Rosmarinic acid (RA) is contained in various Lamiaceae herbs used commonly as culinary herbs. Although RA has various potent physiological actions, little is known on its bioavailability. We therefore investigated the absorption and metabolism of orally administered RA in rats. After being deprived of food for 12 h, RA (50 mg/kg body weight) or deionized water was administered orally to rats. Blood samples were collected from a cannula inserted in the femoral artery before and at designated time intervals after administration of RA. Urine excreted within 0 to 8 h and 8 to 18 h post-administration was also collected. RA and its related metabolites in plasma and urine were measured by LC-MS after treatment with sulfatase and/or β-glucuronidase. RA, mono-methylated RA (methyl-RA) and m-coumaric acid (COA) were detected in plasma, with peak concentrations being reached at 0.5, 1 and 8 h after RA administration, respectively. RA, methyl-RA, caffeic acid (CAA), ferulic acid (FA) and COA were detected in urine after RA administration. These components in plasma and urine were present predominantly as conjugated forms such as glucuronide or sulfate. The percentage of the original oral dose of RA excreted in the urine within 18 h of administration as free and conjugated forms was 0.44 ± 0.21% for RA, 1.60 ± 0.74% for methyl-RA, 1.06 ± 0.35% for CAA, 1.70 ± 0.45% for FA and 0.67 ± 0.29% for COA. Approximately 83% of the total amount of these metabolites was excreted in the period 8 to 18 h after RA administration. These results suggest that RA was absorbed and metabolized as conjugated and/or methylated forms, and that the majority of RA absorbed was degraded into conjugated and/or methylated forms of CAA, FA and COA before being excreted gradually in the urine.
- Rosmarinic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)