Dietary intake of flavonoids and asthma in adults

V. Garcia, I. C.W. Arts, J. A.C. Sterne, R. L. Thompson, Seif O. Shaheen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epidemiological studies have suggested that a high consumption of apples may protect against asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This effect has been attributed to their high flavonoid content, but few studies have investigated the relationship between flavonoid intake and obstructive lung disease directly. In a population-based, case-control study of 1,471 adults aged 16-50 yrs in London (UK), the present study examined whether dietary intake of catechins, flavonols and flavones was negatively associated with asthma, asthma severity and chronic sputum production. Asthma was defined by positive responses to a standard screening questionnaire in 1996 and information about usual diet was obtained by a food frequency questionnaire in 1997. After controlling for potential confounders, dietary intake of these three flavonold subclasses was not significantly associated with asthma, (odds ratio per quintile (95% confidence interval)=0.94 (0.86-1.02); 1.00 (0.92-1.09); 0.98 (0.88 -1.08) for flavones, flavonols and total catechins, respectively) nor was it associated with asthma severity, or chronic sputum production. In conclusion, no evidence was found for a protective effect of three major subclasses of dietary flavonoids on asthma. It is possible that other flavonoids or polyphenols present in apples may explain the protective effect of apples on obstructive lung disease. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-452
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidants
  • Apples
  • Asthma
  • Diet
  • Flavonoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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