Dietary intake of anthocyanins (ACNs) is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease. While the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and lipid-lowering effects of ACN consumption have been consistently reported, their effect(s) on blood pressure regulation is less consistent and results from human studies are mixed. The objective of this review is attempting to identify potential patterns which may explain the variability in results related to blood pressure. To do so, we review 66 human intervention trials testing the effects on blood pressure of purified ACN or ACN-rich extracts, or whole berries, berry juices, powders, purees and whole phenolic extracts, from berries that are rich in ACN and have ACNs as predominant bioactives. Several factors appear to be involved on the mixed results reported. In particular, the baseline characteristics of the population in terms of blood pressure and total flavonoid intake, the dose and duration of the intervention, the differential effects of individual ACN and their synergistic effects with other phytochemicals, the ACN content and bioavailability from the food matrix, and individual differences in ACN absorption and metabolism related to genotype and microbiota enterotypes.
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