Urinary excretion of strawberry anthocyanins is dose dependent for physiological oral doses of fresh fruit



There is considerable interest in coloured fruits and berries as sources of biologically active anthocyanins. To examine the relationship between the oral dose and the amount excreted for anthocyanins from a food source across a physiological range of doses, volunteers were fed, in random order, four portions (100–400 g) of fresh strawberries as part of a standard breakfast. Urine was collected at 2 h intervals up to 8 h, and for the period 8–24 h. Fresh strawberries contained pelargonidin-3-glucoside as the major anthocyanin with smaller amounts of cyanidin-3-glucoside and pelargonidin-3-rutinoside. Anthocyanins were detected in the urine of all volunteers for all doses, predominantly as pelargonidin glucuronide and sulphate metabolites. There was a strong, linear relationship between oral dose and anthocyanin excretion (Pearson's product moment correlation coefficient = 0.692, p < 0.001, n = 40) which indicated that on an average, every additional unit of dose caused 0.0166 units of excretion. Within individuals, dose – excretion data fitted a linear regression model (median R2 = 0.93). We conclude that strawberry anthocyanins are partially bioavailable in humans with a linear relationship between oral dose and urinary excretion for doses up to 400 g fresh fruit.