Objective: To investigate the contribution of beverages to the intake of lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidants in the Spanish diet.
Design: This includes the following (i) estimation of the daily intakes of beverages in Spain, from national food consumption data obtained from annual surveys of 5400 households, 700 hotels and restaurants and 200 institutions; (ii) determination of total antioxidant capacity in the selected beverages using two complementary procedures: ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP), which measures the ferric reduction capacity, and ABTS, which measures the radical scavenging capacity; (iii) determination of the antioxidant capacity in both lipophilic and hydrophilic extracts of the beverages; (iv) determination of the antioxidant efficiency of the lipophilic and hydrophilic phase of the beverages; and (v) estimation of the intake of dietary antioxidants from beverages in comparison with the daily requirements of antioxidant vitamins C and E.
Results: The contribution of beverages to the antioxidant intake in the Spanish diet is estimated at 1623 mg of vitamin E and 598 mg of vitamin C by FRAP, and 1521 mg of vitamin E and 556 mg of vitamin C by ABTS. Coffee is the main contributor (66 and 61% by FRAP and ABTS, respectively), followed by red wine (16 and 22%), fruit juices (6 and 5%), beer (4 and 5%), tea (3 and 5%) and milk (4 and 1%).
Conclusions: Beverages account for a very high proportion of dietary antioxidant intake as compared to intake of antioxidant vitamins C and E. Although their metabolic effect must be affected by the bioavailability of the antioxidants, the significance of this intake for antioxidant status and health should be considered.