Absorption and urinary excretion of (-)-epicatechin after administration of different levels of cocoa powder or (-)-epicatechin in rats

Seigo Baba, Naomi Osakabe, Midori Natsume, Yuko Muto, Toshio Takizawa, Junji Terao

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90 Citations (Scopus)


(-)-Epicatechin is a major polyphenol component of cocoa powder. The absorption and urinary excretion of (-)-epicatechin following administration of different levels of either cocoa powder (150, 750, and 1500 mg/kg) or (-)-epicatechin (1, 5, and 10 mg/kg) were evaluated in rats. Both the sum of plasma (-)-epicatechin metabolites at 1 h postadministration and peak plasma concentrations increased in a dose-dependent fashion. The sum of (-)-epicatechin metabolites in urine, excreted within 18 h postadministration, also increased with dose. Moreover, the sum of (-)-epicatechin metabolites excreted in urine reached the same level in both (-)-epicatechin and cocoa powder administration groups for equivalent amounts of (-)-epicatechin. These results suggest that, in the dose range examined in this study, bioavailability of (-)-epicatechin following administration of either (-)-epicatechin or cocoa powder shows dose dependence and that the various compounds present in cocoa powder have little effect on the bioavailability of (-)-epicatechin in cocoa powder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6050-6056
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • (-)-Epicatechin
  • Absorption
  • Cocoa powder
  • Excretion
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)

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