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Ingested quercetin but not rutin increases accumulation of hepatic β-carotene in BALB/c mice

Authors

  • Noriko Bando,

    1. Department of Food Science, Graduate School of Nutrition and Biosciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan
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  • Naomi Muraki,

    1. Department of Food Science, Graduate School of Nutrition and Biosciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan
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  • Kaeko Murota,

    1. Department of Food Science, Graduate School of Nutrition and Biosciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan
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  • Junji Terao,

    1. Department of Food Science, Graduate School of Nutrition and Biosciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan
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  • Rintaro Yamanishi

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Food Science, Graduate School of Nutrition and Biosciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan
    • Department of Food Science, Graduate School of Nutrition and Biosciences, The University of Tokushima, 3-18-15 Kuramoto-cho, Tokushima-shi, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan Fax: +81-88-633-9376
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Abstract

β-Carotene is a carotenoid with a range of reported health benefits besides vitamin A activity. If the enzymatic conversion of β-carotene to retinal is suppressed in the digestive tract, residual β-carotene that reaches the tissues increases. We evaluated the function of quercetin and rutin (quercetin-3-rutinoside) to increase the accumulation of β-carotene in vitro and in vivo in BALB/c mice. When the conversion of β-carotene by a preparation of the murine small intestine was measured in vitro, the addition of quercetin or rutin considerably inhibited the conversion. When the levels of hepatic β-carotene and retinoids were measured among three groups of mice fed a diet supplemented with β-carotene plus quercetin or rutin or β-carotene alone (four to six mice per group), quercetin increased the level of β-carotene and decreased the level of retinol, whereas rutin did not. These results demonstrate that quercetin can suppress the conversion of β-carotene which develops in the cytosol of small intestinal epithelial cells, and that rutin whose rutinose-moiety prevents being absorbed in the small intestine cannot suppress the conversion in vivo. This study offers a novel insight into the interaction between flavonoids and carotenoids with respect to the health benefits from the latter.

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