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Sci Rep. 2017 May 16;7(1):1931. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01888-w.

Physicochemical properties of dietary phytochemicals can predict their passive absorption in the human small intestine.

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Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Science, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, 3010, Australia.
CSIRO Agriculture and Food, 671 Sneydes Road, Werribee, 3030, Australia.
CSIRO Data61, North Ryde, 2113, Australia.
CSIRO Agriculture and Food, 671 Sneydes Road, Werribee, 3030, Australia.


A diet high in phytochemical-rich plant foods is associated with reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, diabetes and cancer. Oxidative stress and inflammation (OSI) is the common component underlying these chronic diseases. Whilst the positive health effects of phytochemicals and their metabolites have been demonstrated to regulate OSI, the timing and absorption for best effect is not well understood. We developed a model to predict the time to achieve maximal plasma concentration (Tmax) of phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables. We used a training dataset containing 67 dietary phytochemicals from 31 clinical studies to develop the model and validated the model using three independent datasets comprising a total of 108 dietary phytochemicals and 98 pharmaceutical compounds. The developed model based on dietary intake forms and the physicochemical properties lipophilicity and molecular mass accurately predicts Tmax of dietary phytochemicals and pharmaceutical compounds over a broad range of chemical classes. This is the first direct model to predict Tmax of dietary phytochemicals in the human body. The model informs the clinical dosing frequency for optimising uptake and sustained presence of dietary phytochemicals in circulation, to maximise their bio-efficacy for positively affect human health and managing OSI in chronic diseases.

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