Intake estimation of total and individual flavan-3-ols, proanthocyanidins and theaflavins, their food sources and determinants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study

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Epidemiological studies suggest health-protective effects of flavan-3-ols and their derived compounds on chronic diseases. The present study aimed to estimate dietary flavan-3-ol, proanthocyanidin (PA) and theaflavin intakes, their food sources and potential determinants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration cohort. Dietary data were collected using a standardised 24 h dietary recall software administered to 36 037 subjects aged 35-74 years. Dietary data were linked with a flavanoid food composition database compiled from the latest US Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases and expanded to include recipes, estimations and retention factors. Total flavan-3-ol intake was the highest in UK Health-conscious men (453.6 mg/d) and women of UK General population (377.6 mg/d), while the intake was the lowest in Greece (men: 160.5 mg/d; women: 124.8 mg/d). Monomer intake was the highest in UK General population (men: 213.5 mg/d; women: 178.6 mg/d) and the lowest in Greece (men: 26.6 mg/d in men; women: 20.7 mg/d). Theaflavin intake was the highest in UK General population (men: 29.3 mg/d; women: 25.3 mg/d) and close to zero in Greece and Spain. PA intake was the highest in Asturias (men: 455.2 mg/d) and San Sebastian (women: 253 mg/d), while being the lowest in Greece (men: 134.6 mg/d; women: 101.0 mg/d). Except for the UK, non-citrus fruits (apples/pears) were the highest contributors to the total flavan-3-ol intake. Tea was the main contributor of total flavan-3-ols in the UK. Flavan-3-ol, PA and theaflavin intakes were significantly different among all assessed groups. This study showed heterogeneity in flavan-3-ol, PA and theaflavin intake throughout the EPIC countries.


  • Viktoria Knaze
  • Raul Zamora-Ros
  • Leila Lujan-Barroso
  • Isabelle Romieu
  • Augustin Scalbert
  • Nadia Slimani
  • Elio Riboli
  • Caroline T. M. van Rossum
  • H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
  • Vardis Dilis
  • Konstantinos Tsiotas
  • Guri Skeie
  • Dagrun Engeset
  • J. Ramon Quiros
  • Esther Molina
  • Jose Maria Huerta
  • Francesca Crowe
  • Petra H. M. Peeters
  • Rudolf Kaaks
  • Birgit Teucher
  • Gerd Johansson
  • Ingegerd Johansson
  • Rosario Tumino
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Dagmar Drogan
  • Pilar Amiano
  • Amalia Mattiello
  • Kay-Tee Khaw
  • Robert Luben
  • Vittorio Krogh
  • Eva Ardanaz
  • Carlotta Sacerdote
  • Simonetta Salvini
  • Kim Overvad
  • Anne Tjonneland
  • Anja Olsen
  • Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault
  • Guy Fagherazzi
  • Florence Perquier
  • Carlos A. Gonzalez
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Flavan-3-ols, Proanthocyanidins, Theaflavins, Intake, European, Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Europe
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1108
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch

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