What is Cyanidin?

Donn Saylor

Cyanidin is a natural organic compound responsible for the pigmentation in many varieties of red berries and is also a potent antioxidant. A member of the anthocyanidin class of plant pigments, cyanidin has been lauded for its healing properties in human beings. In addition to its antioxidant properties, it has also been utilized as an anti-inflammatory and as a treatment for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer. Cyanidin is naturally occurring in many fruits and berries; it is also available in the form of dietary supplements.

Red onions contain cyanidins.
Red onions contain cyanidins.

This water-soluble plant pigment possesses a standard biological structure for a phytochemical — a naturally occurring chemical compound found in plants. The exact shade of color cyanidin will produce in plants — reds, reddish-blues, or reddish-oranges — is entirely dependent on how much pH is in the solution. The skin of a red fruit contains the highest concentrated levels of cyanidin. It is found in an array of fruits and vegetables, including grapes, cherries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, apples, plums, red cabbage, and red onions.

Cyanidin can be found in cherries and other red fruits.
Cyanidin can be found in cherries and other red fruits.

As an antioxidant, cyanidin is considered exceptionally powerful when taken as a dietary supplement. It is more potent than vitamins C and E and can stop the damaging effects of free radicals. It also safeguards cells from oxidative damage. Studies have even suggested that cyanidin may go one step further: it might also be an effective anti-toxic agent, fighting harmful mycotoxins in the body.

Animal research has shown that cyanidin in cherries can relieve the painful symptoms of arthritis. It works to lower serum levels, thereby slowing or stopping the body's inflammatory response. Scientists have found that cyanidin alleviated joint inflammation in rats, which has set the stage for further research into utilizing cyanidin as an anti-inflammatory.

Both diabetes and obesity have also shown to be improved by the presence of cyanidin. The compound can lower levels of glucose in the blood and facilitate more efficient absorption of insulin. These capabilities not only benefit diabetics, they can help anyone lower their blood sugar, make better use of the body's natural insulin supply, and thereby better manage weight levels.

Since cyanidin has been found to greatly reduce oxidative damage to cells, research has suggested that it may also be an important factor in fighting heart disease and cancer. By slowing down cancer cell development and reducing production rates of cancer cells, cyanidin could be a key factor in treating leukemia, lung cancer, colon cancer, and other forms of the disease. As a heart disease deterrent, cyanidin hampers the development of reactive oxygen species in the cells, a chief defense in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Cyanidin can be found in blueberries.
Cyanidin can be found in blueberries.

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