Bioavailability of anthocyanins and ellagitannins following consumption of raspberries by healthy humans and subjects with an ileostomy

J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):3933-9. doi: 10.1021/jf100315d.


The fate of anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and ellagitannins was studied following the consumption of 300 g of raspberries by healthy human volunteers and subjects with an ileostomy. Postingestion plasma and urine from the former and ileal fluid and urine from the latter group were collected and analyzed by HPLC-PDA-MS(2). Plasma from the healthy volunteers did not contain detectable quantities of either the native raspberry polyphenolics or their metabolites. The three main raspberry anthocyanins were excreted in urine in both healthy and ileostomy volunteers 0-7 h after ingestion, in quantities corresponding to <0.1% of intake. This indicates a low level of absorption in the small intestine. With ileostomy volunteers 40% of anthocyanins and 23% of the ellagitannin sanguiin H-6 were recovered in ileal fluid with the main excretion period being the first 4 h after raspberry consumption. The recovery of ellagic acid in ileal fluid was 241%, indicating hydrolysis of ellagitannins in the stomach and/or the small intestine. Urinary excretion of ellagic acid and an ellagic acid-O-glucuronide was <1% of intake. No intact or conjugated forms of ellagitannins were detected in urine from either healthy subjects or ileostomy volunteers. However, in healthy subjects, but not the ileostomists, ellagitannins were catabolized with the appearance of urolithin A-O-glucuronide, two of its isomers, and urolithin B-O-glucuronide in urine collected 7-48 h after raspberry consumption. There was marked variation in the urolithin profile of individual volunteers, indicating differences in the colonic microflora responsible for ellagitannin degradation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthocyanins / administration & dosage
  • Anthocyanins / blood
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anthocyanins / urine
  • Biological Availability
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / administration & dosage
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / blood
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / urine
  • Ileostomy
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / blood
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacokinetics*
  • Plant Extracts / urine
  • Rosaceae / chemistry*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins
  • Plant Extracts