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Estimated dietary intakes and sources of flavanols in the German population (German National Nutrition Survey II)

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Data from intervention studies suggest a beneficial effect of flavanols on vascular health. However, insufficient data on their intake have delayed the assessment of their health benefits. The aim of this study was to estimate intake of flavanols and their main sources among people living in Germany.


Data from diet history interviews of the German National Nutrition Survey II for 15,371 people across Germany aged 14–80 years were analyzed. The FLAVIOLA Flavanol Food Composition Database was compiled using the latest US Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer Databases and expanded to include recipes and retention factors.


Mean intake of total flavanols, flavan-3-ol monomers, proanthocyanidins (PA), and theaflavins in Germany was 386, 120, 196, and 70 mg/day, respectively. Women had higher intakes of total flavanols (399 mg/day) than men (372 mg/day) in all age groups, with the exception of the elderly. Similar results were observed for monomers (108 mg/day for men, 131 mg/day for women) and PA (190 mg/day; 203 mg/day), although intake of theaflavins was higher in men (74 mg/day; 66 mg/day). There was an age gradient with an increase in total flavanols, monomers, and theaflavins across the age groups. The major contributor of total flavanols in all subjects was pome fruits (27 %) followed by black tea (25 %).


This study demonstrated age- and sex-related variations in the intake and sources of dietary flavanols in Germany. The current analysis will provide a valuable tool in clarifying and confirming the potential health benefits of flavanols.

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We thank the members of the FLAVIOLA consortium for their critical review of the manuscript. This project was supported by the European Union (grant 226588, “Flaviola”).

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Correspondence to Gunter G. C. Kuhnle.

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Vogiatzoglou, A., Heuer, T., Mulligan, A.A. et al. Estimated dietary intakes and sources of flavanols in the German population (German National Nutrition Survey II). Eur J Nutr 53, 635–643 (2014).

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