been of particular scientific interest. Flavonoids have been shown in vitro to possess a number of biological properties, including inhibition of prostacyclin synthesis, reduction of capillary permeability and fragility, free radical scavenging, inhibition of a wide range of enzymes, impairment of coagulation and platelet aggregation, and anticarcinogenicity.33,5
  • Mechanism of action: Anthocyanins and other phenolics from bilberry upregulate the oxidative stress defense enzymes heme-oxygenase-1 and glutathione S-transferase-pin cultured human retinal pigment epithelial cells, suggesting that they stimulate signal transduction pathways, influencing genes controlled by the antioxidant response element.30
  • Antibacterial effects: In an in vitro study using Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus aureus Oxford, Enterococcus faecalisBacillus subtilis, and Escherichia coli, an aqueous extract of bilberry leaves had a MIC of 12.7-17.8mg/mL and an aqueous extract of bilberry fruit had a MIC of 15.4-30.7mg/mL.24
  • Anticarcinogenic effects: In an in vitro study, anthocyanin-rich extracts from bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) inhibited the growth of a colon cancer cell line.6
  • Bomser et al. screened fruit extracts of bilberry for potential anticarcinogenic compounds by a combination of fractionation and in vitro testing of their ability to induce the Phase 2 xenobiotic detoxification enzyme quinone reductase (QR) and to inhibit the induction of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the rate-limiting enzyme in polyamine synthesis, by the tumor promoter phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (TPA).5 The crude extracts, anthocyanin, and proanthocyanidin fractions were not found to be highly active in Phase 2 xenobiotic detoxification enzyme quinone reductase (QR) induction, whereas the ethyl acetate extracts were active QR inducers. The concentrations required to double QR activity (designated CDqr) for the ethyl acetate extracts of bilberry were 1.0mcg tannic acid equivalents (TAE). Further fractionation of the bilberry ethyl acetate extract revealed that the majority of inducer potency was contained in a hexane/chloroform subfraction (CDqr = 0.07mcg TAE). The anthocyanidin and ethyl acetate extracts of bilberry were either inactive or relatively weak inhibitors of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity. The authors concluded that components of the hexane/chloroform fraction of bilberry exhibit potential anticarcinogenic activity, as evaluated by in vitro screening tests.
  • Antihyperglycemic effects: In normal and depancreatized dogs, oral administration of bilberry leaves reduced hyperglycemia, even when the glucose was injected intravenously concurrently.15,16
  • Antioxidant effects: Bilberry contains anthocyanosides that are flavonoid derivatives of anthocyanins (the blue, red, or violet pigments found in many berry varieties), which are closely related in structure and activity to flavonoids17 and possess free radical scavenging/antioxidant properties. Antioxidant properties have been attributed to bilberry based on in vitro studies.1,2,34
  • Antiplatelet activity: In a clinical study of 30 subjects with normal platelet aggregation, 480mg of Myrtocyan® (Vaccinium myrtillus anthocyanins) daily, 3g of ascorbic acid daily, or both treatments all reduced platelet aggregation after 30 and 60 days.11 Bilberry anthocyanins reduced platelet aggregation more than ascorbic acid alone, but bilberry anthocyanins and ascorbic acid together were the most effective. Also, in in vitro studies, anthocyanins extracted from bilberry have inhibited platelet aggregation.13,14,10,12
  • Flavonoids have been shown in vitro to inhibit prostacyclin synthesis. In one animal model, Vaccinium myrtillus anthocyanosides were studied for their effects on prostacyclin-like activity in rat arterial issue.7
  • Antiproliferative effects: According to one laboratory study, anthocyanins were the predominant phenolic compounds in bilberry extracts.31 Compared to other plants with anthocyanins, such as black currant or lingonberry, cell growth inhibition was greater for bilberry than other plants studied. The pro-apoptosis marker, Bax, was increased 1.3-fold in bilberry-treated cells, whereas the pro-survival marker, Bcl-2, was detected only in control cells. The results demonstrated that bilberry and other berry extracts containing anthocyanins inhibited cancer cell proliferation, mainly via the p21WAF1 pathway.
  • Antiulcer effects: In an animal study, large doses of cyanidin chloride from bilberry significantly increased gastric mucosal release of prostaglandin E2.19 In animal models of gastric ulcers, cyanidin chloride showed antiulcer activity.26,8
  • Astringent effects: Bilberry contains tannins that have been used medicinally as astringents and to treat diarrhea.
  • Connective tissue stabilizing effects: An in vitro study has suggested that anthocyanosides appear to stabilize connective tissue by enhancing collagen synthesis, inhibiting collagen degradation, and enhancing collagen cross linking.35 In contrast, Boniface et al. found a significant decrease in connective tissue synthesis (collagen and glycoproteins) in gingival tissue samples of 12 adult diabetics treated with 600mg of anthocyanosides daily for two months.36
  • Hepatoprotective activity: In an animal study, anthocyans exerted a protective effect on liver cells.27
  • Hyperglycemic effects: In an oral glucose tolerance test in healthy rats, an alcoholic extract of Vaccinium myrtillus leaves increased serum glucose levels compared to controls.25
  • Hypotensive effects: Bilberry has been theorized to potentially drop blood pressure, based on pre-clinical evidence of vascular smooth muscle-relaxing properties.21,22,23
  • Anthocyanoside extracts have been shown to have smooth muscle-relaxing activity, which may account for their purported effects in one series of women with dysmenorrhea.18 Bioflavonoids and extracts of anthocyanosides (such as those present in bilberry) have been shown to relax vascular smooth muscles in experimental models, possibly via stimulation of prostaglandins.21,22,23
  • Intracellular signaling effects: Anthocyanosides have been shown to inhibit cAMP phosphodiesterase, which is involved in intracellular signal transduction pathways.8
  • Ocular effects: Anthocyanosides have been shown to exert direct effects on the retina, including the alteration of local enzymatic reactions and enhancement of the recovery of rhodopsin.9 The multi-ingredient product Mirtogenol (Pycnogenol® – French maritime pine bark extract and Mirtoselect® – standardized bilberry extract) has been reported to lower intraocular pressure and improve ocular blood flow.37
  • Smooth muscle relaxant effects: Anthocyanoside extracts have been shown to have smooth muscle-relaxing activity, which may account for their purported effects in one series of women with dysmenorrhea.18 Bioflavonoids and extracts of anthocyanosides (such as those present in bilberry) have been shown to relax vascular smooth muscles in experimental models, possibly via stimulation of prostaglandins.21,22,23
  • Vasoprotective effects: Flavonoids have been shown in vitro to reduce capillary permeability and fragility. Anthocyanosides have been studied for their potential protective effect in disorders due to abnormal capillary fragility.33


  • There are limited data regarding the pharmacodynamics and kinetics of Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) anthocyanosides (VMA). In one animal study, bilberry anthocyanosides were rapidly distributed after intra-peritoneal injection and intravenous administration.38 In another animal study, bilberry anthocyanosides were found to be eliminated via the bile and urine with a modest level of liver extraction.32
  • Bioavailability in animals is low. Following oral doses in rats, plasma levels of VMA reached a peak at 15 minutes and declined rapidly within two hours, and the absolute bioavailability was 1.2% of the administered dose.38 The gastrointestinal absorption of VMA was 5% of the administered dose. Another study found a differential affinity of VMA for certain tissues (especially skin and kidney).20 This suggests that different tissues may have more persistent local concentrations.

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  5. Bomser, J., Madhavi, D. L., Singletary, K., and Smith, M. A. In vitro anticancer activity of fruit extracts from Vaccinium species. Planta Med 1996;62(3):212-216.
  6. Zhao, C., Giusti, M. M., Malik, M., Moyer, M. P., and Magnuson, B. A. Effects of commercial anthocyanin-rich extracts on colonic cancer and nontumorigenic colonic cell growth. J Agric Food Chem  10-6-2004;52(20):6122-6128. 15453676
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  34. Marcollet M, Bastide P, and Tronche P. Effet angio-protecteur des anthocyanosides de Vaccinium myrtillus odjective vis a vis de la liberation de la lactate deshydrogenase (LDH) et de ses isoenzymes cardiaques chez le rat soumis a une epreuve de nage. C R Soc Biol  1970;163:1786.
  35. Jonadet, M., Meunier, M. T., Bastide, J., and Bastide, P. [Anthocyanosides extracted from Vitis vinifera, Vaccinium myrtillus and Pinus maritimus. I. Elastase-inhibiting activities in vitro. II. Compared angioprotective activities in vivo]. J Pharm Belg 1983;38(1):41-46. 6553084
  36. Boniface, R. and Robert, A. M. [Effect of anthocyanins on human connective tissue metabolism in the human]. Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd  1996;209(6):368-372. 9091714
  37. Steigerwalt, R. D., Gianni, B., Paolo, M., Bombardelli, E., Burki, C., and Schonlau, F. Effects of Mirtogenol on ocular blood flow and intraocular hypertension in asymptomatic subjects. Mol Vis  2008;14:1288-1292. 18618008
  38. Morazzoni, P., Livio, S., Scilingo, A., and Malandrino, S. Vaccinium myrtillus anthocyanosides pharmacokinetics in rats. Arzneimittelforschung  1991;41(2):128-131. 2043174


Wild bilberries and wild blueberries are important fruits full of polyphenols, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector+ such an outstanding nutritional supplement.



Dr. Hank Liers, PhD biography about us HPDI integratedhealth formulator founder CEO scientist physicist wild bilberry and wild blueberry Ultimate Protector+ includes apple extract, as well as extracts from 12 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each of these ingredients contain substances considered to be polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators. In this article, I explore the ingredient apple (Malus pumila mill.) extract, which is a component of SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend from Ethical Naturals, Inc.

apple extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Apple

SFB® is a proprietary formula that combines extracts from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry. It is high in fruit polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, catechins, proanthocyanins, ellagic acid, xanthines, chlorogenic acid, pterostilbenes, resveratrol, phloridzin, quercetin, zeaxanthin, and quinic acid. With its diverse blend, SFB® offers over 40-50% polyphenols as well as >9,000 ORAC units in a single gram.

Polyphenols, anthocyanins and other plant elements are powerful ingredients associated with a variety of areas of human health, including healthy aging, healthy glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, and inflammation management.


The Apple extract in Ultimate Protector+ has been extracted with non-GMO food grade ethanol and distilled water. Testing has indicated the product contains over 40% polyphenols. In numerous epidemiological studies, apples have been associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and asthma.

When compared to many other commonly consumed fruits in the United States, apples had the second highest level of antioxidant activity. Apples also ranked the second for total concentration of phenolic compounds, and perhaps more importantly, apples had the highest portion of free phenolics when compared to other fruits.


Apples contain a large concentration of flavonoids, as well as a variety of other phytochemicals, and the concentration of these phytochemicals may depend on many factors, such as cultivar of the apple, harvest and storage of the apples, and processing of the apples. The concentration of phytochemicals also varies greatly between the apple peels and the apple flesh.

Some of the most well studied antioxidant compounds in apples include quercetin-3-galactoside, quercetin-3-glucoside, quercetin-3-rhamnoside, catechin, epicatechin, procyanidin, cyanidin-3-galactoside, coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid, and phloridzin. Recently researchers have examined the average concentrations of the major phenolic compounds in six cultivars of apples. They found that the average phenolic concentrations among the six cultivars were: quercetin glycosides, 13.2 mg/100 g fruit; vitamin C, 12.8 mg/100 g fruit; procyanidin B, 9.35 mg/100 g fruit; chlorogenic acid, 9.02 mg/100 g fruit; epicatechin, 8.65 mg/100 g fruit; and phloretin glycosides, 5.59 mg/100 g fruit.

The compounds most commonly found in apple peels consist of the procyanidins, catechin, epicatechin, chlorogenic acid, phloridzin, and the quercetin conjugates. In the apple flesh, there is some catechin, procyanidin, epicatechin, and phloridzin, but these compounds are found in much lower concentrations than in the peels. Quercetin conjugates are found exclusively in the peel of the apples. Chlorogenic acid tends to be higher in the flesh than in the peel.

Because the apple peels contain more antioxidant compounds, especially quercetin, apple peels may have higher antioxidant activity and higher bioactivity than the apple flesh. Research showed that apples without the peels had less antioxidant activity than apples with the peels. Apples with the peels were also better able to inhibit cancer cell proliferation when compared to apples without the peels. More recent work has shown that apple peels contain anywhere from two to six times (depending on the variety) more phenolic compounds than in the flesh, and two to three times more flavonoids in the peels when compared to the flesh. The antioxidant activity of these peels was also much greater, ranging from two to six times greater in the peels when compared to the flesh, depending on the variety of the apple. This work is supported a study which found that rats consuming apple peels showed greater inhibition of lipid peroxidation and greater plasma antioxidant capacity when compared to rats fed apple flesh.

Many of these phytochemicals from apples have been widely studied, and many potential health benefits have been attributed to these specific phytochemicals. The procyanidins, epicatechin and catechin, have strong antioxidant activity and have been found to inhibit low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation in vitro. In mice, catechin inhibits intestinal tumor formation and delays tumors onset. One  study found that chlorogenic acid has very high alkyl peroxyl radical (ROO•) scavenging activity. Compared to about 18 other antioxidant compounds (including quercetin, gallic acid, α-tocopherol), chlorogenic was second only to rutin. Since ROO• may enhance tumor promotion and carcinogenesis, chlorogenic acid may add to the protective effect of apples against cancer. Chlorogenic acid has been found to inhibit 8-dehydroxy-deoxyguanosine formation in cellular DNA in a rat model following treatment with 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide.

Quercetin is also a strong antioxidant, and is thought to have potential protective effects against both cancer and heart disease. Briefly, quercetin has been found to down regulate expression of mutant p53 in breast cancer cells, arrest human leukemic T-cells in G1, inhibit tyrosine kinase, and inhibit heat shock proteins. Quercetin has protected Caco-2 cells from lipid peroxidation induced by hydrogen peroxide and Fe2+. In mice liver treated with ethanol, quercetin decreased lipid oxidation and increased glutathione, protecting the liver from oxidative damage. Recently, it has been found that high doses of quercetin inhibit cell proliferation in colon carcinoma cell lines and in mammary adenocarcinoma cell lines, but at low doses quercetin increased cell proliferation (20% in colon cancer cells and 100% in breast cancer cells). However, low doses of quercetin (10 uM) inhibited cell proliferation in Mol-4 Human Leukemia cells and also induced apoptosis. Quercetin inhibited intestinal tumor growth in mice, but not in rats. Low levels of quercetin inhibited platelet aggregation, calcium mobilization, and tyrosine protein phosphorylation in platelets. Modulation of platelet activity may help prevent cardiovascular disease.


Below, I provide relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects and potential health benefits of apple.

Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits

Jeanelle Boyer1 and Rui Hai Liu1


Evidence suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, and phytochemicals including phenolics, flavonoids and carotenoids from fruits and vegetables may play a key role in reducing chronic disease risk. Apples are a widely consumed, rich source of phytochemicals, and epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes. In the laboratory, apples have been found to have very strong antioxidant activity, inhibit cancer cell proliferation, decrease lipid oxidation, and lower cholesterol. Apples contain a variety of phytochemicals, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, all of which are strong antioxidants. The phytochemical composition of apples varies greatly between different varieties of apples, and there are also small changes in phytochemicals during the maturation and ripening of the fruit. Storage has little to no effect on apple phytochemicals, but processing can greatly affect apple phytochemicals. While extensive research exists, a literature review of the health benefits of apples and their phytochemicals has not been compiled to summarize this work. The purpose of this paper is to review the most recent literature regarding the health benefits of apples and their phytochemicals, phytochemical bioavailability and antioxidant behavior, and the effects of variety, ripening, storage and processing on apple phytochemicals..

Cancer chemopreventive potential of apples, apple juice, and apple components.

 Gerhauser C1.

From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18855307


Apples ( MALUS sp., Rosaceae) are a rich source of nutrient as well as non-nutrient components and contain high levels of polyphenols and other phytochemicals. Main structural classes of apple constituents include hydroxycinnamic acids, dihydrochalcones, flavonols (quercetin glycosides), catechins and oligomeric procyanidins, as well as triterpenoids in apple peel and anthocyanins in red apples. Several lines of evidence suggest that apples and apple products possess a wide range of biological activities which may contribute to health beneficial effects against cardiovascular disease, asthma and pulmonary dysfunction, diabetes, obesity, and cancer (reviewed by Boyer and Liu, Nutr J 2004). The present review will summarize the current knowledge on potential cancer preventive effects of apples, apple juice and apple extracts (jointly designated as apple products). In brief, apple extracts and components, especially oligomeric procyanidins, have been shown to influence multiple mechanisms relevant for cancer prevention in IN VITRO studies. These include antimutagenic activity, modulation of carcinogen metabolism, antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory mechanisms, modulation of signal transduction pathways, antiproliferative and apoptosis-inducing activity, as well as novel mechanisms on epigenetic events and innate immunity. Apple products have been shown to prevent skin, mammary and colon carcinogenesis in animal models. Epidemiological observations indicate that regular consumption of one or more apples a day may reduce the risk for lung and colon cancer.

Apple Peel Polyphenols and Their Beneficial Actions on Oxidative Stress and Inflammation

. 2013; 8(1): e53725.
Marie Claude Denis, Alexandra Furtos, Stéphanie Dudonné, Alain Montoudis, Carole Garofalo, Yves Desjardins, Edgard Delvin, and Emile Levy
From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3553108/#


Since gastrointestinal mucosa is constantly exposed to reactive oxygen species from various sources, the presence of antioxidants may contribute to the body’s natural defenses against inflammatory diseases.


To define the polyphenols extracted from dried apple peels (DAPP) and determine their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential in the intestine. Caco-2/15 cells were used to study the role of DAPP preventive actions against oxidative stress (OxS) and inflammation induced by iron-ascorbate (Fe/Asc) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), respectively.


The combination of HPLC with fluorescence detection, HPLC-ESI-MS TOF and UPLC-ESI-MS/MS QQQ allowed us to characterize the phenolic compounds present in the DAPP (phenolic acids, flavonol glycosides, flavan-3-ols, procyanidins). The addition of Fe/Asc to Caco-2/15 cells induced OxS as demonstrated by the rise in malondialdehyde, depletion of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and alterations in the activity of endogenous antioxidants (SOD, GPx, G-Red). However, preincubation with DAPP prevented Fe/Asc-mediated lipid peroxidation and counteracted LPS-mediated inflammation as evidenced by the down-regulation of cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6), and prostaglandin E2. The mechanisms of action triggered by DAPP induced also a down-regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 and nuclear factor-κB, respectively. These actions were accompanied by the induction of Nrf2 (orchestrating cellular antioxidant defenses and maintaining redox homeostasis), and PGC-1α (the “master controller” of mitochondrial biogenesis).


Our findings provide evidence of the capacity of DAPP to reduce OxS and inflammation, two pivotal processes involved in inflammatory bowel diseases.


Apple is an important fruit full of polyphenols, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector+ such an outstanding nutritional supplement.



Dr. Hank Liers, PhD biography about us HPDI integratedhealth formulator founder CEO scientist physicist wild bilberry and wild blueberry Ultimate Protector+ includes mangosteen extract, as well as extracts from 12 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 explore the ingredient mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) extract which is a component of SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend from Ethical Naturals, Inc.

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Mangosteen

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Mangosteen

SFB® is a proprietary formula that combines extracts from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry. It is high in fruit polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, catechins, proanthocyanins, ellagic acid, xanthines, chlorogenic acid, pterostilbenes, resveratrol, phloridzin, zeaxanthin, and quinic acid. With its diverse blend, SFB® offers over 40–50% polyphenols as well as >9,000 ORAC units in a single gram.

Polyphenols, anthocyanins and other plant elements are powerful ingredients associated with a variety of areas of human health, including healthy aging, healthy glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, and inflammation management.


The Mangosteen extract in Ultimate Protector+ has been extracted with non-GMO food grade ethanol and distilled water. Testing has indicated the product contains over 10% polyphenols.

Mangosteen extract in obtained from the skin and whole fruit for which numerous biological activities have been reported including: antimutagenic, antibacterial, hypocholesterolemic, antioxidant, and protective against tumorigenesis.

Mangosteen contains nutrients with antioxidant capacity, such as vitamin C and folate. Plus, it provides xanthones — a unique type of plant compound known to have strong antioxidant properties. In several test-tube and animal studies, the antioxidant activity of xanthones has resulted in anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-aging, heart protective, and antidiabetic effects.

Additionally, some research suggests that certain plant compounds in mangosteen may have antibacterial properties — which could benefit your immune health by combating potentially harmful bacteria. In a 30-day study in 59 people, those taking a mangosteen-containing supplement experienced reduced markers of inflammation and significantly greater increases in healthy immune cell numbers compared to those taking a placebo.

Metabolite Composition of Mangosteen

Xanthone is one of the compound classes that are prevalent in mangosteen. These metabolites have been extracted and characterized in various studies as reviewed by several publications. So far, there are more than 68 xanthones isolated from the mangosteen fruit with the majority of them are a- and c-mangostin. The molecular structure of these compounds have been elucidated and more recently, novel xanthones have been discovered such as 1,3,6-trihydroxy-2-(3-methylbut-2-enyl)-8-(3-formyloxy-3-methylbutyl)–xanthone, 7-O-demethyl mangostin, garmoxanthone, as well as mangostanaxanthone III, IV, and VII. These xanthones were also implicated in various pharmaceutical properties but more studies are needed to verify their effectiveness in human applications.It is interesting that using subcritical water extraction to extract xanthones from mangosteen fruit, eliminated the need for the chemical solvents.

A study showed that the aqueous micellar biphasic system they developed could also efficiently extract xanthones from mangosteen pericarp. This suggests that xanthones could be viable for human application but bioavailability studies need to be performed in the future to ascertain their delivery and efficacy. Interestingly, solubilizing a-mangostin in soybean oil (containing traces of linoleate, linolenic acid, palmitate, oleic acid, and stearate) improved the xanthone bioavailability in rats, such that the compound was found in brain, pancreas, and liver organs after 1 h treatment. This signifies the potential of using oil-based formulation for increasing the bioavailability of xanthones.

Other than xanthones, mangosteen pericarp is also known to contain one of the highest procyanidin content, compared to other fruit such as cranberry, Fuji apple, jujube, and litchi. These procyanidins including monomer (47.7%), dimer (24.1%), and trimer (26%) may also contribute to the antioxidant capability of mangosteen extract as shown in 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) assays. Other phenolics such as benzoic acid derivatives (vanilic acid and protocatechuic acid), flavonoids (rutin, quercetin, cactechin, epicatechin) and anthocyanins (cyanidin 3-sophoroside) were also highly present in mangosteen pericarp.

Furthermore, mangosteen compounds have also been profiled using metabolomics approach. Using GC-MS analysis, a study reported that mangosteen pericarp contains mainly sugars (nearly 50% of total metabolites) followed by traces of other metabolite classes such as sugar acids, alcohols, organic acids, and aromatic compounds. This study also found several phenolics such as benzoic acid, tyrosol, and protocatechuic acid which are known to possess anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities.


Below, I provide relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects and potential health benefits of mangosteen.

Recent updates on metabolite composition and medicinal benefits of mangosteen plant

Wan Mohd Aizat, Ili Nadhirah Jamil, Faridda Hannim Ahmad-Hashim and Normah Mohd Noor
Institute of Systems Biology (INBIOSIS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

From: https://peerj.com/articles/6324.pdf


Background: Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L.) fruit has a unique sweet-sour taste and is rich in beneficial compounds such as xanthones. Mangosteen originally been used in various folk medicines to treat diarrhea, wounds, and fever. More recently, it had been used as a major component in health supplement products for weight loss and for promoting general health. This is perhaps due to its known medicinal benefits, including as anti-oxidant and anti-inflammation. Interestingly, publications related to mangosteen have surged in recent years, suggesting its popularity and usefulness in research laboratories. However, there are still no updated reviews (up to 2018) in this booming research area, particularly on its metabolite composition and medicinal benefits.

Method: In this review, we have covered recent articles within the years of 2016 to 2018 which focus on several aspects including the latest findings on the compound composition of mangosteen fruit as well as its medicinal usages.
Result: Mangosteen has been vastly used in medicinal areas including in anti-cancer, anti-microbial, and anti-diabetes treatments. Furthermore, we have also described the benefits of mangosteen extract in protecting various human organs such as liver, skin, joint, eye, neuron, bowel, and cardiovascular tissues against disorders and diseases.

Conclusion: All in all, this review describes the numerous manipulations of mangosteen extracted compounds in medicinal areas and highlights the current trend of its research. This will be important for future directed research and may allow researchers to tackle the next big challenge in mangosteen study: drug development and human applications.

α-Mangostin induces apoptosis in human chondrosarcoma cells through downregulation of ERK/JNK and Akt signaling pathway.

2011 May 25;59(10):5746-54. doi: 10.1021/jf200620n. Epub 2011 Apr 11.
Krajarng A1, Nakamura Y, Suksamrarn S, Watanapokasin R.
From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21446759


Chondrosarcoma is a malignant primary bone tumor that is resistant to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. α-Mangostin, a component of Garcinia mangostana Linn, is a xanthone derivative shown to have antioxidant and antitumor properties. This study is the first to investigate anticancer effects of α-mangostin in the human chondrosarcoma cell line SW1353. We showed that α-mangostin inhibited cell proliferation of SW1353 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner by using the trypan blue exclusion method. Hoechst 33342 nuclear staining and nucleosomal DNA-gel electrophoresis revealed that α-mangostin could induce nuclear condensation and fragmentation, typically seen in apoptosis. Flow cytometry using Annexin V/PI double staining assessed apoptosis, necrosis and viability. α-Mangostin activated caspase-3, -8, -9 expression, decreased Bcl-2 and increased Bax. This promotes mitochondrial dysfunction, leading to the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria to the cytoplasm. In addition, total and phosphorylated ERK and JNK were downregulated in α-mangostin-treated SW1353 cells but no changes in p38. α-Mangostin also decreased phosphorylated Akt without altering total Akt. These results suggest that α-mangostin inhinbited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis through downregulation of ERK, JNK and Akt signaling pathway in human chondrosarcoma SW1353 cells.

Characterized mechanism of alpha-mangostin-induced cell death: caspase-independent apoptosis with release of endonuclease-G from mitochondria and increased miR-143 expression in human colorectal cancer DLD-1 cells.

2007 Aug 15;15(16):5620-8. Epub 2007 May 18.
Nakagawa Y, Iinuma M, Naoe T, Nozawa Y, Akao Y.

From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17553685


alpha-Mangostin, a xanthone from the pericarps of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana Linn.), was evaluated for in vitro cytotoxicity against human colon cancer DLD-1 cells. The number of viable cells was consistently decreased by the treatment with alpha-mangostin at more than 20 microM. The cytotoxic effect of 20 microM alpha-mangostin was found to be mainly due to apoptosis, as indicated by morphological findings. Western blotting, the results of an apoptosis inhibition assay using caspase inhibitors, and the examination of caspase activity did not demonstrate the activation of any of the caspases tested. However, endonuclease-G released from mitochondria with the decreased mitochondrial membrane potential was shown. The levels of phospho-Erk1/2 were increased in the early phase until 1h after the start of treatment and thereafter decreased, and increased again in the late phase. On the other hand, the level of phospho-Akt was sharply reduced with the process of apoptosis after 6h of treatment. Interestingly, the level of microRNA-143, which negatively regulates Erk5 at translation, gradually increased until 24h following the start of treatment. We also examined the synergistic growth suppression in DLD-1 cells by the combined treatment of the cells with alpha-mangostin and 5-FU which is one of the most effective chemotherapeutic agents for colorectal adenocarcinoma. The co-treatment with alpha-mangostin and 5-FU, both at 2.5 microM, augmented growth inhibition compared with the treatment with 5 microM of alpha-mangostin or 5 microM 5-FU alone. These findings indicate unique mechanisms of alpha-mangostin-induced apoptosis and its action as an effective chemosensitizer.


γ-Mangostin, a xanthone from mangosteen, attenuates oxidative injury in liver via NRF2 and SIRT1 induction


γ-Mangostin (γ-man), an active compound from Garcinia mangostana L., has been discovered as a hepatoprotective agent against oxidative injury. However, the underlying mechanisms remained unclear. The current study showed that γ-man stimulated the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) to enhance antioxidant capacity under oxidative stress, which was partially reversed by treatment of the NRF2 inhibitor, all-trans-retinoic acid. Moreover, γ-man increased the expression and activity of SIRT1 (silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1), which facilitated the deacetylation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α to improve the mitochondrial function in L02 cells. The protective effect of γ-man was partially blocked by treatment of the SIRT1 inhibitor tenovin-1 or SIRT1 knockdown. In vivo studies showed γ-man protected mice from carbon tetrachloride-induced acute liver injury, through up-regulation of NRF2 and SIRT1. Thus, γ-man might be a candidate to protect liver from acute oxidative injury.


Mangosteen is an important fruit full of polyphenols, anthocyanins, antioxidants, xanthones, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector+ such an outstanding nutritional supplement.

MANGOSTEEN, Garcinia mangostana—Painted by Dr. M.J. Dijkman