Main content area

Absorption and Metabolism of Anthocyanins in Elderly Women after Consumption of Elderberry or Blueberry

Wu, Xianli, Cao, Guohua, Prior, Ronald L.
Journal of nutrition 2002 v.132 no.7 pp. 1865
elderly nutrition, elderly, women, fruits, blueberries, Vaccinium angustifolium, Sambucus nigra, fruit extracts, chemical constituents of plants, cyanin, nutrient availability, cyanidin, glucosides, secondary metabolites, blood serum, urine, excretion
The absorption and metabolism of anthocyanins (ACN) in humans was studied in four elderly women given 12 g elderberry extract (EBX) (720 mg total ACN), and six elderly women given 189 g lowbush blueberry (BB) (690 mg total ACN). The two major ACN in EBX, cyanidin-3-glucoside and cyanidin-3-sambubioside, as well as four metabolites: 1) peonidin 3-glucoside, 2) peonidin 3-sambubioside, 3) peonidin monoglucuronide, and 4) cyanidin-3-glucoside monoglucuronide were identified in urine within 4 h of consumption using HPLC-MS/MS with diode-array detector detection and retention time. Total EBX ACN excretion was 554 ± 90 μg (mean ± SD, n = 4) (0.077% of intake/4 h, wt/wt). In 5 of 6 women fed BB, urine samples contained ACN, which were identified as the original forms based upon comparisons to the BB food sample, which contained 24 ACN, 22 of which were identified by HPLC-MS/MS. Reasonable correlations between BB and urine proportions of the different ACN were obtained except for ACN arabinosides. Total urinary excretion during the first 6 h was 23.2 ± 10.9 μg (mean ± SD, n = 5) (0.004% of intake/6 h, wt/wt). Plasma ACN levels were below detection limits using 2 mL plasma in women that consumed BB. This study demonstrates for the first time that in vivo methylation of cyanidin to peonidin and glucuronide conjugate formation occurs after people consume ACN and demonstrates the low absorption and excretion of ACN compared with other flavonoids.