Mink PJ, Scrafford CG, Barraj LM, Harnack L, Hong CP, Nettleton JA, Jacobs DR Jr.

Exponent, Inc, Washington, DC 20036, USA. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Background: Dietary flavonoids may have beneficial cardiovasculareffects in human populations, but epidemiologic study resultshave not been conclusive.

Objective: We used flavonoid food composition data from 3 recentlyavailable US Department of Agriculture databases to improveestimates of dietary flavonoid intake and to evaluate the associationbetween flavonoid intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.

Design: Study participants were 34 489 postmenopausal womenin the Iowa Women's Health Study who were free of CVD and hadcomplete food-frequency questionnaire information at baseline.Intakes of total flavonoids and 7 subclasses were categorizedinto quintiles, and food sources were grouped into frequencycategories. Proportional hazards rate ratios (RR) were computedfor CVD, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and total mortalityafter 16 y of follow-up.

Results: After multivariate adjustment, significant inverseassociations were observed between anthocyanidins and CHD, CVD,and total mortality [RR (95% CI) for any versus no intake: 0.88(0.78, 0.99), 0.91 (0.83, 0.99), and 0.90 (0.86, 0.95)]; betweenflavanones and CHD [RR for highest quintile versus lowest: 0.78(0.65, 0.94)]; and between flavones and total mortality [RRfor highest quintile versus lowest: 0.88 (0.82, 0.96)]. No associationwas found between flavonoid intake and stroke mortality. Individualflavonoid-rich foods associated with significant mortality reductionincluded bran (added to foods; associated with stroke and CVD);apples or pears or both and red wine (associated with CHD andCVD); grapefruit (associated with CHD); strawberries (associatedwith CVD); and chocolate (associated with CVD).

Conclusion: Dietary intakes of flavanones, anthocyanidins, and certain foods rich in flavonoids were associated with reduced risk of death due to CHD, CVD, and all causes.


PMID: 17344514. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Mar;85(3):895-909.