Estimated dietary intakes of flavonols, flavanones and flavones in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) 24 hour dietary recall cohort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Flavonols, flavanones and flavones (FLAV) are sub-classes of flavonoids that exert cardioprotective and anti-carcinogenic properties in vitro and in vivo. We aimed to estimate the FLAV dietary intake, their food sources and associated lifestyle factors in ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. FLAV intake and their food sources for 36 037 subjects, aged between 35 and 74 years, in twenty-seven study centres were obtained using standardised 24 h dietary recall software (EPIC-SOFT). An ad hoc food composition database on FLAV was compiled using data from US Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases and was expanded using recipes, estimations and flavonoid retention factors in order to increase its correspondence with the 24 h dietary recall. Our results showed that the highest FLAV-consuming centre was the UK health-conscious group, with 130.9 and 97.0 mg/d for men and women, respectively. The lowest FLAV intakes were 36.8 mg/d in men from Umea and 37.2 mg/d in women from Malmo (Sweden). The flavanone sub-class was the main contributor to the total FLAV intake ranging from 46.6 to 52.9% depending on the region. Flavonols ranged from 38.5 to 47.3% and flavones from 5.8 to 8.6%. FLAV intake was higher in women, non-smokers, increased with level of education and physical activity. The major food sources were citrus fruits and citrus-based juices (especially for flavanones), tea, wine, other fruits and some vegetables. We concluded that the present study shows heterogeneity in intake of these three sub-classes of flavonoids across European regions and highlights differences by sex and other sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.


  • Raul Zamora-Ros
  • Viktoria Knaze
  • Leila Lujan-Barroso
  • Nadia Slimani
  • Isabelle Romieu
  • Veronika Fedirko
  • Maria Santucci de Magistris
  • Ulrica Ericson
  • Pilar Amiano
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
  • Vardis Dilis
  • Androniki Naska
  • Dagrun Engeset
  • Guri Skeie
  • Aedin Cassidy
  • Kim Overvad
  • Petra H. M. Peeters
  • Jose Maria Huerta
  • Maria-Jose Sanchez
  • J. Ramon Quiros
  • Carlotta Sacerdote
  • Sara Grioni
  • Rosario Tumino
  • Gerd Johansson
  • Ingegerd Johansson
  • Francesca L. Crowe
  • Aurelio Barricarte
  • Rudolf Kaaks
  • Birgit Teucher
  • H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita
  • Caroline T. M. van Rossum
  • Teresa Norat
  • Dora Romaguera
  • Anne-Claire Vergnaud
  • Anne Tjonneland
  • Jytte Halkjaer
  • Francoise Clavel-Chapelon
  • Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault
  • Marina Touillaud
  • Simonetta Salvini
  • Kay-Thee Khaw
  • Nicholas Wareham
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Jana Foerster
  • Elio Riboli
  • Carlos A. Gonzalez
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Flavonols, Flavones, Flavanones, EPIC-Europe
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1915-1925
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch