Flavan-3-ols are a subclass of flavonoids found in a variety of foods including teas. The effects of flavan-3-ols on the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) have been investigated, generally focusing on tea catechins or individual flavan-3-ol rich foods, but there is little information on dietary flavan-3-ols intake and risk of MetS in population-based studies. In this cross-sectional study, we examined the association between dietary flavan-3-ols intake and the risk of MetS in Korean adults. Subjects comprised 1,827 men and 2,918 women aged 20-69 years whose data was included in the 2008 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This survey was conducted between January 2008 and December 2008. Total flavan-3-ols intakes were calculated from 24-hour dietary recalls using a flavonoids database. Thirty percent of the male subjects and 24% of the female subjects were reported as having MetS. In the female subjects, flavan3-ols intake was inversely associated with the risk of MetS after adjusting for potential confounders (5th vs. 1st quintile, OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.45-0.91, P for trend = 0.384). The main food source of flavan-3-ols was green tea followed by apples and grapes. Among MetS components, flavan3-ols intake was inversely associated with the risk of high blood pressure after adjusting for potential confounders (5th vs. 1st quintile, OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.45-0.90, P for trend = 0.005). No significant association between flavan-3-ols intake and risk of MetS was found in the male subjects. After stratified analysis by obesity (BMI ≥ 25 or BMI < 25), however, flavan3-ols intake was inversely related to the risk of hypertension in non-obese men. These results suggest that dietary flavan-3-ols intake may have beneficial effects on MetS risk by reducing the risk of hypertension. The effects of flavan-3-ols intake dependent on obesity need further investigation.
- Metabolic syndrome