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      Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability

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          Abstract

          Polyphenols are abundant micronutrients in our diet, and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases is emerging. The health effects of polyphenols depend on the amount consumed and on their bioavailability. In this article, the nature and contents of the various polyphenols present in food sources and the influence of agricultural practices and industrial processes are reviewed. Estimates of dietary intakes are given for each class of polyphenols. The bioavailability of polyphenols is also reviewed, with particular focus on intestinal absorption and the influence of chemical structure (eg, glycosylation, esterification, and polymerization), food matrix, and excretion back into the intestinal lumen. Information on the role of microflora in the catabolism of polyphenols and the production of some active metabolites is presented. Mechanisms of intestinal and hepatic conjugation (methylation, glucuronidation, sulfation), plasma transport, and elimination in bile and urine are also described. Pharmacokinetic data for the various polyphenols are compared. Studies on the identification of circulating metabolites, cellular uptake, intracellular metabolism with possible deconjugation, biological properties of the conjugated metabolites, and specific accumulation in some target tissues are discussed. Finally, bioavailability appears to differ greatly between the various polyphenols, and the most abundant polyphenols in our diet are not necessarily those that have the best bioavailability profile. A thorough knowledge of the bioavailability of the hundreds of dietary polyphenols will help us to identify those that are most likely to exert protective health effects.

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          Most cited references12

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          Chocolate: Modern Science Investigates an Ancient Medicine Dietary Intake and Bioavailability of Polyphenols 1

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            The metabolic fate of dietary polyphenols in humans.

            Dietary polyphenols are widely considered to contribute to health benefits in humans. However, little is yet known concerning their bioactive forms in vivo and the mechanisms by which they may contribute toward disease prevention. Although many studies are focusing on the bioavailability of polyphenols through studying their uptake and the excretion of their conjugated forms, few are emphasizing the occurrence of metabolites in vivo formed via degradation by the enzymes of colonic bacteria and subsequent absorption. The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between biomarkers of the colonic biotransformation of ingested dietary polyphenols and the absorbed conjugated polyphenols. The results show that the majority of the in vivo forms derive from cleavage products of the action of colonic bacterial enzymes and subsequent metabolism in the liver. Those include the glucuronides of 3-hydroxyphenylacetic, homovanillic, vanillic and isoferulic acid as well as 3-(3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenyl)-propionic, 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-propionic acid, and 3-hydroxyhippuric acid. In contrast, intact conjugated polyphenols themselves, such as the glucuronides of quercetin, naringenin and ferulic, p-coumaric, and sinapic acid were detected at much lower levels. The results suggest that consideration should be given to the cleavage products as having a putative role as physiologically relevant bioactive components in vivo.
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              Uptake and metabolism of epicatechin and its access to the brain after oral ingestion.

              Epicatechin is a flavan-3-ol that is commonly present in green teas, red wine, cocoa products, and many fruits, such as apples. There is considerable interest in the bioavailability of epicatechin after oral ingestion. In vivo studies have shown that low levels of epicatechin are absorbed and found in the circulation as glucuronides, methylated and sulfated forms. Recent research has demonstrated protective effects of epicatechin and one of its in vivo metabolites, 3'-O-methyl epicatechin, against neuronal cell death induced by oxidative stress. Thus, we are interested in the ability of ingested epicatechin to cross the blood brain barrier and target the brain. Rats were administered 100 mg/kg body weight/d epicatechin orally for 1, 5, and 10 d. Plasma and brain extracts were analyzed by HPLC with photodiode array detection and LC-MS/MS. This study reports the presence of the epicatechin glucuronide and 3'-O-methyl epicatechin glucuronide formed after oral ingestion in the rat brain tissue.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0002-9165
                1938-3207
                May 2004
                May 01 2004
                May 2004
                May 01 2004
                : 79
                : 5
                : 727-747
                Article
                10.1093/ajcn/79.5.727
                15113710
                1af27cad-270c-4f78-be17-7a0605b474fe
                © 2004
                History

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