OBJECTIVE: To study serum quercetin concentrations of subjects consuming berries or habitual Finnish diets. DESIGN: Randomized parallel dietary intervention. SUBJECTS: Forty healthy men (age 60 y). INTERVENTION: Twenty subjects consumed 100 g/day of berries (black currants, lingonberries and bilberries) for 8 weeks. Twenty subjects consuming their habitual diets served as controls. Fasting blood samples were obtained 2 weeks prior to the study, at baseline, and at 2, 4 and 8 weeks. Intake of quercetin was assessed from 3 day food records collected at baseline and at 8 weeks. RESULTS: The serum quercetin concentrations were significantly higher in the subjects consuming berries compared to the control group (P=0.039 ANCOVA with repeated measures). During the berry consumption period the mean serum concentrations of quercetin ranged between 21.4 and 25.3 micro g/l in the berry group, which was 32-51% higher compared with the control group. According to 3 day food records, there was no difference in quercetin intake at baseline, but at 8 weeks the intake was 12.3+/-1.4 mg/day (mean+/-s.e.m.) in the berry group and 5.8+/-0.6 mg/day in the control group (P=0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that the berries used in this study are a good source of bioavailable quercetin.