Estimating polyphenol intake contributes to the understanding of polyphenols' health benefits. However, information about human polyphenol intake is scarce, especially in the elderly. This study aimed to estimate the dietary intake and major sources of polyphenols and to determine whether there is any relationship between polyphenol intake and micronutrient intake in healthy elderly Japanese. First, 610 subjects (569 men, 41 women; aged 67.3 ± 6.1 years) completed food frequency questionnaires. We then calculated their total polyphenol intake using our polyphenol content database. Their average total polyphenol intake was 1492 ± 665 mg/day, the greatest part of which was provided by beverages (79.1%). The daily polyphenol intake differed largely among individuals (183-4854 mg/day), also attributable mostly to beverage consumption. Coffee (43.2%) and green tea (26.6%) were the major sources of total polyphenol; the top 20 food items accounted for >90%. The polyphenol intake did not strongly correlate with the intake of any micronutrient, suggesting that polyphenols may exert health benefits independently of nutritional intake. The polyphenol intake in this elderly population was slightly higher than previous data in Japanese adults, and beverages such as coffee and green tea contributed highly to the intake.
Keywords: beverage; coffee; consumption; elderly; food; green tea; polyphenol.