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Metabolism. 2009 Jan;58(1):120-8. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2008.08.014.

Raisins and walking alter appetite hormones and plasma lipids by modifications in lipoprotein metabolism and up-regulation of the low-density lipoprotein receptor.

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  • 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of consuming raisins, increasing steps walked, or a combination of these interventions on lipoprotein metabolism and appetite hormones by assessing plasma apolipoprotein concentrations, cholesterol ester transfer protein activity, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor messenger RNA (mRNA) abundance, and plasma ghrelin and leptin concentrations. Thirty-four subjects (17 men and 17 postmenopausal women) were matched for weight and sex and randomly assigned to consume 1 cup raisins per day (RAISIN), increase the amount of steps walked per day (WALK), or a combination of both interventions (RAISIN + WALK). The subjects completed a 2-week run-in period, followed by a 6-week intervention. Ribonucleic acid was extracted from mononuclear cells, and LDL receptor mRNA abundance was quantified by use of reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Plasma apolipoproteins were measured by Luminex (Austin, TX) technology. Apoproteins A-1, B, C-II, and E and cholesterol ester transfer protein activity were not altered for any of the groups. In contrast, apolipoprotein C-III was significantly decreased by 12.3% only in the WALK group (P < .05). Low-density lipoprotein receptor mRNA abundance was increased for all groups after the intervention (P < .001). There was a significant group effect for plasma leptin (P = .026). Plasma concentrations increased for RAISIN and RAISIN + WALK. Similarly, plasma ghrelin concentrations were elevated postintervention for both groups consuming raisins (P < .05). These data suggest that walking and raisin consumption decrease plasma LDL cholesterol by up-regulating the LDL receptor and that raisin consumption may reduce hunger and affect dietary intake by altering hormones influencing satiety.

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