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J Food Sci. 2010 May;75(4):H123-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01582.x.

Polyphenol-rich beverages enhance zinc uptake and metallothionein expression in Caco-2 cells.

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Micronutrient Research Group, Biophysics Div., Natl. Inst. of Nutrition (Indian Council of Medical Research), Jamai Osmania, Hyderabad 500 604, India.


The effect of red wine (RW), red grape juice (RGJ), green tea (GT), and representative polyphenols on Caco-2 cell (65)Zn uptake was explored. RW, RGJ, and GT enhanced the uptake of zinc from rice matrix. Fractionation of RW revealed that enhancing activity of zinc uptake was exclusively resided in the polyphenol fraction. Among the polyphenols tested, only tannic acid and quercitin stimulated the uptake of zinc while others did not influence the uptake. In tune with these results, only tannic acid and quercitin competed with zinquin (a zinc selective fluorophore) for zinc in vitro. Although all the polyphenols tested appear to enhance the expression of metallothionein (MT), the induction was higher with tannic acid, quercitin, and RW extract. Furthermore, phytic acid abrogated the tannic acid-induced MT expression. These results suggest that polyphenol-rich beverages, tannic acid, and quercitin bind and stimulate the zinc uptake and MT expression in Caco-2 cells.

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