In vitro metabolism of plant lignans: New precursors of mammalian lignans enterolactone and enterodiol

Satu Heinonen, Tarja Nurmi, Kirsi Liukkonen, Kaisa Poutanen (Corresponding Author), Kristiina Wähälä, Takeshi Deyama, Sansei Nishibe, Herman Adlercreutz (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    443 Citations (Scopus)


    The metabolism of the plant lignans matairesinol, secoisolariciresinol, pinoresinol, syringaresinol, arctigenin, 7-hydroxymatairesinol, isolariciresinol, and lariciresinol by human fecal microflora was investigated to study their properties as mammalian lignan precursors. The quantitative analyses of lignan precursors and the mammalian lignans enterolactone and enterodiol were performed by HPLC with coulometric electrode array detector. The metabolic products, including mammalian lignans, were characterized as trimethylsilyl derivatives by gas chromatography−mass spectrometry. Matairesinol, secoisolariciresinol, lariciresinol, and pinoresinol were converted to mammalian lignans only. Several metabolites were isolated and tentatively identified as for syringaresinol and arctigenin in addition to the mammalian lignans. Metabolites of 7-hydroxymatairesinol were characterized as enterolactone and 7-hydroxyenterolactone by comparison with authentic reference compounds. A metabolic scheme describing the conversion of the most abundant new mammalian lignan precursors, pinoresinol and lariciresinol, is presented.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3178-3186
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2001
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Phytoestrogens
    • lignans
    • matairesinol
    • secoisolariciresinol
    • lariciresinol
    • pinoresinol
    • syringaresinol
    • isolariciresinol
    • arctigenin
    • 7-hydroxymatairesinol
    • mammalian lignans
    • enterolactone
    • enterodiol


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