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J Nutr. 2001 Dec;131(12):3227-30.

Bioavailability of phloretin and phloridzin in rats.

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Laboratoire des Maladies Métaboliques et des Micronutriments, I.N.R.A. de Clermont-Ferrand/Theix, 63122 Saint Genès Champanelle, France.


Phloretin is a flavonoid found exclusively in apples and in apple-derived products where it is present as the glucosidic form, namely, phloridzin (phloretin 2'-O-glucose). In the present study, we compared the changes in plasma and urine concentrations of these two compounds in rats fed a single meal containing 0.25% phloridzin or 0.157% phloretin (corresponding to the ingestion of 22 mg of phloretin equivalents). In plasma, phloretin was recovered mainly as the conjugated forms (glucuronided and/or sulfated) but some unconjugated phloretin was also detected. By contrast, no trace of intact phloridzin was detected in plasma of rats fed a phloridzin meal. These compounds presented different kinetics of absorption; phloretin appeared more rapidly in plasma when rats were fed the aglycone than when fed the glucoside. However, whatever compound was administered, no significant difference in the plasma concentrations of total phloretin were observed 10 h after food intake. At 24 h after the beginning of the meal, the plasma concentrations of phloretin were almost back to the baseline, indicating that this compound was excreted rapidly in urine. The total urinary excretion rate of phloretin was not affected by the forms administered, and was estimated to be 8.5 micromol/24 h in rats fed phloretin or phloridzin. Thus, 10.4% of the ingested dose was recovered in urine after 24 h.

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