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Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jun;77(6):1379-84.

Serum lipid response to the graduated enrichment of a Step I diet with almonds: a randomized feeding trial.

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Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, CA 92350, USA.



Frequent consumption of nuts may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by favorably altering serum lipid and lipoprotein concentrations.


We compared the effects of 2 amounts of almond intake with those of a National Cholesterol Education Program Step I diet on serum lipids, lipoproteins, apolipoproteins, and glucose in healthy and mildly hypercholesterolemic adults.


In a randomized crossover design, 25 healthy subjects (14 men, 11 women) with a mean (+/- SD) age of 41 +/- 13 y were fed 3 isoenergetic diets for 4 wk each after being fed a 2-wk run-in diet (containing 34% of energy from fat). The experimental diets included a Step I diet, a low-almond diet, and a high-almond diet, in which almonds contributed 0%, 10%, and 20% of total energy, respectively.


Inverse relations were observed between the percentage of energy in the diet from almonds and the subject's total cholesterol (P value for trend < 0.001), LDL-cholesterol (P < 0.001), and apolipoprotein B (P < 0.001) concentrations and the ratios of LDL to HDL cholesterol (P < 0.001) and of apolipoprotein B to apolipoprotein A (P < 0.001). Compared with the Step I diet, the high-almond diet reduced total cholesterol (0.24 mmol/L or 4.4%; P = 0.001), LDL cholesterol (0.26 mmol/L or 7.0%; P < 0.001), and apolipoprotein B (6.6 mg/dL or 6.6%; P < 0.001); increased HDL cholesterol (0.02 mmol/L or 1.7%; P = 0.08); and decreased the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol (8.8%; P < 0.001).


Isoenergetic incorporation of approximately 68 g of almonds (20% of energy) into an 8368-kJ (2000-kcal) Step I diet markedly improved the serum lipid profile of healthy and mildly hypercholesterolemic adults. Total and LDL-cholesterol concentrations declined with progressively higher intakes of almonds, which suggests a dose-response relation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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