What Is Anthocyanin?

anthocyanin Credit: David/CC-BY-2.0

Anthocyanin is a photosynthetic pigment found in many plants, algae and bacteria. It is responsible for the red, purple and blue colors of many fruits and vegetables. The pigment is of great scientific interest because it has phytoprotective properties that can improve human health.

Anthocyanin pigments have been studied as antioxidants for humans. They are classified as flavoinoids, which are widely distributed in nature as plant polyphenols. These compounds may have health benefits in humans by cleaving free radicals in the bloodstream and repairing cellular damage caused by them. In doing so, scientists believe that anthocyanins can help prevent certain diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.