Food and Chemical Toxicology vol:41 issue:11 pages:1599-607
Stevioside orally administered to pigs was completely converted into steviol by the bacteria of the colon. However, no stevioside or steviol could be detected in the blood of the animals, even not after converting steviol into the (7-methoxycoumarin-4-yl)methyl ester of steviol, a very sensitive fluorescent derivative with a detection limit of about 50 pg. The intestinal transport characteristics of stevioside, rebaudioside A and steviol were also studied in the Caco-2 system. Only a minor fraction of stevioside and rebaudioside A was transported through the Caco-2 cell layer giving a Papp value of 0.16x10(-6) and 0.11x10(-6) cm/s, respectively. The Papp value for the absorptive transport of steviol was about 38.6x10(-6) cm/s while the Papp value for the secretory transport of steviol was only about 5.32x10(-6) cm/s suggesting carrier-mediated transport. The discrepancy between the relatively high absorptive transport of steviol and the lack of steviol in the blood may be explained by the fact that in the Caco-2 study, steviol is applied as a solution facilitating the uptake, whereas in the colon steviol probably is adsorbed to the compounds present in the colon of which the contents is being concentrated by withdrawal of water.