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Lipids Health Dis. 2008 Apr 16;7:14. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-7-14.

Raisins and additional walking have distinct effects on plasma lipids and inflammatory cytokines.

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



Raisins are a significant source of dietary fiber and polyphenols, which may reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk by affecting lipoprotein metabolism and inflammation. Walking represents a low intensity exercise intervention that may also reduce CVD risk. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of consuming raisins, increasing steps walked, or a combination of these interventions on blood pressure, plasma lipids, glucose, insulin and inflammatory cytokines.


Thirty-four men and postmenopausal women were matched for weight and gender and randomly assigned to consume 1 cup raisins/d (RAISIN), increase the amount of steps walked/d (WALK) or a combination of both interventions (RAISINS + WALK). The subjects completed a 2 wk run-in period, followed by a 6 wk intervention. Systolic blood pressure was reduced for all subjects (P = 0.008). Plasma total cholesterol was decreased by 9.4% for all subjects (P < 0.005), which was explained by a 13.7% reduction in plasma LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) (P < 0.001). Plasma triglycerides (TG) concentrations were decreased by 19.5% for WALK (P < 0.05 for group effect). Plasma TNF-alpha was decreased from 3.5 ng/L to 2.1 ng/L for RAISIN (P < 0.025 for time and group x time effect). All subjects had a reduction in plasma sICAM-1 (P < 0.01).


This research shows that simple lifestyle modifications such as adding raisins to the diet or increasing steps walked have distinct beneficial effects on CVD risk.

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