We aimed to quantify and compare dietary non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity (NEAC), estimated using two dietary assessment methods, and to explore its relationship with plasma NEAC.
Fifty healthy subjects volunteer to participate in this study. Two dietary assessment methods [a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and a 24-hour recall (24-HR)] were used to collect dietary information. Dietary NEAC, including oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), total polyphenols, ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, was estimated using several data sources of NEAC content in food. NEAC status was measured in fasting blood samples using the same assays. We performed nonparametric Spearman’s correlation analysis between pairs of dietary NEAC (FFQ and 24-HR) and diet-plasma NEAC, with and without the contribution of coffee’s NEAC. Partial correlation analysis was used to estimate correlations regardless of variables potentially influencing these relationships.
FFQ-based NEAC and 24-HR-based NEAC were moderately correlated, with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.54 to 0.71, after controlling for energy intake, age and sex. Statistically significant positive correlations were found for dietary FRAP, either derived from the FFQ or the 24-HR, with plasma FRAP (r ~ 0.30). This weak, albeit statistically significant, correlation for FRAP was mostly present in the fruits and vegetables food groups. Plasma ORAC without proteins and 24-HR-based total ORAC were also positively correlated (r = 0.35).
The relationship between dietary NEAC and plasma FRAP and ORAC suggests the dietary NEAC may reflect antioxidant status despite its weak in vivo potential, supporting further its use in oxidative stress-related disease epidemiology.