Flavonols are present in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. In Western populations, estimated daily intake is in the range of 20–50 mg per day for flavonols. Individual intake varies depending on the type of diet consumed.
The phenomenon of dual fluorescence (due to excited state intramolecular proton transfer or ESIPT) is induced by tautomerism of flavonols (and glucosides) and could contribute to plant UV protection and flower colour.
Besides being a subclass of flavonoids (health effects), flavonols are suggested by a study of cranberry juice to play a role along with proanthocyanidins, in the juice's ability to block bacterial adhesion, demonstrated by the compressing the fimbria of E. coli bacteria in the urinary tract so as to greatly reduce the ability of those bacteria to stay put and initiate an infection. Flavonol aglycones in plants are potent antioxidants that serve to protect the plant from reactive oxygen species (ROS).