Anthocyanins are polyphenols belonging to the subgroup of flavonoids. In plants, anthocyanins occur as glycosides as large molecules with one to several sugar molecules attached.
After ingestion, less complex sugar molecules are broken down using the body’s own enzymes, and the anthocyanidins are absorbed via the small intestine. By far the largest part of the anthocyanins reaches the colon where sugar cleavage takes place via the bacteria in the colon, including lactic acid bacteria. The sugar-free anthocyanidins (aglycones) and anthocyanin metabolites are absorbed from the colon by diffusion across the intestinal wall.
How much is taken up before they reach the colon depends on the anthocyanin structure and how complex the glycosylation is, but approx. 95% of the ingested anthocyanins pass through the stomach and small intestine and end up in the large intestine. Here, the absorption of the anthocyanins depends on the composition of the colon microbiota. In particular, lactic acid bacteria belonging to lactobacillus strains and bifidobacteria are known to be able to cleave the sugar part of anthocyanins via bacterial beta-glucosidase enzymes.
In the development of MaquiPro product, the lactobacillus strain L. plantarum 6595 was chosen as an ingredient as this strain has been shown to have extracellular beta-glucosidase activity. L. plantarum 6595 is one of the most well-described lactic acid bacteria (Probi)
Unique maqui berry
Maqui berries have a unique composition of anthocyanins. Over 70% of maqui anthocyanins are delphinidines, which are the most polar of all anthocyanins (most OH groups) making them the most unique of all anthocyanins. In contrast, the glycosylation of the delphinidines from maqui is complex with several and special sugar molecules attached (Fredes et al., J. Sci. Food Agric. 2014, 94, 2639–2648; https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.6602). When maqui is ingested, most delphinidins will reach the colon where the uptake is dependent on the composition of the intestinal microbiota. Studies in mouse feeding have shown that when a normal intestinal microbiota was disturbed by antibiotic treatment, the majority of the anthocyanins ingested, most pronounced for delphinidines, passed unmetabolized to faeces (Overall et al., Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18020422). Of all anthocyanins, the maqui berry delphinidins are the mostly affected by disruption of gut flora.
Lactobacillus plantarum 6595
L. plantarum 6595 is one of the best characterized lactic acid bacteria developed by Probi, a Sweddish probiotic company. Cultures of L. plantarum 6595 with the original name L. plantarum 299 are used in many foods and supplements for more than 20 years. L. plantarum 6595 can survive the passage through the gastric acid in the human stomach, and is capable of colonizing the mucosal cells of the human intestine. The clinical dose is one billion live L. plantarum 6595 bacteria.
MaquiPro® and Aronia Pro®
The development of MaquiPro® is based partly on the research on polyphenols and anthocyanins and partly on the research related to the importance of a healthy intestinal microbiota for our well-being and for the absorption of the food we consume.
Anthocyanins act as prebiotic secondary substances and are, therefore, beneficial to a number of lactic acid bacteria in our colon. The interaction between anthocyanins and lactic acid bacteria is an important part of MaquiPro®. We have shown in survival studies that L. plantarum 6595 can tolerate (survive) high doses of anthocyanins.
A special formulation of the MaquiPro® product ensures a high survival rate (and shelf life) of L. plantarum 6595 in anthocyanin-rich fruit powders: Minimum one billion live bacteria (clinical dose) at the end of the shelf life.
MaquiPro® is an “improved” maqui powder where a clinical dose of live Lactobacillus plantarum 6595 bacteria is combined with a daily dose of lyophilised maqui powder. A “2 in 1 product”, where the health benefits of maqui berries and the health benefits of L. plantarum 6595 are combined.