Dietary intake and major food sources of polyphenols in Finnish adults

J Nutr. 2008 Mar;138(3):562-6. doi: 10.1093/jn/138.3.562.


Phenolic acids, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and ellagitannins are polyphenols that may have beneficial effects on human health and provide protection against chronic diseases. To date, limited data exist on quantitative intake of polyphenols. The aims of this study were to estimate the quantitative intakes of polyphenols by using analyzed concentrations together with individual food consumption records and to determine major dietary sources. Analyzed concentrations of phenolic acids, anthocyanidins, and other flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and ellagitannins (44 total polyphenol compounds) were entered into the national food composition database, Fineli. The absolute intakes of the polyphenols and the corresponding food sources were calculated on the basis of 48-h dietary recalls of 2007 Finnish adults. The mean total intake of polyphenols was 863 +/- 415 mg/d. Phenolic acids comprised the dominant group of polyphenols (75% of total intake) followed by proanthocyanidins (14%) and anthocyanidins and other flavonoids (10%). Due to their high consumption and high concentrations of phenolic acids, coffee and cereals were the main contributors to total polyphenol intake. Berries and berry products were the main source for anthocyanidins, ellagitannins, and proanthocyanidins, and fruits were the main source for flavonols, flavones, and flavanones. The results give additional support to the recommendations for a varied diet with fruits, berries, cereals, and vegetables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biological Availability
  • Diet*
  • Eating*
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage*
  • Food Analysis*
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenols / administration & dosage*
  • Polyphenols


  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols