Flavonols and cardiovascular disease

High flavonol intake associated with low CHD risk

In 1993 the Zutphen Elderly Study showed that a high intake of flavonols was associated with a low risk of CHD. Elderly men in Zutphen with an average intake of 42 mg/d, compared to those with 12 mg/d, had a 68% lower risk of fatal CHD after 5 years of follow-up, confirmed in the 10-year data.

High flavonol intake also related to low stroke incidence

In 1996, we published the results of a study using the average flavonol intake of the Zutphen men in the period 1960-1970 and the 15-year incidence of stroke. Men with an average flavonol intake of 33 mg/d, compared to 14 mg/d, had a 73% lower risk of stroke.

What are flavonols?

The most common flavonol estimated in the diet was quercetin. Flavonols are a subclass of the flavonoids, an extended class of chemically related compounds ubiquitously present in plant foods. In a range of experimental models, these compounds have demonstrated biological effects, which may partially explain the beneficial health effects of a diet high in vegetables and fruits. They are particularly present in tea, apples, onions and red wine.

About the Zutphen Elderly Study

The Zutphen Elderly Study is an extension of the original Zutphen Study with a sample of the same age where detailed information on the diet of all the participants was collected four times between 1985 and 2000.  Read more about the Zutphen (Elderly) Study.

More about the relationship between diet and CVD

Smoking and cardiovascular disease

An analysis using data from Seven Countries Study showed that CHD mortality was 5% higher in men who smoked at least 10 cigarettes per day compared to those who never smoked.