Anthocyanins are the largest class of pigments in the plant kingdom. Frequently found in red, purple and blue plants, they are researched for their health benefits, which include anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

This page features 6 unique references to scientific papers.


Anthocyanins are the largest group of pigments in the plant kingdom. They are molecules, usually found in plants, which are responsible for the red to blue color spectrum in nature. There are more than 635 known anthocyanins.

Preliminary evidence suggests that some anthocyanins have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but further research is needed to determine if these effects are practical in terms of oral supplementation.

Plants tend to contain a wide range of anthocyanins. These compounds are also responsible for the leaves changing color in autumn.

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Editors' Thoughts on Anthocyanins

Anthocyanins are a very fun area to study. They seem to provide a lot of benefit, but there are so many factors affecting whether they get into your body or not (and how they work afterwards) that supplementing anthocyanins effectively and economically seems like a Pipe Dream.

For now, eat your blue-red plants.

Kurtis Frank

Scientific Support & Reference Citations

Most scientific support for anthocyanins can be found on the respective molecule's own page.


  1. Loa J, Chow P, Zhang K Studies of structure-activity relationship on plant polyphenol-induced suppression of human liver cancer cells . Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. (2009)
  2. Boumendjel A Aurones: a subclass of flavones with promising biological potential . Curr Med Chem. (2003)
  3. Writing Group for the NINDS Exploratory Trials in Parkinson Disease (NET-PD) Investigators, et al Effect of creatine monohydrate on clinical progression in patients with Parkinson disease: a randomized clinical trial . JAMA. (2015)
  4. Taylor MJ1, et al Folate for depressive disorders . Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (2003)
  5. Godfrey PS1, et al Enhancement of recovery from psychiatric illness by methylfolate . Lancet. (1990)
  6. Kushwaha S1, Chawla P1, Kochhar A1 Effect of supplementation of drumstick (Moringa oleifera) and amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor) leaves powder on antioxidant profile and oxidative status among postmenopausal women . J Food Sci Technol. (2014)

(Common misspellings for Anthocyanins include anthocyanin, anthocianin, anthosianin, anthosyanin, anthosyanins)

(Editors who contributed to this page include dbarvinok, )