Improve Cholesterol level

First, let’s recap on the different types of cholesterol:

  • LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein): This is often called bad cholesterol, because too much in the blood can lead to health problems. These lipoproteins contain lots of cholesterol. Their job is to deliver cholesterol to the cells where it’s needed. But if there’s too much LDL cholesterol in your blood it can build up in the arteries, clogging them up.

  • HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein): This is often called good cholesterol because it helps prevent disease. They contain lots of protein, and very little cholesterol. HDL cholesterol’s job is to carry cholesterol away from the cells, back to the liver, where it can be broken down and removed from the body.

  • VLDL (very low density lipoproteins): These are larger. They contain lots of fat and very little protein. If there is too much VLDL in your blood, fat can be laid down in your artery walls, clogging them up.


The effect of anthocyanin on lipid profile is well documented in animals however one study has shown for the first time that in dyslipidemic patients anthocyanins derived from berries produce favourable effects on lipoprotein concentrations.


The major finding was that anthocyanins derived from berries had an effect on the mass and activity of CETP (Cholesterol Ester Transfer Protein). CETP is a plasma protein that mediates the removal of cholesteryl esters from HDL in exchange for a triglyceride molecule derived primarily from either LDL, VLDL, or chylomicrons. Several studies have indicated that CETP inhibition is a possible mechanism for the elevation of HDL cholesterol and decrease of LDL cholesterol. In the present study, anthocyanins derived from berries suppressed plasma CETP without influencing blood pressure and other biomarkers, except lipoproteins. Thus, anthocyanins may be considered a category of clean CETP inhibitors (1).

A more recent study aimed to investigate the effect of anthocyanin supplementation in different doses on lipid profile from 40mg to 320mg/day. The results showed that anthocyanin supplementation at 0–320 mg/day for 12 weeks enhances CEC (Cholesterol Efflux Capacity) in a dose–response manner in dyslipidemic subjects concluding that anthocyanin supplementation doses of 80–320 mg/day can improve serum HDL-C levels and HDL-induced CEC (2). The CEC is a function of the HDL believed to be more associated with protection against heart disease than HDL cholesterol levels themselves (3)

(1)    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 90, Issue 3, September 2009, Pages 485–492

(2)     Xu, Z., Xie, J., Zhang, H. et al. Anthocyanin supplementation at different doses improves cholesterol efflux capacity in subjects with dyslipidemia—a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr (2020).

(3)    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "New measure trumps high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels in protecting against heart disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 January 2011.

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