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Peter Kappel Theil

Absorption of plant lignans from cereals in an experimental pig model

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Plant lignans are diphenolic compounds ingested with whole grains and seeds and converted to enterolignans by the colonic microbiota. In the present study, we investigated absorption and metabolism of plant lignans and enterolignans in vivo after consumption of cereal-based diets. Six pigs fitted with catheters in the mesenteric artery and portal vein and with a flow probe attached to the portal vein along with twenty pigs for quantitative collection of urine were used for this study. The animals were fed bread based on wheat flour low in plant lignans and three lignan-rich breads based on whole-wheat grain, wheat aleurone flour or rye aleurone flour. Plant lignans and enterolignans in plasma were monitored daily at fast after 0-3 d of lignan-rich intake, and on the 4th day of lignan-rich intake a 10-h profile was completed. Urine samples were collected after 11 d of lignan-rich diet consumption. The concentrations of plant lignans were low at fast, and was 1·2-2·6 nmol/l after switching from the low-lignan diet to the lignan-rich diets. However, on the profile day, the concentration and quantitative absorption of plant lignans increased significantly from 33 nmol/h at fast to 310 nmol/h 0-2·5 h after ingestion with a gradual increase in the following periods. Quantitatively, the absorption of plant lignans across diets amounted to 7 % of ingested plant lignans, whereas the urinary excretion of plant lignans was 3 % across diets. In conclusion, there is a substantial postprandial uptake of plant lignans from cereals, suggesting that plant lignans are absorbed from the small intestine.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Pages (from-to)1711-20
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

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