Phytochemicals in Foods – 8 Health Benefits of Betacyanins

Betacyanins are phytochemicals in the class of red and yellow indole-derived pigments, belonging to the group of Betalains, found abundantly in beets, chard, etc.

Health Benefits
1. Cytotoxic effect
In the comparison of the cytotoxic effect of the red beetroot extract with anticancer drug, doxorubicin (adriamycin) in the androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells (PC-3) and in the well-established estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells (MCF-7), found that that betanin, the major betacyanin constituent, may play an important role in the cytotoxicity exhibited by the red beetroot extract. Further studies are needed to evaluate the chemopreventive potentials of the beetroot extract when used alone or in combination with doxorubicin to mitigate the toxic side-effects of the latter, according to “Cytotoxic effect of the red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract compared to doxorubicin (Adriamycin) in the human prostate (PC-3) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cell lines‘ by Kapadia GJ, Azuine MA, Rao GS, Arai T, Iida A, Tokuda H.(1)

2. Neuroprotective effect
In the assessment of the protective effect of betacyanins from Portulaca oleracea L. against the D-galactose (D-gal)-induced neurotoxicity in mice, suggest that the neuroprotective effect of betacyanins against D-gal-induced neurotoxicity might be caused, at least in part, by an increase in the activities of antioxidant enzymes with a reduction in lipid peroxidation. In comparison with vitamin C (VC), the betacyanins had a more pronounced effect on ameliorating cognition deficits in mice, according to “Betacyanins from Portulaca oleracea L. ameliorate cognition deficits and attenuate oxidative damage induced by D-galactose in the brains of senescent mice” by
Wang CQ, Yang GQ.(2)

3. Lipoperoxyl radical-scavenging activity
In the study of the reaction kinetics of betanin and its aglycone betanidin towards peroxyl radicals generated from the azo-initiated oxidation of methyl linoleate in methanol and of a heterogeneous aqueous/soybean phosphatidylcholine liposomal system, mechanisms of the antioxidant activity. Either betanin or betanidin incorporated in liposomes with alpha-tocopherol had additive effects, supporting partition of the pigments in the bilayer and lipoperoxyl radical reduction, according to “Betacyanins as phenol antioxidants. Chemistry and mechanistic aspects of the lipoperoxyl radical-scavenging activity in solution and liposomes” by Tesoriere L, Allegra M, Gentile C, Livrea MA.(3)

4. Diggestive effects
In the assessment of the stability of betacyanins and betaxanthins from either fresh foods or manufactured products of cactus pear fruit ( Opuntia ficus indica L. Mill. cv. Gialla and Rossa) and red beet ( Beta vulgaris L. ssp. vulgaris) in a simulated oral, gastric, and small intestinal digestion and compared with the digestive stability of purified pigments, suggested that digestive stability controls bioaccessibility of dietary betaxanthins, whereas additional factors, relevant to the food matrix and style of processing, affect betacyanin bioaccessibility, according to “In vitro digestion of betalainic foods. Stability and bioaccessibility of betaxanthins and betacyanins and antioxidative potential of food digesta” by Tesoriere L, Fazzari M, Angileri F, Gentile C, Livrea MA.(4)

5. Chronic myeloid leukemia
In the evaluation of the antiproliferative effects of betanin, a principle betacyanin pigment, isolated from the fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica on human chronic myeloid leukemia cell line (K562), found that betanin, a betacyanin pigment induces apoptosis in K562 cells through the intrinsic pathway and is mediated by the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria into the cytosol, and PARP cleavage. The antiproliferative effects of betanin add further value to the nutritional characteristics of the fruits of O. ficus-indica, according to “Betanin a betacyanin pigment purified from fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica induces apoptosis in human chronic myeloid leukemia Cell line-K562” by Sreekanth D, Arunasree MK, Roy KR, Chandramohan Reddy T, Reddy GV, Reddanna P.(5)

6. Environment effects
In the study of the ffects of temperature, light, salinity and developmental phases on the accumulation of red pigments in the C(3) halophyte Suaeda salsa, found that red pigments are betacyanins. Darkness, low temperatures and high salinity enhance betacyanin accumulation in Suaeda salsa, and darkness in the germination phase is one of the most important environmental factors for the betacyanin accumulation, according to “Identification of betacyanin and effects of environmental factors on its accumulation in halophyte Suaeda salsa” by Wang CQ, Zhao JQ, Chen M, Wang BS.(6)

7. Anti cancers
In the investigation of the natural pigments, alone and in combination for their relative potencies against cyclooxygenase enzymes and tumor cell growth inhibition by using MCF-7 (breast), HCT-116 (colon), AGS (stomach), CNS (central nervous system), and NCI-H460 (lung) tumor cell lines, found that Among the colors tested, betanin, cyanidin-3-O-glucoside, lycopene, and beta-carotene inhibited lipid peroxidation. However, all pigments tested gave COX-1 and COX-2 inhibition and showed a dose-dependent growth inhibition against breast, colon, stomach, central nervous system, and lung tumor cells, respectively. The mixtures of these pigments were also evaluated for their synergistic effects and chemical interactions at various concentrations. The mixture of anthocyanin and betanin negated their efficacy in the cell growth inhibitory assay and did not enhance the COX enzyme inhibitory activity. This is the first report of a comparative evaluation and the impact on biological activities of these pigments alone and in combination, according to ‘Relative inhibition of lipid peroxidation, cyclooxygenase enzymes, and human tumor cell proliferation by natural food colors” by Reddy MK, Alexander-Lindo RL, Nair MG.(7)

8. Included those of
a. Betanin
b. Isobetanin
c. Probetanin
d. Neobetanin

9. Etc.

For other phytochemicals articles, please visit http://medicaladvisorjournals.blogspot.com/2011/10/phytochemicals-health-benefits.html
other health articles, please visit
http://medicaladvisorjournals.blogspot.com/

Sources
(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21434853
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19879120
(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19548153
(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18959410
(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17482444
(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16622319
(7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16277432

About kylenorton

All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact. "Let Take Care Your Health, Your Health Will Take Care You" Kyle J. Norton I have been studying natural remedies for disease prevention for over 20 years and working as a financial consultant since 1990. Master degree in Mathematics, teaching and tutoring math at colleges and universities before joining insurance industries. Part time Health, Insurance and Entertainment Article Writer.
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