What Is Chilean Wineberry?
Chilean wineberry, scientifically known as Aristotelia chilensis, is also referred to as maqui or Chilean wineberry. It belongs to the Elaeocarpaceae family and is a tree species native to the southern regions of Chile and Argentina, near the tropical rainforests of the southwestern coast of South America.
What Are the Nutritional Components of Chilean Wineberry?
Chilean wineberry contains eight types of anthocyanins, including delphinidin and cyanidin. Anthocyanins are a common type of water-soluble plant pigment that aids plants in combating oxidative stress caused by non-biological factors and provides protective coloration for certain plants.
The presence of high levels of anthocyanins and polar polysaccharide derivatives makes the fruit of Chilean wineberry an essential source for food and pharmaceutical purposes. The average total anthocyanin content in Chilean wineberry is approximately 138 milligrams per 100 grams of fresh fruit, with the main anthocyanin being delphinidin 3-sambubioside-5-glucoside, constituting about 34% of the total anthocyanins  . Research has also found anthocyanins in the leaves of Chilean wineberry, which have been used in traditional herbal medicine for treating various conditions .
What Are the Recommended Evidence-Based Effects and Benefits of Chilean Wineberry?
Chilean wineberry has demonstrated remarkable anti-inflammatory effects in clinical studies, suggesting its potential in combating inflammation-related conditions. Compounds found in Chilean wineberry have shown potent anti-inflammatory effects in several studies   .
💡In addition, in vitro studies of concentrated Chilean wineberry supplements indicate a reduction in inflammation in blood vessels, making it a potential ally in preventing heart disease .
💡In a 2-week clinical study, smokers who took 2 grams of Chilean wineberry extract twice daily saw a significant reduction in lung inflammation markers .
Heart Disease Prevention
The antioxidants in Chilean wineberry help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood, reducing the risk of heart disease.
💡A study from the Nurses’ Health Study, involving 93,600 middle-aged women, found that diets high in anthocyanins reduced the risk of heart attacks by 32% . In another large study, a diet rich in anthocyanins was associated with a 12% reduced risk of hypertension .
💡In a 3-month clinical study involving 31 individuals with prediabetes, 180 mg of concentrated Chilean wineberry supplement daily lowered LDL cholesterol levels by 12.5% .
Blood Sugar Control
A clinical study indicates that Chilean wineberry extract can lower blood sugar levels in prediabetic patients, naturally regulating blood sugar levels .
💡Research suggests that compounds found in Chilean wineberry positively impact the breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates in the body  . In a 3-month clinical study of prediabetic patients, 180 mg of Chilean wineberry extract taken once daily reduced blood sugar levels by 5% .
💡These benefits may be attributed to the high anthocyanin content in Chilean wineberry. In a large-scale population study, diets high in these compounds were significantly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes .
Support for Eye Health
Chilean wineberry extract helps reduce damage to the eyes caused by light exposure, including sunlight, fluorescent lights, computer screens, phones, and TVs.
💡A study found that Chilean wineberry extract prevented light-induced damage to eye cells, indicating its benefits for eye health .
💡Furthermore, a small 30-day study on 13 dry eye patients found that daily consumption of 30-60 mg of concentrated Chilean wineberry extract increased tear production by approximately 50%  . Therefore, Chilean wineberry may offer several additional benefits for eye health.
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Promotion of Gut Health
Chilean wineberry can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, benefiting intestinal health. The human gut hosts billions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi collectively known as the gut microbiome. A diverse gut microbiome can have a positive impact on the immune system, brain, heart, and intestinal health . However, problems arise when harmful bacteria outnumber beneficial ones.
💡Research suggests that plant compounds found in Chilean wineberry and other berries may help reshape the gut microbiota by increasing the population of beneficial bacteria  . These beneficial bacteria can metabolize plant compounds, using them for growth and reproduction.
Anticancer and Anti-Aging Effects
Preliminary research suggests that Chilean wineberry may have anticancer and anti-aging properties.
💡In studies, the antioxidants found in Chilean wineberry have shown the potential to reduce cancer cell replication, inhibit tumor growth, and induce cancer cell death  . Overexposure to sunlight’s ultraviolet rays can lead to premature skin aging. In research, Chilean wineberry inhibited cell damage caused by UV radiation . Among polyphenols, anthocyanins have demonstrated their ability to regulate various biochemical/signaling pathways associated with promoting physiological biology and general health, including vascular protection, cognitive enhancement, anticancer activity, and skin photoprotection. Chilean wineberry is rich in naturally sourced delphinidin, known as an effective antioxidant.
💡Randomized double-blind trials have also shown that polyphenols from Chilean wineberry protect lipids in the body from oxidative damage, potentially exerting positive effects against cancer and aging .
Are There Any Side Effects of Chilean Wineberry?
Chilean wineberry is generally considered safe when consumed in small quantities as a fruit. When used as a dietary supplement or in large quantities, more research is needed to determine the safety of Chilean wineberry.
In theory, Chilean wineberry may lower blood sugar levels, so caution is advised when using it in conjunction with diabetes medications.
Contraindications for Chilean wineberry are yet to be established, and there is a lack of information regarding its safety and efficacy during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is advisable for pregnant and breastfeeding individuals to exercise caution and avoid use  .