Mind the gap - deficits in our knowledge of aspects impacting bioavailability of phytochemicals and their metabolites - a position paper focusing on carotenoids and polyphenols
Reviewartikel, 2015

Various secondary plant metabolites or phytochemicals, including polyphenols and carotenoids, have been associated with a variety of health benefits, such as reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and several types of cancer, most likely due to their involvement in ameliorating inflammatory and oxidative stress. However, discrepancies exist between their putative effects when comparing observational and intervention studies, especially when using pure compounds. These discrepancies may in part be explained by differences in intake levels and their bioavailability. Prior to exerting their bioactivity, these compounds must be made bioavailable, and considerable differences may arise due to their their matrix release, changes during digestion, uptake, metabolism, and biodistribution, even before considering dose and host related factors. Though many insights have been gained on factors affecting secondary plant metabolite bioavailability, many gaps still exist in our knowledge. In this position paper, we highlight several major gaps in our understanding of phytochemical bioavailability, including effects of food processing, changes during digestion, involvement of cellular transporters in influx/efflux through the gastrointestinal epithelium, changes during colonic fermentation, and their phase I and phase II metabolism following absorption.


Food processing

Mixed diet




T. Bohn

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology

Gordon J. McDougall

The James Hutton Institute

Amparo Alegria

Universitat de Valencia

Marie Alminger

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Livsmedelsvetenskap

Eva Arrigoni

Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Changins-Wadenswil

Anna-Marja Aura

Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus (VTT)

Catarina Brito

Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnologica

Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Antonio Cilla

Universitat de Valencia

Sedef N. El

Ege Universitesi

S. Karakaya

Ege Universitesi

Marie C. Martinez-Cuesta

Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias de la Alimentación CIAL (CSIC-UAM)

C. N. Santos

Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnologica

Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Molecular Nutrition and Food Research

16134125 (ISSN) 16134133 (eISSN)

Vol. 59 7 1307-13231-17-


Annan teknik

Biokemi och molekylärbiologi

Annan kemi



Grundläggande vetenskaper


Livsvetenskaper och teknik (2010-2018)



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