Total polyphenol excretion and blood pressure in subjects at high cardiovascular risk

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 May;21(5):323-31. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2009.10.019. Epub 2010 Feb 18.


Background and aims: Dietary factors are critical for the prevention and treatment of hypertension, but data on the effects of specific nutrients on blood pressure (BP) are scarce. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between total polyphenol excretion (TPE) in urine, as an objective measurement of total polyphenol intake and BP in an elderly population at high cardiovascular risk.

Methods and results: Cross-sectional substudy of 589 high-risk participants entering in the PREDIMED trial. BP was measured and TPE was determined in urine by Folin-Ciocalteu assay. A significant positive association was observed between TPE in urine and daily intake of fruit and vegetables (F&V), coffee or wine after adjusting for potential confounders. The intake of 100 g of F&V (Beta=0.150;P<0.001) had a greater contribution to TPE than 100 mL of coffee (Beta=0.141;P=0.001), and the latter two foods contributed more than the consumption of 100 mL of wine (Beta=0.120;P=0.019). An inverse association was observed between urinary TPE and the prevalence of hypertension. Participants in the highest quartile of urinary TPE had a reduced prevalence of hypertension compared to those in the lowest quartile (Odds Ratio=0.64; 95% confidence interval 0.45 to 0.92; P=0.015). Systolic and diastolic BP were inversely associated with urinary TPE after adjustment for potential confounders (P=0.024 and P=0.003, respectively).

Conclusions: Polyphenol intake, assessed via TPE in urine, was negatively associated with BP levels and prevalence of hypertension in an elderly Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. Participants with the highest intake of polyphenol-rich foods showed the lowest BP measurements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Coffee
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / urine*
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Mediterranean Region / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Phenols / urine*
  • Polyphenols
  • Prevalence
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables
  • Wine


  • Coffee
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols