Research Topic

The Absorption and Metabolism of Dietary Polyphenols

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Polyphenols are very important natural components of many plant-derived foods. There has been increased attention on the health benefits of dietary polyphenols and the mechanisms by which they can improve the physiological status of humans. Recently, the effects and interactions of polyphenols on the gut ...

Polyphenols are very important natural components of many plant-derived foods. There has been increased attention on the health benefits of dietary polyphenols and the mechanisms by which they can improve the physiological status of humans. Recently, the effects and interactions of polyphenols on the gut microbiota and health has also become a topical area of research. This area is still in need of further exploring as little is still known about the absorption of food polyphenols and the specific biotransformation they undergo by P450 enzymes and the gut microbiota both in vivo or in vitro.

The absorption and metabolism of polyphenols can be influenced by factors such as their individual structures, interactions with other dietary nutrients, physiological status, gender and drug co-administration. For example, the co-administration of food and some metal ions can alter the absorption and health benefits of some dietary polyphenols. Although there has been some recent research highlighting the mechanisms of polyphenol absorption and metabolism, this has been particularly focused on tea polyphenols - other food derived polyphenols are in need of further exploring. We know that phenolic acids, flavonoids and their glycosides, procyanidins, hydrolysable tannins, and anthocyanin are main secondary metabolites of many foods. These polyphenols are usually consumed with food matrices such as carbohydrates, proteins ,and fatty acids which may change the fate of polyphenols in vivo during digestion and metabolism.

So far, the oral-bioavailability of polyphenols especially flavan-3-ols have been widely reported, but for other dietary polyphenols mechanisms of their absorption, distribution, metabolism and extraction are still less known. This is due to limitations in identifying main metabolites in vivo, in the analytical methods used to assess this, and the interactions of polyphenols during metabolism and absorption with the gut microbiota.

The aim of this Research Topic is therefore to explore novel insights into dietary polyphenols interactions in absorption and metabolism, and the metabolic pathways of polyphenols in vivo and in vitro, and by gut microorganisms. These findings will contribute to characterizing the bioactive metabolites of polyphenols, and the regulation of novel approaches aimed at improving the health benefits of polyphenols.

We welcome manuscripts on the chemistry and analysis of the biotransformation of polyphenols both in vivo and in vitro, human and animal models are welcome. Original Research Articles, Analytical Methods, and Reviews focused on but not limited to the following themes are welcome:

1. The identification of polyphenol metabolites during fermentation by gut microorganisms, by analytical techniques such as LC-MS and LC-NMR.
2. Characterization of the biological activities of dietary polyphenol metabolites during absorption and metabolism, especially in contrast to their original polyphenols.
3. The effects of food, drug, body status, and animal disease models (e.g. colon disease) on the structure and functional properties of dietary polyphenols and their absorption and biotransformation.
4. Characterization of the biotransformation of polyphenols by the gut microbiome during metabolism and absorption.


Keywords: Dietary Polyphenols, Bioavailability, Biotransformation, Bioactivity, Metabolites


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