Estimated daily flavonoid and stilbene intake from fruits, vegetables, and nuts and associations with lipid profiles in Chinese adults

J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Jun;113(6):786-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.01.018. Epub 2013 Mar 20.


Background: The scientific evidence for the association of daily flavonoid and stilbene intakes with cardiovascular risk factors in Chinese adults has not been reported previously.

Objective: The aim of the study was to assess daily flavonoid and stilbene intakes and evaluate these compounds' association with cardiovascular risk factors such as serum lipids and carotid intima-media thickness in Chinese adults.

Design: A total of 1,393 subjects participated in this cross-sectional study from July 2008 to January 2010 in China. Dietary flavonoid and stilbene intakes as well as overall dietary intakes from foods and beverages were assessed with a quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Anthropometric measurements and cardiovascular risk factors including serum lipids, uric acid, and carotid intima-media thickness were examined. The relationship between flavonoids and stilbene intakes and these cardiovascular risk factors was examined using either partial correlation coefficients or analysis of covariance.

Results: The richest sources of flavonoids and stilbenes were the fruit group including apple, plum, pear, and peach, followed by the vegetable group containing lotus root and taro. The daily intake of total flavonoids, anthocyanidins, flavonols, flavones, isoflavones, and stilbene were 165.6 mg/day, 27.6 mg/day, 123.7 mg/day, 10.7 mg/day, 3.7 mg/day, and 0.3 mg/day, respectively. Higher daily consumption of anthocyanidins was associated with elevated serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations (P trend=0.001), and higher total flavonoid and flavonol intakes were associated with lower serum triglycerides (TG) concentrations (P trend=0.020 and P trend=0.035, respectively) and TG/HDL-C ratios (P trend=0.040 and P trend=0.045, respectively) in female subjects. These significant relationships were not found in male subjects.

Conclusions: The daily intakes of flavonoid and stilbene were estimated in the present study, and higher dietary flavonoid intake was associated with improving lipid profile in Chinese women. The results indicate that dietary flavonoids may have beneficial effect on preventing cardiovascular diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuts / chemistry
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Stilbenes / administration & dosage*
  • Vegetables / chemistry


  • Flavonoids
  • Lipids
  • Stilbenes