Anthocyanins are one of the most widespread natural pigments in the plant kingdom. Being surrounded by so many fruits and vegetables rich in anthocyanins, it is recommended to consume a relatively large amount of them. A daily intake of anthocyanins has a certain demonstrated benefits: lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer due, at least in part, to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Lately, great attention is paid to their anticancer properties due to the need for user-friendly approaches to improve the treatment. So far, cancer had been nominated to be the second in top 10 diseases of the twenty-first century. Those colorful pigments have the ability to modulate the activity of multiple targets involved in carcinogenesis through direct interaction or modulation of gene expression and can also inhibit the growth of cancer cells. However, the main concern related to the use of anthocyanins as anticancer agents is their poor bioavailability, more specific poor absorption, and biodistribution. In this chapter, the anticancer activities of anthocyanins or anthocyanin-rich extracts in vitro or in vivo were reviewed.
Part of the book: Phytochemicals