Flavonoid metabolism: The interaction of metabolites and gut microbiota

Kaeko Murota, Yoshimasa Nakamura, Mariko Uehara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

246 Citations (Scopus)


Several dietary flavonoids exhibit anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-osteoporotic activities relevant to prevention of chronic diseases, including lifestyle-related diseases. Dietary flavonoids (glycoside forms) are enzymatically hydrolyzed and absorbed in the intestine, and are conjugated to their glucuronide/sulfate forms by phase II enzymes in epithelial cells and the liver. The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in the metabolism of flavonoids found in foods. Some specific products of bacterial transformation, such as ring-fission products and reduced metabolites, exhibit enhanced properties. Studies on the metabolism of flavonoids by the intestinal microbiota are crucial for understanding the role of these compounds and their impact on our health. This review focused on the metabolic pathways, bioavailability, and physiological role of flavonoids, especially metabolites of quercetin and isoflavone produced by the intestinal microbiota.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-610
Number of pages11
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Equol
  • Flavonoid
  • Microbial metabolism
  • Phase II metabolism
  • Ring-fission products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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