Urine flavonoids and plasma carotenoids in the validation of fruit, vegetable and tea intake during pregnancy in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa)

Public Health Nutr. 2007 Aug;10(8):838-47. doi: 10.1017/S1368980007339037. Epub 2007 May 11.


Objective: To validate a new food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for measuring the intake of fruit, vegetables and tea reported by women participating in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa).

Design: Intake of fruits, vegetables and tea estimated by the FFQ was compared with urinary flavonoid excretion, plasma carotenoid concentration and intake measured by a 4-day weighed food diary (FD). The triangular method was applied to calculate FFQ validity coefficients using two independent biomarkers.

Setting and subjects: One hundred and nineteen women participating in MoBa.

Results: The FFQ estimate of fruit intake was significantly correlated with urine phloretin (r = 0.33), citrus fruit/juice with urine hesperetin (r = 0.44), cooked vegetables with plasma alpha-carotene (r = 0.37), and tea with urine kaempferol (r = 0.41) (P < 0.01 for all). On average, 60% of the participants fell into the same or adjacent quintiles when classified by FFQ and biomarkers. Significant correlations between the FFQ and FD were found for fruit (r = 0.39), vegetables (r = 0.34), juices (r = 0.50) and tea (r = 0.53). The FFQ validity coefficient was 0.65 for citrus fruit/juice and 0.59 for cooked vegetables as calculated by the triangular method.

Conclusions: The validation study shows that the MoBa FFQ can be used to estimate fruit, juice, vegetable and tea intake in pregnant Norwegian women, and to rank individuals within the distribution.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Carotenoids / blood*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / urine*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Norway
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Tea / chemistry
  • Vegetables / chemistry


  • Biomarkers
  • Flavonoids
  • Tea
  • Carotenoids