Intestinal absorption of luteolin and luteolin 7-O-beta-glucoside in rats and humans

FEBS Lett. 1998 Nov 6;438(3):220-4. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(98)01304-0.


In this study, we investigated the intestinal absorption of luteolin and luteolin 7-O-beta-glucoside in rats by HPLC. The absorption analysis using rat everted small intestine demonstrated that luteolin was converted to glucuronides during passing through the intestinal mucosa and that luteolin 7-O-beta-glucoside was absorbed after hydrolysis to luteolin. Free luteolin, its conjugates and methylated conjugates were present in rat plasma after dosing. This suggests that some luteolin can escape the intestinal conjugation and the hepatic sulfation/methylation. LC/MS analysis showed that the main conjugate which circulates in the blood was a monoglucuronide of the unchanged aglycone. Luteolin in propyleneglycol was absorbed more rapidly than that in 0.5% carboxymethyl cellulose. The plasma concentration of luteolin and its conjugates reached the highest level 15 min and 30 min after dosing with luteolin in propyleneglycol, respectively. HPLC analysis also allowed us to demonstrate the presence of free luteolin and its monoglucuronide in human serum after ingestion of luteolin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Flavonoids / blood
  • Flavonoids / pharmacokinetics*
  • Glucosides / blood
  • Glucosides / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / physiology*
  • Jejunum / physiology*
  • Luteolin
  • Male
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Flavonoids
  • Glucosides
  • Propylene Glycol
  • luteolin-7-glucoside
  • Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium
  • Luteolin