High levels of the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin.
Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoids with potential antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-obesity properties.
Most health benefits of blueberries are caused by anthocyanins directly in the gut or by traveling to the liver, where they are broken down into metabolites (methylated, sulfated, or glucuronidated conjugates) or just reach the bloodstream unchanged.
Anthocyanins have multiple beneficial and protective effects on the body, especially for the prevention of oxidation or damage to biological structures like fats, proteins, and nucleic acids.
Anthocyanins produce a wide range of colors in plant tissues. They neutralize the potentially harmful effects of free radicals in the body.
Anthocyanins can be directly incorporated into lining cells, protecting them from oxidative damage.
Anthocyanins can also detoxify heavy metals (chelation) and exert their effects through direct protein binding. Lab tests have demonstrated that anthocyanins stimulate detoxifying enzymes and antioxidation in cultured cells.