New USDA-ARS Database Features Proanthocyanidins

September 7, 2004

1 Min Read
New USDA-ARS Database Features Proanthocyanidins

WASHINGTON--To better promote the health benefits of consuming diets rich in plant foods, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the chief scientific research agency of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), recently launched a special interest database for foods containing proanthocyanidins--healthy phytonutrients found in plants.

The database was created through a collaborative effort between the Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), ARS and USDA in collaboration with the Arkansas Childrens Nutrition Center; Beltsville, Md.-based Food Composition Laboratory; Hackettstown, N.J.-based Mars Inc. and Lakeville, Mass-based Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc.

The online database ( contains values for 205 food items for the following proanthocyanidins: monomers, dimers, trimers, 4-6 mers (tetramers, pentamers and hexamers), 7-10 mers (heptamers, octamers, nonamers and decamers) and polymers (DP>10). The database includes three tables: Table 1.--USDA Database for the Proanthocyanidin Content of Selected Foods 2004, Table 2.--Foods Containing Undetectable Amounts of Proanthocyanidins and Table 3.--Foods Containing Prodelphinidins, Propelargonidins and A-Type Linkages.

Proanthocyanidins (PAs), a subclass of flavonoids, are abundant in certain fruits, nuts, beverages (such as red wine and purple grape juice) and chocolate. PAs have been found to have several health benefits including protection against urinary tract infections, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and blood clotting. USDA-ARS created the database for epidemiologists and health researchers to better estimate intakes and to investigate relationships between intakes and reduction in the risks of various diseases. The new database complements the previously released database, USDA Database for Flavonoid Contents in Selected Foods  (, which contains values for 26 monomeric compounds in five subclasses of dietary flavonoids: flavonols, flavones, flavanones, flavan-3-ols and anthocyanidins.

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