Author(s): Hertog MG, Hollman PC, Katan MB, Kromhout D
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Abstract Flavonoids are strong antioxidants that occur naturally in foods and can inhibit carcinogenesis in rodents. Accurate data on population-wide intakes of flavonoids are not available. Here, using data of the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 1987-1988, we report the intake of the potentially anticarcinogenic flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, apigenin, and luteolin among 4,112 adults. The flavonoid content of vegetables, fruits, and beverages was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. In all subjects, average intake of all flavonoids combined was 23 mg/day. The most important flavonoid was the flavonol quercetin (mean intake 16 mg/day). The most important sources of flavonoids were tea (48\% of total intake), onions (29\%), and apples (7\%). Flavonoid intake did not vary between seasons; it was not correlated with total energy intake (r = 0.001), and it was only weakly correlated with the intake of vitamin A (retinol equivalents, r = 0.14), dietary fiber (r = 0.21), and vitamin C (r = 0.26). Our use of new analytic technology suggests that in the past flavonoid intake has been overestimated fivefold. However, on a milligram-per-day basis, the intake of the antioxidant flavonoids still exceeded that of the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin E. Thus flavonoids represent an important source of antioxidants in the human diet.
This article was published in Nutr Cancer
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability