1. The metabolism of a group of polyphenols related in structure to myricetin (3,5,7,3′,4′,5′-hexahydroxyflavone), including myricetin, myricitrin, 3,4,5-trihydroxyphenylacetic acid, delphinidin, robinetin, tricetin, tricin, malvin and 5,7-dihydroxy-3′,4′,5′-trimethoxyflavone, has been 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. It was shown that the rat intestinal microflora are able to degrade compounds of this group to the ring-fission products observed in urine after oral administration of the specific flavonoid. 3. All flavones and flavonols 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 that included 3′,5′-dihydroxyphenylacyl derivatives. 4. The metabolites 3,5-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, 3-hydroxyphenylacetic acid, 3,5-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid and 3-hydroxyphenylpropionic acid were isolated and identified by chromatographic and spectral methods. 5. On anaerobic incubation in a thioglycollate medium it was shown that intestinal micro-organisms can effect cleavage of glycosidic bonds, ring fission of certain flavonoid molecules showing 3′,4′,5′-trihydroxyphenyl substitution and dehydroxylation of certain flavonoid metabolites. 6. The urinary excretion of the metabolites 3,5-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and 3-hydroxyphenylacetic acid was completely abolished when neomycin-treated rats were used.

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