PhD Oral Defence of Shima Sadeghi Ekbatan, School of Human Nutrition
Polyphenols have been indicated to exert protective effects against a number of chronic diseases including cancer. The bioactivity of polyphenols depends on their bioaccessibility and bioavailability from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract after undergoing digestion and microbial biotransformation processes followed by first pass intestinal and hepatic metabolism. Despite the functional significance of the polyphenols’ metabolites, there is a paucity of knowledge with regards to microbial biotransformation of polyphenols and the bioactivity of the generated metabolites. The present work performed a series of studies involving the combination of a simulated gut digestion with cell culture systems for the investigation of the biotransformation, bioavailability and bioactivity of commonly consumed polyphenols including chlorogenic, caffeic, ferulic acids and rutin and their metabolites.