Dietary polyphenol intake and their major food sources in the Mexican Teachers' Cohort

Br J Nutr. 2018 Aug;120(3):353-360. doi: 10.1017/S0007114518001381. Epub 2018 Jun 4.


Several descriptive studies on the intake of polyphenols, mostly flavonoids, have been published, especially in Europe and the USA, but insufficient data are still available in Latin-American countries, where different types of foods are consumed and different dietary habits are observed. The goal of this cross-sectional study was to estimate dietary intakes of polyphenols, including grand total, total per classes and subclasses and individual compounds, and to identify their main food sources in Mexican women. The Mexican Teachers' Cohort includes 115 315 female teachers, 25 years and older, from twelve states of Mexico, including urban and rural areas. Dietary data were collected in the period 2008-2011 using a validated FFQ, and individual polyphenol intake was estimated using food composition data from the Phenol-Explorer database. Median total polyphenol intake was the highest in Baja California (750 mg/d) and the lowest in Yucatan (536 mg/d). The main polyphenols consumed were phenolic acids (56·3-68·5 % total polyphenols), followed by flavonoids (28·8-40·9 %). Intake of other polyphenol subclasses (stilbenes, lignans and others) was insignificant. Coffee and fruits were the most important food sources of phenolic acids and flavonoids, respectively. Intake of a total of 287 different individual polyphenols could be estimated, of which forty-two were consumed in an amount ≥1 mg/d. The most largely consumed polyphenols were several caffeoylquinic acids (ranging from 20 and 460 mg/d), ferulic acid, hesperidin and proanthocyanidins. This study shows a large heterogeneity in intakes of individual polyphenols among Mexican women, but a moderate heterogeneity across Mexican states. Main food sources were also similar in the different states.

Keywords: EPIC European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition; PA proanthocyanidins; SES socio-economic status; USDA US Department of Agriculture; Dietary intakes; Food sources; Mexico; Polyphenols.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / blood*
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxybenzoates / chemistry
  • Life Style
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Polyphenols / blood*
  • Rural Population
  • Schools*
  • Teaching
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult


  • Flavonoids
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols
  • phenolic acid