Increasing evidence suggests that dietary (poly)phenols and methylxanthines have neuroprotective effects; however, little is known about whether they can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and exert direct effects on the brain. We investigated the presence of (poly)phenol and methylxanthine metabolites in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from 90 individuals at risk of dementia using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and predicted their mechanism of transport across the BBB using in silico modelling techniques. A total of 123 and 127 metabolites were detected in CSF and plasma, respectively. In silico analysis suggests that 5 of the 20 metabolites quantified in CSF can cross the BBB by passive diffusion, while at least 9 metabolites require the aid of cell transporters to cross the BBB. Our results showed that (poly)phenols and methylxanthines are bioavailable, can cross the BBB via passive diffusion or transport carriers, and can reach brain tissues to exert neuroprotective effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8893-8902
Number of pages10
JournalFood & Function
Issue number19
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Sept 2023


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