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Review Article

Nutraceutical Potential of High-latitude and High-altitude Berries Rich in Ellagitannins

[ Vol. 30 , Issue. 19 ]


Bruno Burlando*, Laura Cornara and Raffaella Boggia   Pages 2121 - 2140 ( 20 )


Introduction: This review concerns three species of berries, namely the high- -latitude cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) and arctic bramble (Rubus arcticus), and the high-altitude yellow raspberry (Rubus ellipticus). These plants are mostly exploited on a local basis as food or traditional remedies but could have a wider usage as nutraceuticals due to their richness in ellagitannins (ETs) and other phenolic compounds. ETs are hexahydroxydiphenoyl esters of carbohydrates and the largest group of hydrolysable tannins. They are distinctly antioxidant and bioactive compounds, and therefore, are considered as majorly responsible for the biological properties of ET-rich berries. The health benefits of ETs are mainly due to the release of ellagic acid and to their metabolic transformation by the gut microbiota into urolithins, and include, among others, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anticancer actions.

Methods: Based on the literature searches in the Web of Science, Scopus, and PubMed databases, ethnobotanical, pharmaceutical, medicinal, and nutritional knowledge concerning the three berry species was covered. This includes empirical use of traditional preparations and experimental studies with various extracts and fractions from fruits and other plant portions, covering in vitro, preclinical, and clinical research.

Results: The data reveal a wide spectrum of potential uses in health care, providing in some cases an experimental confirmation of traditional uses.

Conclusion: The examined berry species can act as nutraceutical foods, having positive effects on regular consumers but could also be exploited in more technological ways to produce food complements from ET-rich extracts.


Arctic bramble, cloudberry, ellagitannins, health care, nutraceuticals, yellow raspberry.


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