European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 329-336

First online:

Modulation of folate uptake in cultured human colon adenocarcinoma Caco-2 cells by dietary compounds

  • Clara LemosAffiliated withDept. of Biochemistry (U38-FCT), Faculty of Medicine, University of PortoDept. of Medical Oncology, VU University Medical Center Email author 
  • , Godefridus J. PetersAffiliated withDept. of Medical Oncology, VU University Medical Center
  • , Gerrit JansenAffiliated withDept. of Rheumatology, VU University Medical Center
  • , Fátima MartelAffiliated withDept. of Biochemistry (U38-FCT), Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto
  • , Conceição CalhauAffiliated withDept. of Biochemistry (U38-FCT), Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto

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Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin with a crucial role in the synthesis and methylation of DNA and in the metabolism of several amino acids. In the present study we investigated whether beverages like wine, beer and tea, or some of their specific constituents, affect the intestinal uptake of 3H-folic acid or 3H-methotrexate (an antifolate). All tested beverages significantly inhibited the uptake of 3H-folic acid by Caco-2 cells. Most of these beverages, with the exception of wines (not tested), also inhibited 3H-methotrexate uptake in these cells. Additionally, ethanol, when tested separately, inhibited the uptake of both compounds. Some of the tested phenolic compounds, namely myricetin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and isoxanthohumol, markedly inhibited 3H-folic acid uptake. Myricetin and EGCG also had a concentration-dependent inhibitory effect upon the uptake of 3H-methotrexate by Caco-2 cells. Resveratrol, quercetin and kaempferol were able to inhibit the transport of both compounds, but only in the concentration of 100 µM. In conclusion, dietary constituents may impact on intestinal folate uptake, as here shown for phenolic compounds.


beverages Caco-2 cells flavonoids folate intestinal transport