A series of crocetin glycosides (crocins) are the main pigment of the stigmas of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and the fruits of gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides Ellis). Although numerous studies have demonstrated that crocetin and crocins have a variety of biological functions, the metabolism of dietary crocetin and crocins remains unknown. In the present study, we investigated the intestinal absorption of orally administered crocetin and crocins in mice. Orally administered crocetin was rapidly absorbed into the blood circulation and was present in plasma as an intact free form and as glucuronide conjugates (crocetin-monoglucuronide and -diglucuronide). Crocetin and its glucuronide conjugates were also found in crocins-administered mouse plasma, whereas intact crocins (glycoside forms) were not detected. These results indicate that orally administered crocins are hydrolyzed to crocetin before or during intestinal absorption, and absorbed crocetin is partly metabolized to mono- and diglucuronide conjugates.
- Crocus sativus
- Gardenia jasminoides
- Intestinal absorption
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)