Volume 70 (2006) Issue 7 Pages 1681-1687
Cranberry, which is rich in polyphenols, including anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, has been found to have various effects beneficial to human health, including prevention of urinary tract infections. These effects have been associated with polyphenols in the fruit. We investigated the excretion of anthocyanins in human urine after ingestion of cranberry juice. Eleven healthy volunteers consumed 200 ml of cranberry juice containing 650.8 μg total anthocyanins. Urine samples were collected within 24 h before and after consumption. Six of 12 anthocyanins identified in cranberry were quantified in human urine by HPLC coupled with electrospray ionization and tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC–ESI–MS–MS). Among these, peonidin 3-O-galactoside, the second most plentiful anthocyanin in the juice, was found most abundantly in urine within 24 h, corresponding to 41.5 nmol (56.1% of total anthocyanins). The urinary levels of anthocyanins reached a maximum between 3 and 6 h after ingestion, and the recovery of total anthocyanins in the urine over 24 h was estimated to be 5.0% of the amount consumed. This study found high absorption and excretion of cranberry anthocyanins in human urine.