Antioxidant flavonols from fruits, vegetables and beverages: measurements and bioavailability.
Sommaire de l'article
Flavonols are polyphenolic secondary plant metabolites that are present in varying levels in commonly consumed fruits, vegetables and beverages. Flavonols have long held an interest for nutritionists, which has increased following a Dutch study in the early 1990's showing that dietary intake of flavonols was inversely correlated with the incidence of coronary heart disease. The main factors that have hindered workers in the field of flavonol research are (i) the accurate measurement of these compounds in foods and biological samples, and (ii) a dearth of information on their absorption and metabolism. This review aims to highlight the work of the authors in attempting to clarify the situation. The sensitive and selective HPLC procedure to identify and quantify common flavonols and their sugar conjugates is described. In addition, the results of an on-going screening program into the flavonol content of common produce and beverages are presented. The bioavailability of dietary flavonols is discussed with reference to an intervention study with onions, as well as pilot studies with tea, red wine and cherry tomatoes. It is concluded that flavonols are absorbable and accumulate in plasma and that consuming high flavonol-containing varieties of fruits and vegetables and particular types of beverages could increase their circulatory levels.