Inhibitory Effects of Juices Prepared from Individual Vegetables on CYP3A4 Activity in Recombinant CYP3A4 and LS180 Cells

Biol Pharm Bull. 2017;40(9):1561-1565. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b17-00116.


Human intestinal absorption and drug metabolism vary to a large extent among individuals. For example, CYP3A4 activity has large individual variation that cannot be attributed to only genetic differences. Various flavonoids in vegetables, such as kaempferol and quercetin, possess inhibitory effects, and some vegetable and fruit juices have also been found to inhibit CYP3A4 activity. Therefore, differences in daily intake of flavonoid-containing vegetables may induce individual variation in intestinal bioavailability. To identify a vegetable that strongly inhibits CYP3A4, we investigated the effects of juices, prepared from individual vegetables, on CYP3A4 activity using recombinant CYP3A4 and LS180 cells in this study. Nine vegetable juices (cabbage, Japanese radish, onion, tomato, eggplant, carrot, Chinese cabbage, green pepper, and lettuce), were prepared and recombinant CYP3A4 and LS180 cells were used for evaluation of CYP3A4 activity. Metabolism to 6β-hydroxytestosterone by recombinant CYP3A4 was strongly inhibited by cabbage, onion, and green pepper juices, and cabbage and green pepper juices significantly inhibited CYP3A4 activity in a preincubation time-dependent manner. In addition, CYP3A4 activity in LS180 cells was significantly inhibited by cabbage and onion juices. In conclusion, this study showed that juices prepared from some individual vegetables could significantly inhibit CYP3A4 activity. Therefore, variation in the daily intake of vegetables such as cabbage and onion may be one of the factors responsible for individual differences in intestinal bioavailability.

Keywords: CYP; drug–food interaction; individual variation; inhibition; vegetable juice.

MeSH terms

  • Beverages*
  • Biological Availability
  • Cell Line
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A / metabolism*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxytestosterones / metabolism
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Vegetables / chemistry*


  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A Inhibitors
  • Hydroxytestosterones
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Plant Extracts
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • 6 beta-hydroxytestosterone
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • CYP3A4 protein, human