Consumption of black currants, lingonberries and bilberries increases serum quercetin concentrations

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jan;57(1):37-42. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601513.


Objective: To study serum quercetin concentrations of subjects consuming berries or habitual Finnish diets.

Design: Randomized parallel dietary intervention.

Subjects: Forty healthy men (age 60 y).

Intervention: Twenty subjects consumed 100 g/day of berries (black currants, lingonberries and bilberries) for 8 weeks. Twenty subjects consuming their habitual diets served as controls. Fasting blood samples were obtained 2 weeks prior to the study, at baseline, and at 2, 4 and 8 weeks. Intake of quercetin was assessed from 3 day food records collected at baseline and at 8 weeks.

Results: The serum quercetin concentrations were significantly higher in the subjects consuming berries compared to the control group (P=0.039 ANCOVA with repeated measures). During the berry consumption period the mean serum concentrations of quercetin ranged between 21.4 and 25.3 micro g/l in the berry group, which was 32-51% higher compared with the control group. According to 3 day food records, there was no difference in quercetin intake at baseline, but at 8 weeks the intake was 12.3+/-1.4 mg/day (mean+/-s.e.m.) in the berry group and 5.8+/-0.6 mg/day in the control group (P=0.001).

Conclusions: The results indicate that the berries used in this study are a good source of bioavailable quercetin.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biological Availability
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quercetin / administration & dosage
  • Quercetin / blood*
  • Quercetin / pharmacokinetics
  • Ribes* / chemistry
  • Vaccinium myrtillus* / chemistry
  • Vaccinium vitis-idaea* / chemistry


  • Quercetin