Absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of apigenin and its glycosides in healthy male adults

Gina Borges, Reedmond Y. Fong, Jodi L. Ensunsa, Jennifer Kimball, Valentina Medici, Javier I. Ottaviani, Alan Crozier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The bioavailability of apigenin and its O-glycosides in humans was investigated with apigenin-4′-glucuronide (Ap-4′-GlcUA), apigenin-7-glucuronide and apigenin-7-sulfate being identified as in vivo metabolites. Apigenin per se was poorly absorbed with metabolites equivalent to 0.5% of intake excreted in urine 0–24 h post-intake. Consumption of a parsley drink containing apigenin-7-O-(2″-O-apiosyl)glucoside resulted in the peak plasma concentration (Cmax) of Ap-4′-GlcUA occurring after 4 h, indicative of absorption in the lower gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Urinary excretion of the three metabolites corresponded to 11.2% of intake. Ingestion of dried powdered parsley leaves with yogurt extended the Cmax of Ap-4′-GlcUA to 6 h. Consumption of chamomile tea containing apigenin-7′-O-glucoside resulted in a 2 h Cmax of Ap-4′-GlcUA, in keeping with absorption in the upper GIT. Urinary excretion was equivalent to 34% of intake. Intake of the parsley drink provided information on intra- and inter-individual variations in the level of excretion of the apigenin metabolites. Clinical trail registration number: This trail was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03526081.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-96
Number of pages7
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - May 20 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Apigenin bioavailability
  • Chamomile tea
  • Intra- and inter-individual variations
  • Matrix effects
  • Parsley

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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