Bioavailability of the flavanone naringenin and its glycosides in rats

Catherine Felgines, Odile Texier, Christine Morand, Claudine Manach, Augustin Scalbert, Françoise Régerat, Christian Rémésy


Naringenin, the predominant flavanone in grapefruit, mainly occurs as glycosides such as naringenin-7- rhamnoglucoside or naringenin-7-glucoside. This study compared kinetics of absorption of naringenin and its glycosides in rats either after a single flavanone-containing meal or after adaptation to a diet for 14 days. Regardless of the diet, circulating metabolites were glucurono- and sulfoconjugated derivatives of naringenin. The kinetics of absorption of naringenin and naringenin-7-glucoside were similar, whereas naringenin-7-rhamnoglucoside exhibited a delay in its intestinal absorption, resulting in decreased bioavailability. After naringenin-7-glucoside feeding, no glucoside was found in the cecum. However, after feeding naringenin-7-rhamnoglucoside, some naringenin-7-rhamnoglucoside accumulated in cecum before being hydrolyzed by intestinal microflora. Adaptation to flavanone diets did not induce accumulation of plasma naringenin. Moreover, flavanone cecal content markedly decreased after adaptation, and almost no naringenin-7-rhamnoglucoside was recovered after naringenin-7-rhamnoglucoside feeding, suggesting that an adaptation of cecal microflora had occurred. Overall, these data indicate that flavanones are efficiently absorbed after feeding to rats and that their bioavailability is related to their glycosidic moiety.

  • naringenin-7-rhamnoglucoside
  • naringenin-7-glucoside
  • intestinal microflora
  • glucurono- and sulfoconjugated derivatives


  • Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: C. Felgines, Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie, Faculté de Pharmacie, 28 place Henri Dunant, BP 38, 63001 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 1, France (E-mail: Catherine.FELGINES{at}

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