The concentration and absorption of the nine phenolic acids of wheat were measured in a model experiment with catheterized pigs fed whole grain wheat and wheat aleurone diets. Six pigs in a repeated crossover design were fitted with catheters in the portal vein and mesenteric artery to study the absorption of phenolic acids. The difference between the artery and the vein for all phenolic acids was small, indicating that the release of phenolic acids in the large intestine was not sufficient to create a porto-arterial concentration difference. Although, the porto-arterial difference was small, their concentrations in the plasma and the absorption profiles differed between cinnamic and benzoic acid derivatives. Cinnamic acids derivatives such as ferulic acid and caffeic acid had maximum plasma concentration of 82 ± 20 and 200 ± 7 nM, respectively, and their absorption profiles differed depending on the diet consumed. Benzoic acid derivatives showed low concentration in the plasma (<30 nM) and in the diets. The exception was p-hydroxybenzoic acid, with a plasma concentration (4 ± 0.4 μM), much higher than the other plant phenolic acids, likely because it is an intermediate in the phenolic acid metabolism. It was concluded that plant phenolic acids undergo extensive interconversion in the colon and that their absorption profiles reflected their low bioavailability in the plant matrix.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2013, Vol 61, Issue 37, p. 8842-8850