Aronia, also known as chokeberry, is native to South Dakota and the Midwest. It grows from a shrub and is in the Rosaceae family. It is most commonly found in wet woods and swamps. Aronia berries contain higher levels of antioxidants, ployphenois, and anthocyanins than cranberries, blueberries, grapes, and most other fruits. Studies have shown that antioxidants help reduce the risk for cancer, heart disease, inflammation, diabetes, bacterial infections and neurological diseases in humans. They also slow the aging process.
Antioxidant levels in food are measured by Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). ORAC measures the overall antioxidant power of a food or supplement. USDA research shows Aronia berries has one of the highest antioxidant content of any fruits.
In a 2004 study, the effects of grape, aronia, and bilberry extracts were examined in preventing the growth of colon cancer. The study found that while all the extracts inhibited the growth of the cancer cells, aronia had the strongest effect . Another study found that aronia extract helped to reduce cell damage in relation to breast cancer. The author’s concluded it to have protective qualities in people experiencing breast cancer .
Research seems to support the anti-diabetic effects of aronia. A 2015 study in rats found that an aronia extract helped to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation related to diabetes.
A 2012 study, looking at insulin-resistant rats, found that an aronia extract fought insulin resistance on several levels. This result potentially makes it an effective aid in preventing diabetes from developing.
A 2016 study looked at the effects of aronia fruit juice in rats with liver damage. Researchers found that the juice reduced the severity and symptoms of the liver damage.
Another rodent study from 2017 found that aronia juice helped to reduce the severity of symptoms in rats with damaged stomach linings. The study suggested that, in this case, the benefits of the aronia might be due to it boosting mucus production, as well as its ability to combat oxidative stress.
Artery and Blood Vessel Health
A 2015 study found that aronia could protect against coronary artery disease. Aronia was thought to protect against the plaque that develops inside the arteries. Both the aronia and bilberry extracts helped to relax the tissue, which would allow for improved blood flow. This is important, as many cardiovascular diseases result in a hardening of the arteries and reduced ability for the blood vessels to relax. This can also mean that the blood pressure drops.
Out of the three extracts tested, aronia had the most powerful effects. The researchers concluded that the extracts could have significant benefits in treating vascular disease.
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Amy is the Owner and Founder of Herbs4You. She is a Master Herbalist from the School of Natural Healing. Amy has 30 years experience with herbs and 15 years experience muscle testing.