Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lignans in blueberry

Lignans are fairly widespread throughout the plant kingdom. They have been reported in blueberry and also other berries such as strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, cloudberry cranberry and lingonberry.

The lignans form a group of plant phenols whose structure in s determined by the union of two cinnamic acid residues or year biogenic equivalent. There are hundreds of different lignans each differing in degree of oxidation, cyclization or derivatization.

Lignans are related closely to intermediates in the biosynthesis of lignin and probably are formed from analogous pathways.

The lignans play an important part in the defence mechanism of many plant species, against pathogens and predators. Various roles in chemical defence, such as fungicidal, bactericidal and insecticidal have been reported.

Blueberry may help prevent Alzheimer's disease. In one study by Dutch researchers found that those who consumed at least one milligram of lignans per day had 49 % better memory scores.

The researchers said that natural substances in blueberry help block the action of damaging free radicals on brain tissues.

At least 40 lignans known to have antitumor and antiviral activity and many are cytotoxic.
Lignans in blueberry

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