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Assessment of the dietary intake of total flavan-3-ols, monomeric flavan-3-ols, proanthocyanidins and theaflavins in the European Union

  • Anna Vogiatzoglou (a1), Angela A. Mulligan (a2), Robert N. Luben (a2), Marleen A. H. Lentjes (a2), Christian Heiss (a3), Malte Kelm (a3), Marc W. Merx (a3), Jeremy P. E. Spencer (a1), Hagen Schroeter (a4) and Gunter G. C. Kuhnle (a1) (a2)...
Abstract

Dietary interventions with flavan-3-ols have shown beneficial effects on vascular function. The translation of these findings into the context of the health of the general public requires detailed information on habitual dietary intake. However, only limited data are currently available for European populations. Therefore, in the present study, we assessed the habitual intake of flavan-3-ol monomers, proanthocyanidins (PA) and theaflavins in the European Union (EU) and determined their main food sources using the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database. Data for adults aged 18–64 years were available from fourteen European countries, and intake was determined using the FLAVIOLA Flavanol Food Composition Database, developed for the present study and based on the latest US Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases. The mean habitual intake of flavan-3-ol monomers, theaflavins and PA ranged from 181 mg/d (Czech Republic) to 793 mg/d (Ireland). The highest intakes of flavan-3-ol monomers and theaflavins were observed in Ireland (191/505 mg/d) and the lowest intakes in Spain (24/9 mg/d). In contrast, the daily intake of PA was highest in Spain (175 mg/d) and lowest in The Netherlands (96 mg/d). Main sources were tea (62 %), pome fruits (11 %), berries (3 %) and cocoa products (3 %). Tea was the major single contributor to monomer intake (75 %), followed by pome fruits (6 %). Pome fruits were also the main source of PA (28 %). The present study provides important data on the population-based intake of flavanols in the EU and demonstrates that dietary intake amounts for flavan-3-ol monomers, PA and theaflavins vary significantly across European countries. The average habitual intake of flavan-3-ols is considerably below the amounts used in most dietary intervention studies.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: G. G. C. Kuhnle, fax +44 118 378 7708, email g.g.kuhnle@reading.ac.uk
References
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