The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 478–484 | Cite as

Association between both total baseline urinary and dietary polyphenols and substantial physical performance decline risk in older adults: A 9-year follow-up of the InCHIANTI study

  • M. Rabassa
  • R. Zamora-Ros
  • C. Andres-LacuevaEmail author
  • M. Urpi-Sarda
  • S. Bandinelli
  • L. Ferrucci
  • A. Cherubini



The decline in physical performance that occurs in many older subjects is a strong predictor of falls, hospitalization, institutionalization and mortality. Polyphenols are bioactive compounds that may play a preventive role against physical performance decline due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


To investigate the association between total urinary polyphenols (TUP) and total dietary polyphenols (TDP) and substantial physical performance decline over a nine-year period among older subjects.


This longitudinal study included 368 participants aged 65 years or older from the InCHIANTI (Invecchiare in Chianti) study, an Italian population-based cohort. TUP and TDP concentrations were assessed at baseline using the Folin-Ciocalteau (F-C) assay and a validated food frequency questionnaire, respectively. Physical performance was objectively measured at baseline and at nine-year follow-up using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). A substantial decline in physical performance was considered as a decrease of three or more points in the SPPB score.


At the nine-year follow-up assessment, 71 participants had suffered a substantial decline in physical performance. In the fully adjusted logistic regression model, participants in the highest TUP tertile had a lower risk of substantial decline in physical performance than those in the lowest tertile (OR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.17–0.93; P trend=0.033). However, no significant association between TDP intake and physical performance decline was observed.


This study shows that high TUP concentrations, a biomarker of polyphenol-rich exposure, were associated with lower risk of substantial decline in physical performance in community-dwelling older subjects over a nine-year period. These results suggest that a polyphenol-rich diet may play a role in protecting against physical performance decline in older people.

Key words

Polyphenols biomarker physical performance epidemiology InCHIANTI 



total urinary polyphenols


total dietary polyphenols


Invecchiare in Chianti




Short Physical Performance Battery


odds ratio


confidence interval


gallic acid equivalents


body mass index


Mini-Mental State Examination


Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale


activities of daily living


instrumental activities of daily living


standard deviation


interquartile range

Supplementary material

12603_2015_600_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (136 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 1.04 MB.


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Rabassa
    • 1
  • R. Zamora-Ros
    • 2
  • C. Andres-Lacueva
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Urpi-Sarda
    • 1
  • S. Bandinelli
    • 3
  • L. Ferrucci
    • 4
  • A. Cherubini
    • 5
  1. 1.Biomarkers and Nutrimetabolomics Laboratory, Nutrition and Food Science Department, XaRTA, INSA, Campus Torribera, Pharmacy and Food Sciences FacultyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Biomarkers group (BMA), Nutrition and Metabolism Section (NME)International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)LyonFrance
  3. 3.Geriatric Unit, Azienda Sanitaria FirenzeFlorenceItaly
  4. 4.Clinical Research BranchNational Institute on AgingBaltimoreUnited States
  5. 5.Geriatrics and Geriatric Emergency CareItalian National Research Centre on Aging (IRCCS -INRCA)AnconaItaly

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