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Anthocyanins are the chemical components that give the intense color to many fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, red cabbages and purple sweet potatoes. Epidemiological investigations have indicated that the moderate consumption of anthocyanin products such as red wine or bilberry extract is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and improvement of visual functions. Recently, there is increasing interesting in the pharmaceutical function of anthocyanins. This review summarizes current knowledge on the various molecular evidences of cancer chemoprevention by anthocyanins. These mechanisms can be subdivided into the following aspects: 1) the antioxidation, 2) the molecular mechanisms involved in anticarcinogenesis, 3) the molecular mechanisms involved in the apoptosis induction of tumor cells. Finally, the bioavailability and structure-activity relationship of anthocyanins are also summarized.
Current Molecular Medicine is an interdisciplinary journal focused on providing the readership with current and comprehensive reviews on fundamental molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, the development of molecular-diagnosis and/or novel approaches to rational treatment. The reviews should be of significant interest to basic researchers and clinical investigators in molecular medicine. Periodically the journal will invite guest editors to devote an issue on a basic research area that shows promise to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) of a disease or has potential for clinical applications.