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Free Radic Res. 2007 Aug;41(8):943-9.

Human urine: epicatechin metabolites and antioxidant activity after cocoa beverage intake.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Associations between cocoa consumption in humans, excreted metabolites and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) have been scarcely investigated. The aims of the study were to investigate the epicatechin (( - )-Ec) metabolites excreted in urine samples after an intake of 40 g of cocoa powder along with the TAC of these urine samples and the relation between both the analyses. Each of the 21 volunteers received two interventions, one with a polyphenol-rich food (PRF) and one with a polyphenol-free food (PFF) in a randomized cross-over study. Urine samples were taken before and during 24 h at 0-6, 6-12 and 12-24 h periods after test intake. The excreted ( - )-Ec metabolites and the TAC were determined in urine samples by LC-MS/MS and TEAC assay, respectively. The maximum excretion of ( - )-Ec metabolites and the maximum TAC value were observed in urine samples excreted between 6 and 12 h after PRF consumption. Significance of TAC increase was found in urine samples excreted during 0-6 and 6-12 h (66.6 and 72.67%, respectively, with respect to the 0 h).

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