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Absorption and urinary excretion of (-)-epicatechin after administration of different levels of cocoa powder or (-)-epicatechin in rats

Baba, S., Osakabe, N., Natsume, M., Muto, Y., Takizawa, T., Terao, J.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2001 v.49 no.12 pp. 6050-6056
cocoa products, powders, oral administration, epicatechin, bioavailability, intestinal absorption, excretion, urine, metabolites, rats
(-)-Epicatechin is a major polyphenol component of cocoa powder. The absorption and urinary excretion of (-)-epicatechin following administration of different levels of either cocoa powder (150, 750, and 1500 mg/kg) or (-)-epicatechin (1, 5, and 10 mg/kg) were evaluated in rats. Both the sum of plasma (-)-epicatechin metabolites at 1 h postadministration and peak plasma concentrations increased in a dose-dependent fashion. The sum of (-)-epicatechin metabolites in urine, excreted within 18 h postadministration, also increased with dose. Moreover, the sum of (-)-epicatechin metabolites excreted in urine reached the same level in both (-)-epicatechin and cocoa powder administration groups for equivalent amounts of (-)-epicatechin. These results suggest that, in the dose range examined in this study, bioavailability of (-)-epicatechin following administration of either (-)-epicatechin or cocoa powder shows dose dependence and that the various compounds present in cocoa powder have little effect on the bioavailability of (-)-epicatechin in cocoa powder.