Bioavailability of phenolic acids

  • Sophie Lafay
  • Angel Gil-Izquierdo


Two large classes of phenolic acids were comprised in this review: benzoic acid derivatives and cinnamic acid derivatives. They have been found to be very extended in fruits and vegetables at different concentrations. For example, hydroxycinnamic acids concentration was higher than that found for hydroxybenzoic acids. Concerning their consumption, hydroxycinnamic acids provide larger contributions to the total polyphenol intake than benzoic acid derivatives or flavonoids. This phenolic acid intake is led by the coffee intake since it has very rich concentrations in hydroxycinnamic acids. Moreover, several experimental and epidemiological studies report the protection of phenolic acids against various degenerative diseases. However, despite all these interesting attributions and even if phenolic acids are the main polyphenols consumed, their bioavailability has not received as attention as that flavonoids. This concept is an essential step to understand the health-promoting properties of phenolic acids and to serve as tool to design in vivo and in vitro experiments to know their biological properties. Therefore, a compilation of bioavailability data of phenolic acids have been presented here paying attention to the two types of phenolic acid bioavailability, direct and indirect derived from the direct phenolic acid and flavonoid consumption, respectively. Then, a new relevant concept which may be named as total bioavailability of phenolic acids includes the direct absorption and metabolism of phenolic acids from food consumption and phenolic acids bioavailability as a result of the cleavage on the main skeleton ring of flavonoids by the gut microflora.


Phenolic acid Polyphenol Nutrition Bioavailability Absorption Metabolism Health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Berkem développementMarais Ouest GardonneFrance
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnologia de AlimentosCEBAS (CSIC)MurciaSpain

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