Blueberry Polyphenols and Their Effects on Bone and Joint

Daniel R. Jones*

Blueberry Polyphenols and Their Effects on Bone and Joint.

In addition to their pleasing taste, blueberries are a significant source of flavonoid polyphenols, especially anthocyanins. This review summarizes findings regarding anthocyanin content and bioavailability from blueberries. Blueberries possess a remarkable variety of anthocyanins. Of this array the major ones are reviewed in terms of their chemical structures. In vitro and in vivo studies are presented that indicate blueberry anthocyanins have the potential to improve the balance between bone-forming osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts. These
are promising results that suggest a potential role for blueberry anthocyanins in preventing
osteoporosis. Reports that directly measure blueberry anthocyanin effects on joint are not widespread; however, multiple studies that measure effects from isolated anthocyanins common to
the blueberry but from other foods are reviewed.

Studies indicate that eating an abundance of these from whole foods reduces the risk of each of the following: cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, cataracts, and age-related decline. Much of the recent research of phytochemical influence on skeletal health has focused
on polyphenols, especially the flavonoid sub-group. The effects of these polyphenols are worthy of study considering the need for new therapies to prevent and treat osteoporosis as well as arthritic diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that worldwide, 9.6% of men and 18% of women over sixty have symptomatic osteoarthritis. The prevalence of arthritic disease (including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis) in the U.S. in 2005 was approximately 45 million with an estimated $383 million in medical expenditures.

Adv Food Technol Nutr Sci Open J. 2016;SE(2): S27-S33. doi: 10.17140/AFTNSOJ-SE-2-104