1. The metabolism of a group of flavonoid compounds related in structure to apigenin (4′,5,7-trihydroxyflavone) and including apigenin, apiin, naringin, phlorrhizin, acacetin, kaempferol, robinin, chrysin, tectochrysin and 4′,7-dihydroxyflavone, was studied both in vivo after oral administration to the rat, and in vitro in cultures of micro-organisms derived from the intestine of the rat. 2. The rat intestinal microflora is capable of effecting degradation of flavonoid compounds to metabolites observed in the urine after oral administration of the specific flavonoid. 3. All compounds possessing free 5- and 7-hydroxyl groups in the A ring and a free 4′-hydroxyl group in the B ring gave rise to ring-fission products, which included 4′-hydroxyphenylacyl derivatives. 4. On anaerobic incubation in a thioglycollate medium, intestinal micro-organisms can effect flavonoid-ring fission, cleavage of glycosidic bonds and the reduction of double bonds in the side chains of certain metabolites. 5. Two flavonoids (chrysin and tectochrysin) undergo hydroxylation in the 4′-position in vivo but not during incubation with the intestinal microflora in vitro. 6. Observations on the metabolism of other compounds substituted in the 4′-position, e.g. epiafzelechin, pelargonin and the isoflavones, genistein, biochanin A, daidzein and formononetin, by the intestinal microflora of the rat are also reported.

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