by Gheorghe Adrian Martău 1,2,3, Teleky Bernadette-Emőke 2, Răzvan Odocheanu 1, Dacian Andrei Soporan 1, Mihai Bochiș 1, Elemer Simon 1,2 and Dan Cristian Vodnar 1,2,*
1 Faculty of Food Science and Technology, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Calea Mănăştur 3-5, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2 Institute of Life Sciences, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Calea Mănăştur 3-5, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
3 CENCIRA Agrofood Research and Innovation Centre, Ion Meșter 6, 400650 Cluj-Napoca, Romania* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2023, 28(4), 1533; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28041533
Received: 30 December 2022 / Revised: 2 February 2023 / Accepted: 2 February 2023 / Published: 5 February 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemistry and Biological Properties of Medicinal Plants)
The Vaccinium L. (Ericaceae) genus consists of a globally widespread and diverse genus of around 4250 species, of which the most valuable is the Vaccinioidae subfamily. The current review focuses on the distribution, history, bioactive compounds, and health-related effects of three species: cranberry, blueberry, and huckleberry. Several studies highlight that the consumption of Vaccinium spp. presents numerous beneficial health-related outcomes, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and protective effects against diabetes, obesity, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular disorders. These plants’ prevalence and commercial value have enhanced in the past several years; thus, the generated by-products have also increased. Consequently, the identified phenolic compounds found in the discarded leaves of these plants are also presented, and their impact on health and economic value is discussed. The main bioactive compounds identified in this genus belong to anthocyanins (cyanidin, malvidin, and delphinidin), flavonoids (quercetin, isoquercetin, and astragalin), phenolic acids (gallic, p-Coumaric, cinnamic, syringic, ferulic, and caffeic acids), and iridoids.
Keywords: Vaccinium uliginosum L.; Ericaceae; herbal medicine; bioactivity; in vitro and in vivo analyses; phytochemical analysis; drug discovery; traditional medicine