Products derived from the black chokeberry, Aronia melanocarpa, are claimed to be beneficial in disorders or diseases associated with oxidative stress. But these claims are based primarily on laboratory and animal research.

Researchers at Hebrew University, Jerusalem reviewed the evidence in people.

First, the details.

  • 13 studies were identified.
  • The quality of most of the studies was poor.

And, the results.

  • Though laboratory and clinical data indicate that chokeberry products may be useful as ‘functional food’ for conditions related to oxidative stress.
  • More rigorous studies in people will be needed before chokeberry products can be recommended with confidence.

The bottom line?

Oxidative stress is involved in many diseases, such as hardening of the arteries, Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, heart attack, Alzheimer’s disease,and chronic fatigue syndrome. Unfortunately, there is very little research with black chokeberry for treating or preventing these conditions in humans.

The results of a study published last year by researchers in Finland are summarized here.

6/29/10 17:01 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.