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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Surveys Research Group » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331715

Title: New, publicly available flavonoid data products: Valuable resources for emerging science

item Sebastian, Rhonda
item Enns, Cecilia
item Goldman, Joseph
item Steinfeldt, Lois
item Martin, Carrie
item Clemens, John
item Murayi, Theophile
item Moshfegh, Alanna

Submitted to: Journal of Food Composition and Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2017
Publication Date: 7/13/2017
Citation: Sebastian, R.S., Enns, C.W., Goldman, J.D., Steinfeldt, L.C., Martin, C.L., Clemens, J.C., Murayi, T., Moshfegh, A.J. 2017. New, publicly available flavonoid data products: Valuable resources for emerging science. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 64(Part 1 2017):68-72.

Interpretive Summary: Currently, in the field of nutrition, there is much interest in clarifying the roles of flavonoids in promoting health and preventing disease. Until recently, U.S. databases of flavonoid composition had not included all foods and beverages, and that lack had limited the ability of research studies to examine relationships between flavonoid intake and health. This article describes three new tools created by the USDA Food Surveys Research Group that are now available to address this gap in knowledge and provides some illustrations of information that can be gained by using them. The Provisional Flavonoid Addendum to the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies 4.1 covers all foods and beverages reported by participants in the nationwide Federal food consumption survey What We Eat in America, NHANES. The Flavonoid Intake Data Files permit calculation of nationally representative estimates of flavonoid intake and can also be linked with health indicators from other components of NHANES. The data tables provide current population-level information on flavonoid intakes by Americans overall and by specific sociodemographic groups. Examples of the information that can be obtained using these products include: On any given day in 2007-2008, mean intake of flavonoids by individuals age 2+ years was 214 mg, with flavan-3-ols accounting for 81% of the total. The top food/beverage sources of flavonoids were tea (total flavonoids, flavan-3-ols, flavonols), 100% citrus juice (flavanones), soy-based protein powders (isoflavones), berries (anthocyanidins), and mixed dishes (flavones). These new resources, available free of charge on the FSRG Web site at, can be used by researchers studying diet-disease relationships related to flavonoids, by policymakers in setting national dietary guidance for flavonoids, and by nutritionists and others in educating the public about flavonoid intakes.

Technical Abstract: Until recently, databases of the flavonoid composition of foods have been lacking, limiting the ability to assess dietary intakes. The objectives of this study are to describe new, publicly available flavonoid-related data products and apply them to assess flavonoid intakes and dietary sources of flavonoids in the U.S. population. Products currently available are the Provisional Flavonoid Addendum, a database of 29 individual flavonoid values for 7,174 USDA food codes; the Flavonoid Intake Data Files, which are the result of applying the Addendum to dietary data from What We Eat in America, NHANES; and a set of tables describing flavonoid intakes in the U.S. population by selected sociodemographic characteristics. Mean intake of flavonoids by individuals age 2+ years was 214 mg, with flavan-3-ols accounting for 81% of the total. Taking into account frequency of consumption and amounts consumed, the top food/beverage sources of total flavonoids and each flavonoid class were tea (total flavonoids, 78%; flavan-3-ols, 93%; flavonols, 38%), 100% citrus juice (flavanones, 61%), soy-based protein powders (isoflavones, 29%), berries (anthocyanidins, 27%), and mixed dishes (flavones, 24%). These new flavonoid-related products, which may be downloaded from the Food Surveys Research Group Web site at, are valuable tools that will enable the research community to conduct more comprehensive investigations concerning relationships between flavonoid intake and health.