Dietary polyphenol intake in Europe: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study
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Polyphenols are plant secondary metabolites with a large variability in their chemical structure and dietary occurrence that have been associated with some protective effects against several chronic diseases. To date, limited data exist on intake of polyphenols in populations. The current cross-sectional analysis aimed at estimating dietary intakes of all currently known individual polyphenols and total intake per class and subclass, and to identify their main food sources in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort.
Dietary data at baseline were collected using a standardized 24-h dietary recall software administered to 36,037 adult subjects. Dietary data were linked with Phenol-Explorer, a database with data on 502 individual polyphenols in 452 foods and data on polyphenol losses due to cooking and food processing.
Mean total polyphenol intake was the highest in Aarhus—Denmark (1786 mg/day in men and 1626 mg/day in women) and the lowest in Greece (744 mg/day in men and 584 mg/day in women). When dividing the subjects into three regions, the highest intake of total polyphenols was observed in the UK health-conscious group, followed by non-Mediterranean (non-MED) and MED countries. The main polyphenol contributors were phenolic acids (52.5–56.9 %), except in men from MED countries and in the UK health-conscious group where they were flavonoids (49.1–61.7 %). Coffee, tea, and fruits were the most important food sources of total polyphenols. A total of 437 different individual polyphenols were consumed, including 94 consumed at a level >1 mg/day. The most abundant ones were the caffeoylquinic acids and the proanthocyanidin oligomers and polymers.
This study describes the large number of dietary individual polyphenols consumed and the high variability of their intakes between European populations, particularly between MED and non-MED countries.
KeywordsPolyphenols Dietary intake Food sources EPIC
24-h dietary recall
European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition
SUpplémentation en VItamines et Minéraux AntioXydants
US Department of Agriculture
This study was supported by the Institut National du Cancer, Paris (INCa Grants 2011-105), and the Wereld Kanker Onderzoek Fonds (WCRF NL 2012/604). The EPIC study was supported by the European Commission: Public Health and Consumer Protection Directorate 1993–2004, Research Directorate-General 2005; the French National Cancer Institute (L’Institut National du Cancer; INCA) (Grant Number 2009-139); Ligue contre le Cancer; the Institut Gustave Roussy; the Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale; the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM); the German Cancer Aid; the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ); the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research; the Danish Cancer Society; The Danish Council for Strategic Research; Health Research Fund (FIS) of the Spanish Ministry of Health (RTICC (DR06/0020/0091); the participating regional governments from Asturias, Andalucía, Murcia, Navarra and Vasco Country and the Catalan Institute of Oncology of Spain; Cancer Research UK; Medical Research Council, UK; the Stroke Association, UK; British Heart Foundation; Department of Health, UK; Food Standards Agency, UK; the Wellcome Trust, UK; the Hellenic Health Foundation (Greece); Italian Association for Research on Cancer; Compagnia San Paolo, Italy; Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports; Dutch Ministry of Health; Dutch Prevention Funds; LK Research Funds; Dutch ZON (Zorg Onderzoek Nederland); World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF); Statistics Netherlands (the Netherlands); Swedish Cancer Society; Swedish Scientific Council; Regional Government of Skane, The County Council of Västerbotten, Sweden; Nordforsk—Centre of Excellence programme; some authors are partners of ECNIS, a network of excellence of the 6th Framework Program of the European Commission.
Conflict of interest
Raul Zamora-Ros, Viktoria Knaze, Joseph A. Rothwell, Bertrand Hémon, Aurelie Moskal, Kim Overvad, Anne Tjønneland, Cecilie Kyrø, Guy Fagherazzi, Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault, Marina Touillaud, Verena Katzke, Tilman Kühn, Heiner Boeing, Jana Förster, Antonia Trichopoulou, Elissavet Valanou, Eleni Peppa, Domenico Palli, Claudia Agnoli, Fulvio Ricceri, Rosario Tumino, Maria Santucci de Magistris, Petra H.M. Peeters, H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, Dagrun Engeset, Guri Skeie, Anette Hjartåker, Virginia Menéndez, Antonio Agudo, Esther Molina-Montes, José María Huerta, Aurelio Barricarte, Pilar Amiano, Emily Sonestedt, Lena Maria Nilsson, Rikard Landberg, Timothy J. Key, Kay-Thee Khaw, Nicholas J. Wareham, Yunxia Lu, Nadia Slimani, Isabelle Romieu, Elio Riboli, Augustin Scalbert have no conflict of interest.
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