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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Oct;54(10):1405-13. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200900517.

Recovery and metabolism of xanthohumol in germ-free and human microbiota-associated rats.

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Department of Gastrointestinal Microbiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany.


The impact of human intestinal bacteria on the bioavailability of the prenylflavonoid xanthohumol (XN) was studied by comparing germ-free (GF) and human microbiota-associated (HMA) rats. After XN application, XN, XN conjugates, and isoxanthohumol (IX) conjugates occurred in blood samples of GF and HMA rats, whereas IX was detected only in the blood of HMA rats. Overall excretion of XN and its metabolites within 48 h was only 4.6% of the ingested dose in GF rats and 4.2% in HMA rats, feces being the major route of excretion. While both GF and HMA rats excreted XN, IX, and their conjugates with urine and feces, 8-prenylnaringenin and its corresponding conjugates were exclusively observed in the feces of HMA rats. The microbial formation of 8-prenylnaringenin was confirmed by incubation of XN and IX with human fecal slurries. The amount of conjugates excreted in urine and feces was lower in HMA rats compared to GF rats indicating their hydrolysis by human intestinal microbiota. Thus, the impact of bacteria on the XN metabolism in the gut may affect the in vivo effects of ingested XN.

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