Rutin and quercitrin are hydrolysed to quercetin, and robinin is hydrolysed to kaempferol, by faecal flora from healthy subjects. The enzymes required for these hydrolyses, namely alpha-rhamnosidase and beta-galactosidase, were produced by some strains of Bacteroides distasonis; other strains, however, synthesized beta-glucosidase. The last-named enzyme was also elaborated by Bacteroides uniformis and Bacteroides ovatus. All the enzymes were produced constitutively. A cell-free extract of B. distasonis containing beta-glucosidase displayed an enzymic activity of 1 mumol/10 min per 10 mg of protein.

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