Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 133–145 | Cite as

Bioavailability of hydroxycinnamates: a brief review of in vivo and in vitro studies

  • Zhaohui Zhao
  • Mohammed H. MoghadasianEmail author


Hydroxycinnamates including p-coumaric acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, sinapic acid, and their esterified/etherified conjugates such as chlorogenic acids are abundant in cereals, coffee, fruit and vegetables. Studies have shown their potential in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. The impact of these dietary hydroxycinnamates on health depends on their bioavailability. In this article, in vivo and in vitro studies pertaining to bioavailability of hydroxycinnamates are reviewed and discussed. The chemical structures, existing forms, and/or doses of hydroxycinnamates may affect their metabolic fate. Limited studies suggest that the relative bioavailability of hydroxycinnamates may be in the following order: chlorogenic acid < rosmarinic acid < caffeic acid < ferulic acid < p-coumaric acid. Bound hydroxycinnamates generally have lower bioavailability than their monomer counterparts. Further pharmacokinetic and phamacodynamic studies are required to characterize the metabolism of hydroxycinnamates and their potential health impact in humans.


Hydroxycinnamates Phenolic acids Ferulic acid Caffeic acid Chlorogenic acid Pharmacokinetics Absorption Metabolism Antioxidant 





p-Coumaric acid


Caffeic acid


Ferulic acid


Sinapic acid


m-Hydroxyphenylpropionic acid



ZZ is a recipient of Manitoba Health Research Council (MHRC) post-doctoral fellowships.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Nutritional Sciences and the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, St. Boniface Hospital Research CentreUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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