Absorption, metabolism and excretion of Choladi green tea flavan-3-ols by humans

Angélique Stalmach, Stéphanie Troufflard, Mauro Serafini, Alan Crozier

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193 Citations (Scopus)


Ten healthy human subjects consumed 500 mL of Choladi green tea, containing 648 μmol of flavan-3-ols after which plasma and urine were collected over a 24 h period and analysed by HPLC-MS. Plasma contained a total of ten metabolites, in the form of O-methylated, sulphated and glucuronide conjugates of (epi)catechin and (epi)gallocatechin, with 29-126 nM peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) occurring 1.6-2.3 h after ingestion, indicative of absorption in the small intestine. Plasma also contained unmetabolised (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate and (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate with respective Cmax values of 55 and 25 nM. Urine excreted 0-24 h after consumption of green tea contained 15 metabolites of (epi)catechin and (epi)gallocatechin, but (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate and (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate were not detected. Overall flavan-3-ol metabolite excretion was equivalent to 8.1% of intake, however, urinary (epi)gallocatechin metabolites corresponded to 11.4% of (epi)gallocatechin ingestion while (epi)catechin metabolites were detected in amounts equivalent to 28.5% of (epi)catechin intake. These findings imply that (epi)catechins are highly bioavailable, being absorbed and excreted to a much greater extent than most other flavonoids. It is also evident that flavan-3-ol metabolites are rapidly turned over in the circulatory system and as a consequence Cmax values are not an accurate quantitative indicator of the extent to which absorption occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S44-S53
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • Flavan-3-ols
  • Glucuronide
  • Green tea
  • Methyl
  • Urinary excretion


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