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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Components and Health Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #204206

Title: The Effect of Dose Size on Bioavailability of Acylated and Nonacylated Anthocyanins from Red Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata)

item Charron, Craig
item Clevidence, Beverly
item Britz, Steven
item Novotny, Janet

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/13/2007
Publication Date: 6/27/2007
Citation: Charron, C.S., Clevidence, B.A., Britz, S.J., Novotny Dura, J. 2007. The effect of dose size on bioavailability of acylated and nonacylated anthocyanins from red cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 55(13):5354-5362.

Interpretive Summary: Many of the blue, purple, and red colors of fruits and vegetables result from healthful phytonutrients called anthocyanins. Consumption of foods containing these anthocyanin pigments may provide cancer protection and suppression, improve brain function, and promote cardiovascular health. Red cabbage is rich in anthocyanins, and it is these healthful pigments that give red cabbage its color. We studied the pigments in red cabbage and found thirty-six different forms, eight of which had not been observed previously. We then conducted a clinical nutrition study to show that anthocyanins from steamed red cabbage are absorbed as well as those from other fruits and vegetables. Because of the wide variety of anthocyanin pigments in the red cabbage, we were also able to identify pigment structural patterns that increased or decreased pigment absorption. In addition, we showed that the body's ability to absorb anthocyanin pigments from red cabbage is not saturated by large serving sizes. These results will be used by nutrition scientists to evaluate the healthful properties of individual anthocyanins and by plant scientists to develop red cabbage cultivars with optimal anthocyanin content. Health professionals will use these results to make dietary recommendations based on the beneficial health properties of red cabbage.

Technical Abstract: Recent studies indicate that anthocyanin (ACN) intake conveys a variety of health benefits, which depend on absorption and metabolic mechanisms that deliver ACNs and their bioactive metabolites to responsive tissues. We evaluated red cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata) ACN bioavailability as reflected by urinary excretion of ACNs and ACN metabolites. Twelve volunteers consumed 100, 200, and 300 g of steamed red cabbage (containing 1.38 micromol of ACNs/g cabbage) in a crossover design. ACN concentration in cabbage extract and urine was measured by HPLC-MS/MS. Six nonacylated and 30 acylated ACNs were detected in red cabbage, and 3 nonacylated ACNs, 8 acylated ACNs, and 4 metabolites were present in urine. Mean 24-h excretion of intact ACNs increased linearly from 45 (100-g dose) to 65 micromol (300-g dose) for acylated ACNs and 52 (100-g dose) to 79 micromol (300-g dose) for nonacylated ACNs. Urinary recovery of intact ACNs (% of ACN intake) decreased linearly from 0.041% (100-g dose) to 0.019% (300-g dose) for acylated ACNs and from 0.176% (100-g dose) to 0.085% (300-g dose) for nonacylated ACNs. ACN metabolites consisted of glucuronidated and methylated ACNs. Our results show that red cabbage ACNs were excreted in both intact and metabolized forms and that recovery of nonacylated ACNs in urine was over 4-fold that of acylated ACNs.