Metabolic disposition and biological significance of simple phenols of dietary origin: hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol

Jose Rodríguez-Morató, Anna Boronat, Aristotelis Kotronoulas, Mitona Pujadas, Antoni Pastor, Eulalia Olesti, Clara Pérez-Mañá, Olha Khymenets, Montserrat Fitó, Magí Farré, Rafael de la Torre

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol are dietary phenolic compounds present in virgin olive oil and wine. Both compounds are also endogenously synthesized in our body as byproducts of dopamine and tyramine metabolisms, respectively. Over the last decades, research into hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol has experienced an increasing interest due to the role that these compounds may play in the prevention of certain pathologies (e.g. cardiovascular, metabolic, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer). The translation of promising in vitro and in vivo biological effects from preclinical studies to the context of human disease prevention initially depends on whether the dose ingested becomes available at the site of action. In this regard, information regarding the bioavailability and metabolic disposition of hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol is of most importance to evaluate the impact they may have on human health. In this review, we discuss and summarize the state of the art of the scientific evidence regarding the processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of both hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol. We also examine the impact of these compounds and their metabolites on biological activity in terms of beneficial health effects. Finally, we evaluate the different analytical approaches that have been developed to measure the plasma and urinary levels of hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol and their metabolites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-236
JournalDrug Metabolism Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2016


  • cardiovascular prevention
  • dopamine
  • ethanol
  • Hydroxytyrosol
  • Mediterranean Diet
  • phenolic compounds
  • red wine
  • tyramine
  • tyrosol
  • virgin olive oil


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