The flavonoids (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCg) and (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate (ECg) are major components of green tea and show numerous biological effects. We investigated the glucuronidation of these compounds and of quercetin by microsomes. Quercetin was almost fully glucuronidated by liver microsomes after 3 h, whereas ECg and ECGg were conjugated to a lesser extent (12.2 ± 0.2 and 7.5 ± 0.2%, respectively). The intestinal microsomes also glucuronidated quercetin much more efficiently than ECg and EGCg. Although the rates were lower than quercetin, intestinal microsomes exhibited higher activity on the galloyl group of ECg and EGCg compared to the flavonoid ring, whereas hepatic glucuronidation was higher on the flavonoid ring of EGCg and ECg compared to the galloyl groups. The low glucuronidation rates could partially explain why these flavanols are present in plasma as unconjugated forms.
- Green tea