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Ayahuasca is a psychoactive beverage that contains the psychoactive compound N,N-dimethyltryptamine and β-carboline alkaloids. This study aims at determining in vitro the bioavailability and bioaccessibility of the main compounds present in decoctions of four individual plants, in a commercial mixture and in four mixtures of two individual plants used in the preparation of Ayahuasca. The samples were subjected to an in vitro digestion process, and the Caco-2 cell line was used as an absorption model. The integrity and permeability of the cell monolayer were evaluated, as well as the cytotoxicity of the extracts. After digestion and cell incubation, the compounds absorbed by the cell monolayer were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to a diode array detector. The results showed that compounds such as N,N-dimethyltryptamine, Harmine, Harmaline, Harmol, Harmalol and Tetrahydroharmine were released from the matrix during the in vitro digestion process, becoming bioaccessible. Similarly, some of these compounds, after being incubated with the cell monolayer, were absorbed, becoming bioavailable. The extracts did not show cytotoxicity after cell incubation, and the integrity and permeability of the cell monolayer were not compromised.


Joana Gonçalves, Miguel Castilho, Tiago Rosado, Ângelo Luís, José Restolho, Nicolás Fernández, Eugenia Gallardo, Ana Paula Duarte. In Vitro Study of the Bioavailability and Bioaccessibility of the Main Compounds Present in Ayahuasca Beverages. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2021 Sep 13;26(18)

PMID: 34577025

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