Dietary intake and major food sources of polyphenols in people with type 2 diabetes: The TOSCA.IT Study

M Vitale, Maria Masulli, A. A. Rivellese, Elena Bonora, Fabrizio Cappellini, A. Nicolucci, S. Squatrito, D. Antenucci, A Barrea, C Bianchi, F Bianchini, L Fontana, P. Fornengo, F. Giorgino, A. Gnasso, E. Mannucci, A. Mazzotti, R Nappo, A P Palena, Pille PataG. Perriello, S Potenziani, Raffaella Radin, L. Ricci, F. Romeo, C. Santini, M. Scarponi, R. Serra, A Timi, A A Turco, Marco Vedovato, D. Zavaroni, S Grioni, G. Riccardi, O. Vaccaro, TOSCA.IT Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Proper evaluation of polyphenols intake at the population level is a necessary step in order to establish possible associations with health outcomes. Available data are limited, and so far no study has been performed in people with diabetes. The aim of this work was to document the intake of polyphenols and their major food sources in a cohort of people with type 2 diabetes and in socio-demographic subgroups.

METHODS: We studied 2573 men and women aged 50-75 years. Among others, anthropometry was measured by standard protocol and dietary habits were investigated by food frequency questionnaire (EPIC). The intake of polyphenols was evaluated using US Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases.

RESULTS: The mean total polyphenol intake was 683.3 ± 5.8 mg/day. Non-alcoholic beverages represented the main food source of dietary polyphenols and provided 35.5% of total polyphenol intake, followed by fruits (23.0%), alcoholic beverages (14.0%), vegetables (12.4%), cereal products and tubers (4.6%), legumes (3.7%) and oils (2.1%); chocolate, cakes and nuts are negligible sources of polyphenols in this cohort. The two most important polyphenol classes contributing to the total intake were flavonoids (47.5%) and phenolic acids (47.4%). Polyphenol intake increased with age and education level and decreased with BMI; furthermore, in the northern regions of Italy, the polyphenol intake was slightly, but significantly higher than in the central or southern regions.

CONCLUSIONS: The study documents for the first time the intake of polyphenols and their main food sources in people with diabetes using validated and complete databases of the polyphenol content of food. Compared with published data, collected in people without diabetes, these results suggest a lower intake and a different pattern of intake in people with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 21 2016


  • Journal Article


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