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J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Sep 6;54(18):6578-87.

Bioavailability and tissue distribution of anthocyanins in bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) extract in rats.

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Faculty of Applied Life Sciences, Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Sciences, 265-1, Higashijima, Niigata 956-8603, Japan.


To clarify how structural diversity of anthocyanins relates to their in vivo function, bioavailability was precisely studied in rats using bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) extract (Bilberon 25) as an anthocyanin source that contains 15 different anthocyanins. The bilberry extract was orally or intravenously administered to rats, and the plasma levels of each anthocyanin were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. As the result, all anthocyanins except peonidin 3-O-alpha-L-arabinoside were detectable in the blood plasma. The plasma concentration of anthocyanins as a whole reached the maximum level of 1.2 microM at 15 min after oral administration of 400 mg/kg bilberry extract (153.2 mg/kg as anthocyanins) and then decreased with time. Uptake and decay profiles of each anthocyanin in the plasma were almost the same for all anthocyanins except a few with their maximum after 30 min. Among the anthocyanins carrying the same aglycone, the plasma level after 15 min of oral administration was as follows: galactoside > glucoside > arabinoside. Plasma clearance of anthocyanins after intravenous administration clearly showed that arabinoside disappeared more rapidly than glucoside and galactoside. On the other hand, when anthocyanins carrying the same sugar moiety were compared, the half disappearance time of plasma anthocyanins was in the following order: delphinidin > cyanidin > petunidin = peonidin > malvidin. The bioavailability of anthocyanins was in the range of 0.61-1.82% and was 0.93% as the anthocyanin mixture. The bioavailability of anthocyanins carrying the same aglycone was in the following order: Galactoside showed the highest followed by glucoside and arabinoside for cyanidin and delphinidin, but arabinoside and galactoside showed a higher bioavailability than glucoside for petunidin and malvidin. Anthocyanins recovered in urine and bile during the first 4 h after intravenous administration were only 30.8 and 13.4%, respectively. Anthocyanin profiles in tissues were quite different from those in blood plasma. The major anthocyanins distributed in liver and kidney were the O-methyl anthocyanins such as peonidin, malvidin, and other O-methyl anthocyanins derived from delphinidin, cyanidin, and petunidin-glycosides.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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