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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 854015, 15 pages
Review Article

Interactions between CYP3A4 and Dietary Polyphenols

Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, 76100 Rehovot, Israel

Received 14 October 2014; Revised 15 December 2014; Accepted 19 December 2014

Academic Editor: Cristina Angeloni

Copyright © 2015 Loai Basheer and Zohar Kerem. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The human cytochrome P450 enzymes (P450s) catalyze oxidative reactions of a broad spectrum of substrates and play a critical role in the metabolism of xenobiotics, such as drugs and dietary compounds. CYP3A4 is known to be the main enzyme involved in the metabolism of drugs and most other xenobiotics. Dietary compounds, of which polyphenolics are the most studied, have been shown to interact with CYP3A4 and alter its expression and activity. Traditionally, the liver was considered the prime site of CYP3A-mediated first-pass metabolic extraction, but in vitro and in vivo studies now suggest that the small intestine can be of equal or even greater importance for the metabolism of polyphenolics and drugs. Recent studies have pointed to the role of gut microbiota in the metabolic fate of polyphenolics in human, suggesting their involvement in the complex interactions between dietary polyphenols and CYP3A4. Last but not least, all the above suggests that coadministration of drugs and foods that are rich in polyphenols is expected to stimulate undesirable clinical consequences. This review focuses on interactions between dietary polyphenols and CYP3A4 as they relate to structural considerations, food-drug interactions, and potential negative consequences of interactions between CYP3A4 and polyphenols.