European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 329–336 | Cite as

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

  • Clara Lemos
  • Godefridus J. Peters
  • Gerrit Jansen
  • Fátima Martel
  • Conceição Calhau


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 



Alcohol-free beer


Alcohol-free red wine


Alcohol-free white wine


Black tea


Epigallocatechin 3-gallate


3H-folic acid


Green tea


Lager beer


Orange juice




Reduced folate carrier


Red wine


Stout beer


White wine



This work was supported by FCT (SFRH/BD/16883/2004), Programa Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação do Quadro Comunitário de Apoio (POCTI/SAU-FCF/59382/2004) and iBeSa (Instituto de Bebidas e Saúde).


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Copyright information

© Spinger 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clara Lemos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Godefridus J. Peters
    • 2
  • Gerrit Jansen
    • 3
  • Fátima Martel
    • 1
  • Conceição Calhau
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Biochemistry (U38-FCT), Faculty of MedicineUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Dept. of Medical OncologyVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Dept. of RheumatologyVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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