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J Nutr. 2005 Oct;135(10):2417-24.

Aglycones and sugar moieties alter anthocyanin absorption and metabolism after berry consumption in weanling pigs.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, Little Rock, AR 72202, USA.


To investigate the absorption and metabolism of anthocyanins (ACNs) with different aglycones and sugar moieties, weanling pigs (11.4 +/- 3.8 kg) were fed, in a single meal, a freeze-dried powder of chokeberry, black currant, or elderberry at a single dose of 229, 140, or 228 mumol total ACN/kg body weight (BW), respectively. These berries provided ACNs with differences in aglycone as well as some unique differences in the sugar moieties. The relative proportions of the different metabolites depended upon concentrations, quantities consumed, and types of glycoside of ACNs in the berry. Delphinidin ACNs were not metabolized to any measurable extent. Cyanidin ACNs were metabolized via methylation and glucuronidation as well as by formation of both derivatives on the same ACN molecule. ACNs with either a di- or trisaccharide attached to them were excreted in the urine primarily as the intact form. Over 80% of the ACN compounds containing rutinose or sambubiose, which were excreted in the urine from black currant, elderberry, or Marion blackberry, were excreted as the intact molecule. The limited metabolism of these ACNs that did occur was via methylation. ACN monoglycosides other than the glucoside were metabolized via methylation and/or glucuronide formation. The monoglucuronide that formed represented a small proportion of the metabolites relative to the methylated or the mixed methylated and glucuronide forms of ACNs. The data clearly demonstrate that the aglycone and the sugar moieties can alter the apparent absorption and metabolism of ACNs.

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