Research: Aronia berries or chokeberries may help with weight loss


Chokeberries may attenuate weight gain and modulates insulin



When was the last time you ate chokeberries?  The Aronia is a genus of deciduous shrubs also known as the chokeberries.  The shrubs that grow the berries are native to eastern North America and most commonly found in wet woods and swamps and many feel they a nuisance or weed.  Chokeberries are cultivated as ornamental plants and as food products.  the berries are small 1 cm fruits that have relatively thick, pigmented skin that come in several colors to include black, red, and blue.  The red berries are sweeter than the black ones, but both the black and blue chokeberries are richer in the antioxidants anthocyanins (the active component of the berry) than the red.  The sour berries can be eaten raw off the bush, but most often they are dried or freeze-dried into a powder.   The name “chokeberry” comes from the astringency of the fruits, which create a sensation making one’s mouth pucker[1].  If you are not familiar with these little berries and are trying to lose weight, I recommend that you read this article.  The results of the research may be interesting because they offer a variety of health benefits, including helping with weight loss.

In last several years, the chokeberry has gained a little notoriety for its weight loss effects.  Nutritionists and fruit lovers around the world have come to realize its health benefits.  The publicity started with a little research study from 2014[2]. The aim of the study was to determine if an extract from chokeberries would reduce weight gain in rats fed a fructose-rich diet and explore the potential mechanisms related to insulin signaling, fat deposition, and inflammation.  The rats were fed the diet for 6-weeks in order to induce insulin resistance, with or without chokeberry extract fortified drinking-water.  Both doses of extract consumption lowered epididymal fat, blood glucose, cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol.  

Another study in humans from 2010 showed that Aonia berries appear to reduce the effects of metabolic syndrome[3].

The bottom line: The results of the study suggest that the chokeberry extract decreases the risk factors related to insulin resistance, adipogenesis, and inflammation.  The berries are low in calories and fat. They appear to have the ability to prevent the body from storing too much fat. The reduction in the fat deposition was the strongest in the region around the abdomen.  There is no reason to believe that chokeberries would not have a similar effect in humans.  They are also a great addition to any smoothie.  More research is needed.  


“Aronia,” Wikipedia, 07-May-2018. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 07-May-2018]
B. Qin and R. A. Anderson, “An extract of chokeberry attenuates weight gain and modulates insulin, adipogenic and inflammatory signalling pathways in epididymal adipose tissue of rats fed a fructose-rich diet,” B, vol. 108, no. 04, pp. 581–587, Dec. 2011 [Online]. Available: 10.1017/S000711451100599X” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>
M. Broncel, M. Kozirog, P. Duchnowicz, M. Koter-Michalak, J. Sikora, and J. Chojnowska-Jezierska, “Aronia melanocarpa extract reduces blood pressure, serum endothelin, lipid, and oxidative stress marker levels in patients with metabolic syndrome.,” Med Sci Monit, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. CR28-34, Jan. 2010. [PubMed]
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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