Dietary flavonols: chemistry, food content, and metabolism

Nutrition. 2002 Jan;18(1):75-81. doi: 10.1016/s0899-9007(01)00695-5.


The flavonols belong to a large group of compounds called flavonoids, which are diverse in their chemical structure and characteristics. Fruits, vegetables, and beverages such as tea and red wine are major sources of flavonols in the human diet. The daily consumption of flavonols is difficult to estimate because values depend on accurate assessment of feeding habits and flavonol content in foods. Food sources, dietary intakes, and bioavailability of flavonols are strongly influenced by variations in plant type and growth, season, light, degree of ripeness, food preparation, and processing, all of which are discussed. In the past few years, a number of studies on the absorption and metabolism of flavonols in humans have been published and the findings from these studies are reviewed. We do not discuss the health effects of flavonols.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Biological Availability
  • Flavonoids / chemistry*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacokinetics*
  • Flavonols
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Handling / methods
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Tea
  • Vegetables
  • Wine


  • Flavonoids
  • Flavonols
  • Tea