Species differences in the aromatization of quinic acid in vivo and the role of gut bacteria

Biochem J. 1970 Feb;116(3):437-43. doi: 10.1042/bj1160437.


1. The fate of (-)-quinic acid has been investigated in 22 species of animals including man. 2. In man and three species of Old World monkeys, i.e. rhesus monkey, baboon and green monkey, oral quinic acid was extensively aromatized (20-60%) and excreted in the urine as hippuric acid, which was determined fluorimetrically. 3. In three species of New World monkeys, i.e. squirrel monkey, spider monkey and capuchin, in three species of lemurs, i.e. bushbaby, slow loris and tree shrew, in the dog, cat, ferret, rabbit, rat, mouse, guinea pig, hamster, lemming, fruit bat, hedgehog and pigeon, oral quinic acid was not extensively aromatized (0-5%). 4. In the rhesus monkey, injected quinic acid was not aromatized, but largely excreted unchanged. 5. In rhesus monkeys pretreated with neomycin to suppress gut flora, the aromatization of oral quinic acid was considerably suppressed. 6. In rats and rhesus monkeys [(14)C]quinic acid was used and this confirmed its low aromatization in rats and its high aromatization in the monkeys. 7. Shikimic acid given orally was excreted as hippuric acid (26-56%) in rhesus monkeys, but not in rats. 8. The results support the view that quinic acid and shikimic acid are aromatized by the gut flora in man and the Old World monkeys.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Carnivora
  • Cats
  • Chiroptera
  • Chromatography
  • Columbidae
  • Cricetinae
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids / metabolism*
  • Dogs
  • Eulipotyphla
  • Female
  • Fluorescence
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Haplorhini
  • Hippurates / urine
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neomycin / pharmacology
  • Primates
  • Quinic Acid / metabolism
  • Quinic Acid / urine
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rodentia
  • Shikimic Acid / metabolism


  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • Hippurates
  • Quinic Acid
  • Shikimic Acid
  • Neomycin