Reduced mortality risk by a polyphenol-rich diet: An analysis from the Moli-sani study

MOLI-SANI investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The effect of the polyphenol content of the human diet on mortality risk is not yet fully understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of a polyphenol-rich diet with mortality rate and a possible mediation effect by inflammation, in what we believe to be a novel, holistic approach. Methods: We analyzed 21 302 participants (10 980 women and 10 322 men, aged ≥35 y) from the Moli-sani cohort. The participants were followed up for a median of 8.3 y. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was used for dietary assessment. Flavonol, flavone, flavanone, flavanol, anthocyanin, isoflavone, and lignan intakes were calculated using European Food Information Resource—Bioactive Substances in Food Information Systems and the polyphenol antioxidant content (PAC)-score was constructed to assess the total content of these nutrients in the diet. Results: Participants included in the highest quintile of intake of various polyphenol classes and subclasses presented a significant lower all-cause mortality risk compared with those in the lowest group of consumption (hazard ratio [HR] < 1; P < 0.05). Cox regression analyses adjusted for potential confounders indicated that participants in higher quintiles of PAC-score had lower all-cause mortality risk (HR <1; P < 0.05). When cause-specific mortality rates were considered, similar effects were observed for cardiocerebrovascular and cancer mortality (HR <1; P < 0.05). Conclusions: The polyphenol content of the diet was associated with reduced mortality risk in a Mediterranean population, possibly through an antiinflammatory mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Flavonoid
  • Inflammation
  • Lignan
  • Mortality
  • Polyphenol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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