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J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jan 27;58(2):1296-304. doi: 10.1021/jf9032975.

Green tea flavan-3-ols: colonic degradation and urinary excretion of catabolites by humans.

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  • 1Plant Products and Human Nutrition Group, Graham Kerr Building, Division of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Faculty of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Following the ingestion of green tea, substantial quantities of flavan-3-ols pass from the small to the large intestine (Stalmach et al. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2009, 53, S44-S53; Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2009, doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200900194). To investigate the fate of the flavan-3-ols entering the large intestine, where they are subjected to the action of the colonic microflora, (-)-epicatechin, (-)-epigallocatechin, and (-)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate were incubated in vitro with fecal slurries and the production of phenolic acid catabolites was determined by GC-MS. In addition, urinary excretion of phenolic catabolites was investigated over a 24 h period after ingestion of either green tea or water by healthy volunteers with a functioning colon. The green tea was also fed to ileostomists, and 0-24 h urinary excretion of phenolic acid catabolites was monitored. Pathways are proposed for the degradation of green tea flavan-3-ols in the colon and further catabolism of phenolic compounds passing into the circulatory system from the large intestine, prior to urinary excretion in quantities corresponding to ca. 40% of intake compared with ca. 8% absorption of flavan-3-ol methyl, glucuronide, and sulfate metabolites in the small intestine. The data obtained point to the importance of the colonic microflora in the overall bioavailability and potential bioactivity of dietary flavonoids.

PMID:
20041649
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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