Aronia and Skin Health

Aronia Melanocarpa (also known as black chokeberry) is a shrub of the Rosaceae family and
originates from North America. The fruits of A. Melanocarpa have traditionally been used in
North American folk medicine.

Aronia is a rich source of polyphenols with potential medicinal and therapeutic effects. It
has been demonstrated that Aronia extract or juice possesses anti-oxidative, anti-viral,
anti-mutagenic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic activities. Aronia
berries possess the highest anti-oxidant capacity among berries and other fruits
investigated to date.

There has been considerable interest in the use of naturally occurring plant products, including
polyphenols, for the prevention of UV-induced skin photodamage and in reducing the risk of
skin cancer. Polyphenols are among the most promising group of compounds that can be
exploited as ideal protective agents for a variety of skin disorders in general and skin cancer in

Sunscreen effects
Most of the natural polyphenols are pigments, typically yellow, red or purple, and can absorb UV
radiation. Therefore, when applied topically, they can prevent penetration of the radiation into
the skin. The radiation that polyphenols can absorb includes the entire UVB spectrum of
wavelengths and part of the UVC and UVA spectra. When taken internally as a nutraceutical or
dietary supplement, the polyphenols associated with Aronia have been shown to be an effective
adjunct to topical sunscreen. Studies have demonstrated the efficacy of naturally occurring polyphenols to reduce photo-damaging effects in the skin through the reduction of UV radiation-
induced inflammation, oxidative stress, DNA damage and sun induced immunosuppression.

The polyphenols of Aronia include:

o Catechin and Epichatechin
Epichatechin is typically associated with green tea (EGCG) and is surprisingly also found in Aronia
o Aronia highest levels among berries
o Aronia is the richest known dietary source
o Approx. 2/3 cyanadin-3-galactoside and 1/3 cyanadin-3-arabinoside
Hydroxycinnamic acids
o Caffeic and Chlorogenic acid
o Aronia highest among berries
o Quercetin
o Aronia highest among commercially available berries

The use of natural botanicals in cosmetics and as dietary “internal sunscreens” presents a popular
and rapidly growing trend in skin care. Aronia is well positioned as a
new, polyphenol rich source.

  1. Phenolic Content, Antioxidant Capacity and Quality of Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) Products Food Technol Biotechnol. 2015 Jun; 53(2): 171–
  2. PMCID: PMC5068402 doi:10.17113/ftb.
  3. Skin photoprotection by natural polyphenols: Anti-inflammatory, anti- oxidant and DNA repair mechanisms
    Arch Dermatol Res. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2010 Sep 1. PMCID: PMC2813915 Published in final edited form as: NIHMSID:
  4. Strawberry-Based Cosmetic Formulations Protect Human Dermal Fibroblasts against UVA-Induced Damage. Nutrients. 2017 Jun 14;9(6). pii: E605. doi:
  5. Skin photoprotection by green tea: antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects. Curr Drug Targets Immune Endocr Metabol Disord. 2003 Sep;3(3):234-42.
  6. Treatment of green tea polyphenols in hydrophilic cream prevents UVB-induced oxidation of lipids and proteins, depletion of antioxidant enzymes and
    phosphorylation of MAPK proteins in SKH-1 hairless mouse skin. Carcinogenesis. 2003 May;24(5):927-36.
  7. Polyphenols: Skin Photoprotection and Inhibition of Photocarcinogenesis Mini Rev Med Chem. 2011 Dec 1; 11(14): 1200–1215.
  8. Aronia melanocarpa fruit extract exhibits anti-inflammatory activity in human aortic endothelial cells Eur J Nutr. 2012 Aug; 51(5): 563–572. PMCID:
    PMC3397226 Published online 2011 Aug 24. doi: 10.1007/s00394-011-0240-1
  9. Polyphenolic antioxidant (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea reduces UVB-induced inflammatory responses and infiltration of leukocytes in human skin.
    Photochem Photobiol. 1999 Feb;69(2):148-53.
  10. Low-Dose Aronia melanocarpa Concentrate Attenuates Paraquat- Induced Neurotoxicity Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016; 2016: 5296271. PMCID: PMC4684878
    Published online 2015 Dec 6. doi: 10.1155/2016/5296271

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