Reciprocal Interactions between Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and Human Gut Microbiota In Vitro

Zhibin Liu, Wouter J.C. de Bruijn, Marieke E. Bruins, Jean Paul Vincken*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Interaction of tea phenolics with gut microbiota may play an integral role in the health benefits of these bioactive compounds, yet this interaction is not fully understood. Here, the metabolic fate of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and its impact on gut microbiota were integrally investigated viain vitro fermentation. As revealed by ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography hybrid quadrupole Orbitrap mass spectrometry (UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap-MS), EGCG was promptly degraded into a series of metabolites, including 4-phenylbutyric acid, 3-(3',4'-dihydroxyphenyl)propionic acid, and 3-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)propionic acid, through consecutive ester hydrolysis, C-ring opening, A-ring fission, dehydroxylation, and aliphatic chain shortening. Microbiome profiling indicated that, compared to the blank, EGCG treatment resulted in stimulation of the beneficial bacteria Bacteroides, Christensenellaceae, and Bifidobacterium. Additionally, the pathogenic bacteria Fusobacterium varium, Bilophila, and Enterobacteriaceae were inhibited. Furthermore, changes in concentrations of metabolites, including 4-phenylbutyric acid and phenylacetic acid, were strongly correlated with changes in the abundance of specific gut microbiota. These reciprocal interactions between EGCG and gut microbiota may collectively contribute to the health benefits of EGCG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9804-9815
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • 16S rRNA sequencing
  • degradation pathway
  • epigallocatechin-3-gallate
  • gut microbiota
  • UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap-MS

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