Purpose: Epidemiological studies have remarked the beneficial role that polyphenols may have in the elderly population such as cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention. This is particularly relevant considering the global tendency of population aging. Data on polyphenol intake in the elderly population are scarce and usually provide partial information-only for some polyphenol classes. The aim of this study was to estimate the intake of polyphenols and its major dietary contributors in the population of Viçosa.
Methods: A cross-sectional population-based survey including 620 elderly was conducted in Viçosa, Brazil. Food intake was estimated by recall of habitual consumption (RHC). Polyphenol intake was calculated by matching food consumption data from the RHC with the polyphenol content in foods listed in the Phenol-Explorer database.
Results: The average total polyphenol intake was 1198.6 mg/day (533.7 mg/day as aglycone). The main polyphenol classes were phenolic acids (729.5 mg/day) and flavonoids (444.7 mg/day). The main dietary contributors for total polyphenols were coffee (45.8%), beans (32.8%) and polenta (1.3%). A total of 292 polyphenols divided in 14 classes and 23 subclasses were found. The individual compounds with the highest intake were isomers of chlorogenic acid (i.e., 5-caffeoylquinic acid, 4-caffeoylquinic acid and 3-caffeoylquinic acid) among hydroxycinnamic acids that largely originated from coffee.
Conclusions: The data reported here can be used to evaluate the association between the amount and type of ingested polyphenols and health outcomes in epidemiological studies in order to eventually establish nutritional recommendations.
Keywords: Dietary intake; Dietary polyphenols; Elderly; Flavonoids; Lignans; Phenolic acids; Stilbenes.