Ovariectomy lowers urine levels of unconjugated (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, and their methylated metabolites in rats fed grape seed extract

Academic Article


  • Steroid hormones modulate expression of enzymes that metabolize xenobiotics, including dietary supplements. Half of the human population undergoes menopause, yet the effect of this age-related loss of ovarian steroid hormones on the metabolism of dietary supplements has yet to be determined. Grape seed extract (GSE) is a dietary supplement comprised of monomeric and oligomeric catechins and has health benefits in models of age-related diseases. We hypothesized that surgically-induced loss of ovarian hormones would increase methylation, glucuronidation, and/or sulfation of the grape seed polyphenols (+)-catechin and (-)- epicatechin. Fourteen-week-old spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) were ovariectomized (OVX) or sham-OVX. At 17 weeks of age, SHRs were gavaged with vehicle (water) or GSE (300 mg/kg body weight) once daily for 6 days. Urinary excretion of (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, and their metabolites was analyzed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Although total urinary output of (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, and their methylated metabolites was unaffected by OVX, the amounts of (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin and their methylated metabolites that were not conjugated with glucuronic acid or sulfate were lowered by OVX. Specifically, urine from OVX SHRs administered GSE contained 30% higher proportions (91.8% vs. 62.3%) of glucuronidated (+)- catechin and (-)-epicatechin and glucuronidated methyl (+)-catechin and methyl (-)-epicatechin than urine from sham-OVX SHRs. However, there were no differences in urinary levels of total methylated or sulfated catechins in OVX SHRs. This is the first quantitative characterization of metabolites of grape seed polyphenols in a model of menopause; it indicates that ovariectomy causes either an increase in expression and/or activity of select uridine 5′-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase(s).
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    Author List

  • Cutts JK; Peavy TR; Moore DR; Prasain J; Barnes S; Kim H
  • Start Page

  • 129
  • End Page

  • 138
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 3