British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Flavanone plasma pharmacokinetics from blood orange juice in human subjects

Claudio Gardanaa1, Serena Guarnieria1, Patrizia Risoa1, Paolo Simonettia1 c1 and Marisa Porrinia1

a1 DiSTAM – Department of Food Science and Microbiology, Division of Human Nutrition, University of Milan Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy


Some blood orange juice (BOJ) flavanones may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, hypolipidaemic, vasoprotective and anticarcinogenic properties. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of hesperetin and naringenin in human subjects after BOJ intake. In a cross-over study, seven healthy female volunteers consumed 150 and 300 ml BOJ corresponding to about 51–102 mg hesperetin and to 6–12 mg naringenin, respectively. Plasma samples were collected before, each hour for 8 h and 24 h after BOJ administration and analysed for their content of hesperetin and naringenin by liquid chromatography–MS/MS. The plasma concentrations of these compounds were dose dependent and the peak concentration (Cmax) was reached in 5·1 (sd 0·6) h after BOJ intake. The Cmax of hesperetin was 43·4 (sd 32·4) and 79·8 (sd 60·1) ng/ml after 150 and 300 ml intake, respectively. For naringenin the plasma peak was 16·4 (sd 11·9) and 34·0 (sd 20·6) ng/ml. Moreover, the conjugated forms of these flavanones represent more than 95 % of the plasma concentration. The results indicate that both hesperetin and naringenin are bioavailable after BOJ intake; naringenin seemingly more so than hesperetin.

(Received November 27 2006)

(Revised January 17 2007)

(Accepted January 18 2007)


c1 *Corresponding author: Professor Paolo Simonetti, fax +39 02 50316071, email


Abbreviations: AUC, area under the curve; BOJ, blood orange juice; Cmax, peak concentration; I.S., internal standard; LC, liquid chromatography