Transport rates of dietary phytochemicals in cell monolayers is inversely correlated with absorption kinetics in humans

Sophie N.B. Selby-Pham, Simone A. Osborne, Kate S. Howell, Frank R. Dunshea, Louise E. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Dietary phytochemicals promote health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. The Phytochemical Absorption Prediction Model (PCAP) predicts the time required for phytochemicals to reach maximal plasma concentrations (Tmax) in humans based on their lipophilicity and molecular mass. Cell-based transport models have been used to quantify transport rate and efficiency of pharmaceuticals and phytochemicals, however these parameters have not previously been related to the human absorption Tmax. Caco-2/HT29-MTX-E12 monolayers were used to characterise transport of phytochemical standards and extracts and to establish a relationship between the in vitro permeability (Papp) of standards and their in vivo Tmax predicted from the PCAP model. Lipophilic compounds transported through the cell monolayer at relatively faster rates (higher Papp) than hydrophilic compounds, whilst having slower predicted in vivo absorption rates (longer Tmax). The results infer differences between in vitro (cell monolayer) and in vivo (human gastrointestinal tract) absorption kinetics of phytochemicals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Functional Foods
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Caco-2
  • HT29-MTX-E12
  • log P
  • Molecular mass
  • Phytochemical absorption prediction
  • Small intestine

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