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Microbial and dietary factors associated with the 8-prenylnaringenin producer phenotype: a dietary intervention trial with fifty healthy post-menopausal Caucasian women

  • Selin Bolca (a1) (a2), Sam Possemiers (a1), Veerle Maervoet (a1), Inge Huybrechts (a3), Arne Heyerick (a2), Stefaan Vervarcke (a4), Herman Depypere (a5), Denis De Keukeleire (a2), Marc Bracke (a6), Stefaan De Henauw (a3), Willy Verstraete (a1) and Tom Van de Wiele (a1)...


Hop-derived food supplements and beers contain the prenylflavonoids xanthohumol (X), isoxanthohumol (IX) and the very potent phyto-oestrogen (plant-derived oestrogen mimic) 8-prenylnaringenin (8-PN). The weakly oestrogenic IX can be bioactivated via O-demethylation to 8-PN. Since IX usually predominates over 8-PN, human subjects may be exposed to increased doses of 8-PN. A dietary intervention trial with fifty healthy post-menopausal Caucasian women was undertaken. After a 4 d washout period, participants delivered faeces, blank urine and breath samples. Next, they started a 5 d treatment with hop-based supplements that were administered three times per d and on the last day, a 24 h urine sample was collected. A semi-quantitative FFQ was used to estimate fat, fibre, alcohol, caffeine and theobromine intakes. The recoveries of IX, 8-PN and X in the urine were low and considerable inter-individual variations were observed. A five-fold increase in the dosage of IX without change in 8-PN concentration resulted in a significant lower IX recovery and a higher 8-PN recovery. Classification of the subjects into poor (60 %), moderate (25 %) and strong (15 %) 8-PN producers based on either urinary excretion or microbial bioactivation capacity gave comparable results. Recent antibiotic therapy seemed to affect the 8-PN production negatively. A positive trend between methane excretion and 8-PN production was observed. Strong 8-PN producers consumed less alcohol and had a higher theobromine intake. From this study we conclude that in vivoO-demethylation of IX increases the oestrogenic potency of hop-derived products.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Tom Van de Wiele, fax +32 9 264 62 48, email


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British Journal of Nutrition
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