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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Little Rock, Arkansas » Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #195529

Title: FLAVONOID METABOLISM AND CHALLENGES TO UNDERSTANDING MECHANISMS OF HEALTH EFFECTS

Author
item Prior, Ronald
item WU, XIANLI
item GU, LIWEI

Submitted to: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2006
Publication Date: 12/27/2006
Citation: Prior, R.L., Wu, X., Gu, L. 2006. Flavonoid metabolism and challenges to understanding mechanisms of health effects. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 86(15):2487-2491.

Interpretive Summary: Flavonoids are a class of compounds that are found in fruits and vegetables and are often considered to be responsible for the health effects that consumption of fruits and vegetables provide. This perspective paper provides a brief review of the literature in the area of flavonoid metabolism and highlights some of the challenges that remain in terms of understanding mechanisms whereby these compounds might provide health benefits. It is becoming clear that study of the health effects of flavonoids is going to require a multi-discipline approach in order to fully understand the often complex chemistry of the flavonoids as well as the biology and health effects. Future research needs increased focus on metabolism of flavonoids in the gut, the compounds that are being absorbed, and the concentrations and forms of the flavonoids and their metabolites that are present in various tissues. Careful selection of the animal species and/or cell culture system that has most relevance to human biology is also critical.

Technical Abstract: This invited perspective paper provides a brief review of the literature in the area of flavonoid metabolism and highlights some of the challenges that remain in terms of understanding mechanisms whereby these compounds might provide health benefits. It is becoming clear that study of the health effects of flavonoids is going to require a multi-discipline approach in order to fully understand the often complex chemistry of the flavonoids as well as the biology and health effects. Future research needs increased focus on metabolism of flavonoids in the gut, the compounds that are being absorbed, and the concentrations and forms of the flavonoids and their metabolites that are present in various tissues. Careful selection of the animal species and/or cell culture system that has most relevance to human biology is also critical.