Favorable association of polyphenol-rich diets with lung function: Cross-sectional findings from the Moli-sani study

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Background: The association of the polyphenol content of human diet with pulmonary function is not yet fully understood. This study aims at evaluating the association of polyphenol consumption with lung function in a novel holistic approach. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of 4551 women and 5108 men (age ≥35 years) from the Moli-sani study was performed. Participants were randomly recruited from the general population. The EPIC-FFQ was used for the dietary assessment. Polyphenol intakes were calculated using Eurofir–eBASIS, and a polyphenol antioxidant content (PAC) score was constructed to assess the total content of the diet in these nutrients. Pulmonary function maneuvers were performed, and the forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) were measured; FVC% predicted and FEV1% predicted were computed using the European Community of Coal and Steel prediction equations that included height and age. Results: In both genders, in age, height, and energy intake adjusted models, the majority of classes of polyphenols (mg/day) showed a positive association with FEV1, FVC, FEV1% predicted, and FVC% predicted (β-coef >0, P <.05). Associations remained significant after adjustment for confounding factors in most cases (β-coef >0, P <.05). The PAC score was associated in both genders with an increase in pulmonary function parameters (β-coef >0, P <.05). The inclusion of white blood cell (WBC) counts in the multivariate model reduced the association in men but not in women.. Conclusions: A higher overall polyphenol content of human diet was associated with better pulmonary function in a general population. The association might be partially mediated by WBC in men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Forced expiratory volume in the first second
  • Forced vital capacity
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Polyphenols
  • Pulmonary function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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