Bioavailability of selected phytochemicals in the extracts of fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis), tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum) and eggplant (Solanum melongena)
Background: Enough information about the actual amount of individual phytochemicals in vegetables and the amount absorbed and utilized is not known.
Objective: This study evaluated flavonoid, saponin and phenol content of aqueous extracts of tomato, fluted pumpkin and eggplant as well as the bioavailability of these phytochemicals in rat.
Methods: The phytochemical content of the vegetable extracts and the serum, faecal and urinary phytochemicals were determined using standard procedures.
Result: The flavonoid content of tomato, fluted pumpkin and eggplant extracts were 90.23±0.04mg/100ml, 76.13±0.02mg/100ml and 14.34±0.02mg/100ml, respectively. The eggplant extracts had the highest saponin (73.29±0.46mg/100ml) and phenol (158.14±0.05mg/100ml) content. The rats fed tomato extracts had the highest intake (24.08±0.00mg) and tissue store (21.88±0.04) of flavonoid relative to the other extracts. The serum saponins for rats fed eggplant (0.25±0.05mg) extract was comparable to those rats fed tomato (0.22±0.04mg) and fluted pumpkin (0.26±0.05mg) extracts regardless of high intake (17.77±0.01mg). However, they had the highest tissue saponin (16.87±0.05mg). The group of rats fed the fluted pumpkin extract had the highest serum phenol (0.49±0.06mg).
Conclusion: The vegetables can be considered good sources of phytochemical since their extracts were rich in the phytochemical studied.