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Phytother Res. 2009 Mar;23(3):335-46. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2628.

Antioxidant metabolism induced by quinic acid. Increased urinary excretion of tryptophan and nicotinamide.

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Institute of Clinical Medical Science, Lund University, BMC I:13, Lund, Sweden.


For over 50 years, hippuric/quinic acids were believed to have no biological efficacy. Here data are presented to support the hypothesis that quinic acid is not responsible for any efficacy, but rather that quinic acid nutritionally supports the synthesis of tryptophan and nicotinamide in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and that this in turn leads to DNA repair enhancement and NF-kB inhibition via increased nicotinamide and tryptophan production.Moreover, it is shown that quinic acid is a normal constituent of our diet, capable of conversion to tryptophan and nicotinamide via the GI tract microflora, thus providing an in situ physiological source of these essential metabolic ingredients to humans. The concentrations of quinic and hippuric acids in the diet were dependent on each other when analysed in urine, as was evidenced by a significant linear regression analysis that included unsupplemented control subjects (n = 45, p < 0.001). Thus, these ingredients were identified as major dietary components, and not simply originating from environmental pollution as previously had been thought.

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