A Powerful Ally for an
Active and Healthy Lifestyle
New Zealand Blackcurrants – The powerful superfood activating the body’s
natural protective mechanisms to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.
Blackcurrants is famous as a superfruit, particularly blackcurrants grown in New Zealand where the growing conditions ensure high levels of health giving nutrients, particularly anthocyanin antioxidants. Numerous studies support the ancient wisdom that New Zealand Blackcurrants has health-giving powers. For example, the United States National Library of Medicine ‘s database of global life science and biomedical research articles has more studies on blackcurrants than any other berry including blueberry, bilberry, acai or goji.
The reason that New Zealand Blackcurrants is so well researched and healthy is that levels of anthocyanin antioxidants in New Zealand Blackcurrants (or blackcurrant) are much higher than the levels of anthocyanins found in European Cassis (blackcurrant), bilberries, and North American blueberries.
How do the anthocyanins from New Zealand Blackcurrants activate a healthy lifestyle?
We need a diet high in antioxidants such as anthocyanins in order to combat the free radicals that our bodies are exposed to just by living. Uncontrolled free radical-dependent cell damage has been implicated in poor health and many diseases including:
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Disrupted metabolism – diabetes and obesity
- Loss of lung and cardiovascular function
- Aged skin – wrinkles, loss of elasticity
- Deterioration of cognitive function – dementia, Alzheimer’s
- Deterioration of vision – glaucoma
Antioxidants counteract the harmful effects of free radicals, and it has been thought that this is because the antioxidants scavenge the free radicals, preventing their damaging action on cells. While this may be true for antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E, we now know that many diet-derived antioxidants do not act as free radical scavengers.
Data from in vitro, in vivo and epidemiological studies shows that anthocyanin-rich fruit and berry extracts or pure individual anthocyanins sustain and regulate cell functions by mechanisms distinct from radical scavenging antioxidant activity. This data shows that specific fruit phytochemicals like anthocyanins switch on key transcription regulators such as nrf2, the ‘master antioxidant regulator,’ which manages and co-ordinates cell stress, defence and energy pathways (survival pathways). This regulation manages a complex array of signaling pathways that include antioxidant, inflammatory, and stress and repair systems.
In particular, blackcurrant anthocyanins are very good at switching on nrf2. For example, rats fed an anthocyanin rich blackcurrant extract (primarily rutinoside anthocyanins) showed a significant increase in nrf2 protein synthesis and nrf2 positive cells.
Nrf2 is a transcription factor that switches on the synthesis of other proteins, particularly Phase II antioxidant and cell protecting proteins such as:
- Glutathione transferase – detoxification of drugs, pesticides. etc.
- Heme oxygenase 1 – regulation of iron sequestering proteins, minimizing free radical damage
- Thioredoxin reductase – removal of reactive oxidizing peroxides
- NADPH Quinone oxidoreductase – detoxification of oxidizing quinones
The mechanism by which New Zealand Blackcurrants maintains good health is by the ability of these anthocyanins to switch on the body’s own protective mechanisms. Because New Zealand Blackcurrants has the highest levels of anthocyanins of all the berries, it is one of the best fruits to include in a diet to achieve good health and an active lifestyle.
Anthocyanins, particularly those found in New Zealand Blackcurrants, have been shown to:
- Improve capability to perform physical exercise.
- Improve recovery after exercise.
- Mitigate the effects of the diseases of aging including:
- Weight gain
- Loss of lung volume
- Cardiovascular disease
- Improve mental capability and alertness.
- Improve skin appearance.
- Maintain good eye health.