Direct and indirect measurements of enhanced phenolic bioavailability from litchi pericarp procyanidins by Lactobacillus casei-01
Litchi pericarp procyanidins (LPP) are dietary supplements with high antioxidant activity, but poor oral bioavailability and efficacy. Lactobacillus casei (L. casei-01) can transform flavan-3-ols from litchi pericarp and increase their antioxidant ability; thus, L. casei-01 with LPP was administered to rats for four and eight weeks to study the effect of such a combination on metabolic parameters and on phase II metabolism and detoxification pathways in the liver as an indirect measure for phenolic bioavailability. Our data indicated that the T-AOC of the plasma, the liver GSH-Px and GSH-ST activity, and the expression of UGT and SULT isoforms in the liver of the rats were all enhanced after the eight-week administration compared with those of the control. However, at 1 h after administration the concentration of (−)-epicatechin in the combined system was lower than that obtained after the ingestion of LPP alone, suggesting that L. casei-01 enhances the bioavailability of phenolics from LPP by modulating the transformation to other compounds but not by increasing its absorption in the native form.