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Dietary quebracho tannins are not absorbed, but increase the antioxidant capacity of liver and plasma in sheep

  • Patricia López-Andrés (a1), Giuseppe Luciano (a2), Valentina Vasta (a2), Trevor M. Gibson (a3), Luisa Biondi (a2), Alessandro Priolo (a2) and Irene Mueller-Harvey (a4)...


A total of sixteen lambs were divided into two groups and fed two different diets. Of these, eight lambs were fed a control diet (C) and eight lambs were fed the C diet supplemented with quebracho tannins (C+T). The objective of the present study was to assess whether dietary quebracho tannins can improve the antioxidant capacity of lamb liver and plasma and if such improvement is due to a direct transfer of phenolic compounds or their metabolites, to the animal tissues. Feed, liver and plasma samples were purified by solid-phase extraction (SPE) and analysed by liquid chromatography–MS for phenolic compounds. Profisitinidin compounds were identified in the C+T diet. However, no phenolic compounds were found in lamb tissues. The liver and the plasma from lambs fed the C+T diet displayed a greater antioxidant capacity than tissues from lambs fed the C diet, but only when samples were not purified with SPE. Profisetinidin tannins from quebracho seem not to be degraded or absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. However, they induced antioxidant effects in animal tissues.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: P. López-Andrés, fax +39 95 234 481, email


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