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Arch Pharm Res. 1998 Feb;21(1):17-23.

Intestinal bacterial metabolism of flavonoids and its relation to some biological activities.

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College of Pharmacy, Kyung-Hee University, Seoul, Korea.


Flavonoid glycosides were metabolized to phenolic acids via aglycones by human intestinal microflora producing alpha-rhamnosidase, exo-beta-glucosidase, endo-beta-glucosidase and/or beta-glucuronidase. Rutin, hesperidin, naringin and poncirin were transformed to their aglycones by the bacteria producing alpha-rhamnosidase and beta-glucosidase or endo-beta-glucosidase, and baicalin, puerarin and daidzin were transformed to their aglycones by the bacteria producing beta-glucuronidase, C-glycosidase and beta-glycosidase, respectively. Anti-platelet activity and cytotoxicity of the metabolites of flavonoid glycosides by human intestinal bacteria were more effective than those of the parental compounds. 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and 4-hydroxyl-phenylacetic acid were more effective than rutin and quercetin on anti-platelet aggregation activity. 2,4,6-Trihydroxybenzaldehyde, quercetin and ponciretin were more effective than rutin and ponciretin on the cytotoxicity for tumor cell lines. We insist that these flavonoid glycosides should be natural prodrugs.

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