Dietary sources and intake levels of flavonoids

Only a few of the thousands of different flavonoids identified in plants are present in considerable amounts in the human diet, and the intake of these dietary flavonoids varies among countries and cultures (Table 9.1) The dihydrochalcone phloretin and its glycoside phloridzin are found in large amounts in apple, but no estimates of intake levels have been reported. The flavanones are present mainly in citrus fruits, predominated by naringin (the glycoside of naringenin), responsible for the bitter taste of grapefruit, and hesperidin (the glycoside of hesperetin) found in oranges. Since the intake of orange juice is extensive in many Western countries, e.g. Denmark and Finland, the intake of in particular the citrus flavanone hesperetin is very high (Kumpulainen et al., 1999; Justesen et al., 2000).

Table 9.1 Dietary sources and intake of flavonoids

Flavonoid subgroup

Major dietary

Major flavonoids

Estimated intake (mg/day)






Flavones Flavonols


Total flavonoida

Catechins Anthocyanins

Citrus fruits, orange and grapefruit juice

Parsley, celery, red pepper, spices Onions, kale, broccoli, apples, berries, tea, wine Soybeans, legumes

Berries, red wine

Naringenin Hesperetin








Epigallocatechin Cyanidin

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