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Pharmacokinetics of Quercetin Absorption from Apples and Onions in Healthy Humans

Lee, Jihyun, Mitchell, Alyson E.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2012 v.60 no.15 pp. 3874-3881
absorption, apples, applesauce, bioavailability, females, foods, glycosides, humans, males, onions, pharmacokinetics, quercetin, volunteers
A high-throughput method for the extraction and analysis of quercetin in human plasma using 96-well SPE and LC-(ESI)MS/MS (7 min/run) is described. Quercetin exists as a range of glycosides in foods. The dominant types of quercetin glycosides vary depending on genetics (i.e., species and cultivar). Dietary sources include onions and apples (i.e., the peel). Herein the quercetin glycoside composition was determined in a composite standard of dried apple peel and in onion powder. The predominant forms of quercetin in apple peel include quercetin O-arabinoside, 3-O-galactoside, 3-O-glucoside, and 3-O-rhamnoside. In the onion powder, quercetin occurred as the quercetin 3,4′-O-glucoside and 4′-O-glucoside. Pharmacokinetics relating to absorption (Cₘₐₓ, tₘₐₓ, and AUC₀–₂₄ ₕ) and elimination (kₑₗ and t₁/₂) were compared after the consumption of apple peel powder (AP), onion powder (OP), or a mixture of the apple peel and onion powder enriched applesauce (MP) by healthy volunteers (eight females and eight males). The enriched applesauce delivered ∼100 mg of quercetin aglycone equivalents. Consumption of the OP resulted in Cₘₐₓ = 273.2 ± 93.7 ng/mL, tₘₐₓ = 2.0 ± 1.7 h, and t₁/₂ = 14.8 ± 4.8 h, whereas the AP resulted in Cₘₐₓ = 63.8 ± 22.4 ng/mL, tₘₐₓ = 2.9 ± 2.0 h, and t₁/₂ = 65.4 ± 80.0 h. The MP resulted in an intermediate response with Cₘₐₓ = 136.5 ± 45.8 ng/mL, tₘₐₓ = 2.4 ± 1.5 h, and t₁/₂ = 18.7 ± 6.8 h. Consumption of the OP led to faster absorption, higher concentration, and greater bioavailability as compared to the AP. No significant gender-related differences were observed in the absorption of quercetin, whereas significant gender-related differences in the elimination half-time (t₁/₂) were observed.