Chokeberry health benefit by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
April 4 2015

Chokeberry is native to eastern North America and are often found growing in swamps or damp woodlands. The hardy chokeberry shrub reaches about 2-4 meters in height and withstands salt and swampy conditions. The plant produces very bitter dark purple fruit clusters that are often used in jam and wine making. Chokeberries have been an important and integral part of the native Indian diet for hundreds of years. For more info on berries.
   Chokeberry fruit juice and anthocyanins derived from the fruits have been studied intensively, particularly in Bulgaria and eastern Europe. Chokeberry appears to have compounds that are protective to the liver, have blood sugar stabilizing properties, anti-tumor, and have anti-inflammatory activity.

Nutritional content
Chokeberry contains a high concentration of flavonoids and antioxidants. Chokeberry berries are full of flavonoids, trace minerals and phenolic phytochemicals, including anthocyanins, of which it contains one of the highest of any known plant (several times higher than cranberry juice). Some of these specific substances include cyanidin-3-galactoside, epicatechin, quercetin, caffeic acid, delphinidin, malvidin, petunidin, pelargonidin, and peonidin.

Chokeberry health benefit
Chokeberry fruits are one of the richest plant sources of phenolic substances, mainly anthocyanins--glycosides of cyanidin. Anthocyanins are water soluble pigments accounting for the dark blue and even black color of the fruits. The main active ingredients of chokeberry melanocarpa fruit are phenolic substances, mainly flavonoids from the anthocyanin subclass. Chokeberry may be helpful in blood sugar control and reduction of cardiovascular risk factors.

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014. Effect of supplementation with chokeberry juice on the inflammatory status and markers of iron metabolism in rowers. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of supplementation with chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) juice on the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, hepcidin, and selected markers of iron metabolism in rowers subjected to exhaustive exercise. This double-blind study included 19 members of the Polish Rowing Team. The subjects were randomly assigned to the supplemented group (n = 10), receiving 150 mL of chokeberry juice for 8 weeks, or to the placebo group (n = 9). The participants performed a 2000-m test on a rowing ergometer at the beginning and at the end of the preparatory camp. Blood samples were obtained from the antecubital vein prior to each exercise test, one minute after completing the test, and after a 24-hour recovery period. The levels of hepcidin, interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), ferritin, iron, uric acid, and myoglobin were determined, as well as the total iron-binding capacity, unbound iron-binding capacity, and total antioxidant capacity (TAC). Post-exercise, there was a significant increase in IL-6 and a significant decrease in the TAC in both groups, prior to and after supplementation with chokeberry juice. At the end of the experiment, the supplemented athletes showed significantly lower post-exercise levels of TNF-alpha and significantly higher TACs and iron levels than the controls. Supplementation with chokeberry juice results in an increase in the antioxidant activity of plasma and contributes significantly to reducing the TNF-alpha level.

Combination therapy of statin with flavonoids rich extract from chokeberry fruits enhanced reduction in cardiovascular risk markers in patients after myocardial infraction (MI).
Atherosclerosis. 2007; Naruszewicz M, Laniewska I, Millo B, D?uz.niewski M. Department of Pharmacognosy and Molecular Basis of Phythotherapy, Medical University of Warsaw, Ul. Banacha 1, Warszawa, Poland; Center for Atherosclerosis Research, Pomeranian Medical University Szczecin, Poland.
 This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial. Forty-four patients (11 women and 33 men, mean age 66 years) who survived myocardial infraction and have received statin therapy for at least 6 months (80% dose of 40mg/day simvastatin) were included in the study. The subjects were randomised to receive either 3x 85mg/day of chokeberry flavonoid extract or placebo for a period of 6 weeks. The study extract was a commercially-available product of the following declared composition: anthocyans (about 25%), polymeric procyanidines (about 50%) and phenolic acids (about 9%). Compared to placebo (ANOVA and Tukey's test), flavonoids significantly reduced serum 8-isoprostans and Ox-LDL levels, as well as hsCRP and MCP-1 levels. In addition, significant increase in adiponectin levels and reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a mean average of 11 and 7.2mmHg, respectively were found.

Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Chokeberry fruit juice in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2007. Valcheva-Kuzmanova S, Kuzmanov K, Tancheva S, Belcheva A. Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology and Biochemistry, Medical University, Varna, Bulgaria.
Chokeberry fruit juice is rich in phenolic antioxidants, especially flavonoids from the anthocyanin subclass. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of chokeberry fruit juice on plasma glucose and lipids in diabetic rats. Chokeberry fruit juice significantly decreased the streptozotocin-induced abnormalities in blood glucose and triblycerides  in diabetic rats and might be useful in prevention and control of diabetes mellitus and diabetes-associated complications.

Chokeberry side effects
No major chokeberry side effects have yet been reported.

Chokeberry availability
You can buy chokeberry from ingredient suppliers as chokeberry powder or a 2 to 1 chokeberry extract.