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Absorption, Metabolism and Excretion of Cranberry (Poly)Phenols in Humans: a Dose Response Study and Assessment of Inter-Individual Variability

August 15, 2017
Feliciano, R. P. Mills, C. E. Istas, G. Heiss, C. Rodriguez-Mateos, A.
Nutrients 9(3):268

The beneficial health effects of cranberries have been attributed to their (poly)phenol content. Recent studies have investigated the absorption, metabolism and excretion of cranberry (poly)phenols; however, little is known about whether they follow a dose response in vivo at different levels of intake. An acute double-blind randomized controlled trial in 10 healthy men with cranberry juices containing 409, 787, 1238, 1534 and 1910 mg total (poly)phenols was performed. Blood and urine were analyzed by UPLC-Q-TOF-MS. Sixty metabolites were identified in plasma and urine including cinnamic acids, dihydrocinnamic, flavonols, benzoic acids, phenylacetic acids, benzaldehydes, valerolactones, hippuric acids, catechols, and pyrogallols. Total plasma, but not excreted urinary (poly)phenol metabolites, exhibited a linear dose response (r2=0.74, p<0.05), driven by caffeic acid 4-O- beta -D-glucuronide, quercetin-3-O- beta -D-glucuronide, ferulic acid 4-O- beta -D-glucuronide, 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid, 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, ferulic acid, caffeic acid 3-O- beta -D-glucuronide, sinapic acid, ferulic acid 4-O-sulfate, 3-hydroxybenzoic acid, syringic acid, vanillic acid-4-O-sulfate, (4R)-5-(3'-hydroxyphenyl)- gamma -valerolactone-4'-O-sulfate, 4-methylgallic acid-3-O-sulfate, and isoferulic acid 3-O-sulfate (all r2 >=0.89, p<0.05). Inter-individual variability of the plasma metabolite concentration was broad and dependent on the metabolite. Herein, we show that specific plasma (poly)phenol metabolites are linearly related to the amount of (poly)phenols consumed in cranberry juice. The large inter-individual variation in metabolite profile may be due to variations in the gut microbiome.