Polyphenols have beneficial effects on several chronic diseases but assessing polyphenols intake from self-reported dietary questionnaires tends to be inaccurate and not very reliable. A promising alternative is to use urinary excretion of polyphenols as a proxy measure of intake. The best method to assess urinary excretion is to collect 24-h urine. However, since collecting 24-h urine method is expensive, time consuming and may be difficult to implement in large population-based studies, measures obtained from spot urine normalized by creatinine are commonly used. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the correlation between polyphenols dietary intake and total urinary polyphenol excretion (TPE), expressed by both 24-h volume and urinary creatinine normalization in 928 participants from the InCHIANTI study. Dietary intake data were collected using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Urinary TPE was analyzed by Folin-Ciocalteau assay. Both urinary TPE expression models were statistically correlated (r=0.580), and the partial correlation coefficient improved (pr=0.722) after adjusting for the variables that modify the urinary creatinine excretion (i.e. gender, age, BMI, physical activity and renal function). In crude models, polyphenol intake was associated with TPE corrected by 24-h volume (r=0.211; P<0.001), but not with creatinine normalization (r=0.014; P=0.692). However, urinary TPE expressed by creatinine correction was significantly correlated with dietary polyphenols after adjusting for covariates (pr=0.113; P=0.002). We conclude that urinary TPE expressed by 24-h volume is a better biomarker of polyphenol dietary intake than by urinary creatinine normalization. After covariate adjustment, both can be used for studying the relationships between polyphenol intake and health in large-scale epidemiological studies.
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