Bioavailability of quercetin from berries and the diet

Nutr Cancer. 2006;54(1):13-7. doi: 10.1207/s15327914nc5401_3.


Berries are a rich source of various polyphenols, including the flavonoid quercetin. In this article, the results of three intervention studies investigating the bioavailability of quercetin from berries are reviewed. In the first study, we investigated the short-term kinetics of quercetin after consumption of black currant juice and showed that quercetin is rapidly absorbed from it. In the second study, we showed that plasma quercetin levels increase up to 50% in subjects consuming 100 g/day of bilberries, black currants, and lingonberries as a part of their normal diets for 2 mo. In the third study, healthy subjects consumed a diet high or low in vegetables, berries, and other fruit for 6 wk. Quercetin concentrations nearly doubled in the high-vegetable, -berry, and -other fruit group and decreased by 30% in subjects consuming less of these foods than normally. The results showed that plasma quercetin is bioavailable from a diet containing berries and indicate that it may be a good biomarker of fruit and vegetable intake in general.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Adult
  • Beverages
  • Biological Availability
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quercetin / blood
  • Quercetin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Ribes / chemistry
  • Vaccinium myrtillus / chemistry
  • Vaccinium vitis-idaea / chemistry
  • Vegetables


  • Quercetin