Concept

Glycyrrhizin

Summary
Glycyrrhizin (glycyrrhizic acid or glycyrrhizinic acid) is the chief sweet-tasting constituent of Glycyrrhiza glabra (liquorice) root. Structurally, it is a saponin used as an emulsifier and gel-forming agent in foodstuffs and cosmetics. Its aglycone is enoxolone. Pharmacokinetics After oral ingestion, glycyrrhizin is hydrolysed to 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid (enoxolone) by intestinal bacteria. After absorption from the gut, 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid is metabolised to 3β-monoglucuronyl-18β-glycyrrhetinic acid in the liver. This metabolite circulates in the bloodstream. Consequently, its oral bioavailability is poor. Most of it is eliminated by bile and only a minor part (0.31–0.67%) by urine. After oral ingestion of 600 mg of glycyrrhizin the metabolite appeared in urine after 1.5 to 14 hours. Maximal concentrations (0.49 to 2.69 mg/L) were achieved after 1.5 to 39 hours and metabolite can be detected in the urine after 2 to 4 days. Flavouring properties
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