Human urine: epicatechin metabolites and antioxidant activity after cocoa beverage intake

Free Radic Res. 2007 Aug;41(8):943-9. doi: 10.1080/10715760701435236.


Associations between cocoa consumption in humans, excreted metabolites and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) have been scarcely investigated. The aims of the study were to investigate the epicatechin (( - )-Ec) metabolites excreted in urine samples after an intake of 40 g of cocoa powder along with the TAC of these urine samples and the relation between both the analyses. Each of the 21 volunteers received two interventions, one with a polyphenol-rich food (PRF) and one with a polyphenol-free food (PFF) in a randomized cross-over study. Urine samples were taken before and during 24 h at 0-6, 6-12 and 12-24 h periods after test intake. The excreted ( - )-Ec metabolites and the TAC were determined in urine samples by LC-MS/MS and TEAC assay, respectively. The maximum excretion of ( - )-Ec metabolites and the maximum TAC value were observed in urine samples excreted between 6 and 12 h after PRF consumption. Significance of TAC increase was found in urine samples excreted during 0-6 and 6-12 h (66.6 and 72.67%, respectively, with respect to the 0 h).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Beverages*
  • Cacao / metabolism*
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / metabolism*
  • Catechin / urine
  • Female
  • Glucuronides / urine*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sulfuric Acid Esters / urine*
  • Urinalysis


  • Antioxidants
  • Glucuronides
  • Sulfuric Acid Esters
  • epicatechin sulfate
  • epicatechin-glucuronide
  • Catechin