Alkylresorcinols (AR) are amphiphilic 1,3-dihydroxy-5-alkyl phenolic lipids. AR in food are only found in the outer layers of wheat and rye grains, and in whole grains are present at concentrations of 500–1000 μg/g. In wheat and rye, there are five main homologues, differing in the length of the odd-numbered alkyl chain (from seventeen to twenty-five C atoms long). Because AR may be bioactive, and might serve as biomarkers for these cereals, their absorption was investigated in model experiments with pigs and rats. Pigs with a cannula in the terminal ileum were fed four diets containing rye fractions with different levels of AR and the ileal effluents were analysed. The ileal recovery of AR was found to vary between 21 and 40 %, with no major difference between different chain-length homologues. The absorption of AR by rats was investigated by feeding 14C-labelled heneicosylresorcinol (C21:0). Of the total activity, about 34% was recovered in the urine, showing that the labelled AR was absorbed and metabolised by rats. AR were mostly cleared from rats by 60h. It is concluded that AR are absorbed in the small intestine of single-stomached animals and excreted in metabolised form in the urine, and might contribute to the nutritional qualities of wholegrain wheat and rye diets.