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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015 Jul;59(7):1307-23. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201400745. Epub 2015 Jun 3.

Mind the gap-deficits in our knowledge of aspects impacting the bioavailability of phytochemicals and their metabolites--a position paper focusing on carotenoids and polyphenols.

Author information

1
Environmental Research and Innovation Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, Belvaux, Luxembourg.
2
The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, United Kingdom.
3
Nutrition and Food Science Area, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Valencia, Av. Vicente Andrés Estellés s/n, Burjassot, Valencia, Spain.
4
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
5
Agroscope, Institute for Food Sciences (IFS), Wädenswil, Switzerland.
6
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo, Finland.
7
IBET, Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica, Oeiras, Portugal.
8
Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Oeiras, Portugal.
9
Ege University, Engineering Faculty, Food Engineering Department, Izmir, Turkey.
10
Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias de la Alimentación CIAL (CSIC-UAM), Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

Various secondary plant metabolites or phytochemicals, including polyphenols and carotenoids, have been associated with a variety of health benefits, such as reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and several types of cancer, most likely due to their involvement in ameliorating inflammation and oxidative stress. However, discrepancies exist between their putative effects when comparing observational and intervention studies, especially when using pure compounds. These discrepancies may in part be explained by differences in intake levels and their bioavailability. Prior to exerting their bioactivity, these compounds must be made bioavailable, and considerable differences may arise due to their matrix release, changes during digestion, uptake, metabolism, and biodistribution, even before considering dose- and host-related factors. Though many insights have been gained on factors affecting secondary plant metabolite bioavailability, many gaps still exist in our knowledge. In this position paper, we highlight several major gaps in our understanding of phytochemical bioavailability, including effects of food processing, changes during digestion, involvement of cellular transporters in influx/efflux through the gastrointestinal epithelium, changes during colonic fermentation, and their phase I and phase II metabolism following absorption.

KEYWORDS:

Biotransformation; Food processing; Microbiota; Mixed diet; Transporters

PMID:
25988374
PMCID:
PMC5033009
DOI:
10.1002/mnfr.201400745
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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