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J Nutr. 2013 Aug;143(8):1254-62. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.174714. Epub 2013 Jun 12.

The dose of hazelnuts influences acceptance and diet quality but not inflammatory markers and body composition in overweight and obese individuals.

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Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


Regular nut consumption may improve markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. The quantity of nuts required to achieve these health benefits without compromising body weight and acceptance is unknown. This study compared the effects of incorporating hazelnuts at 2 different doses with a diet without nuts on inflammatory markers, cell adhesion molecules, and body composition in 107 overweight and obese individuals. This was a randomized, controlled, parallel 12-wk intervention including 3 treatment arms: no nuts (control group), 30 g/d of hazelnuts, or 60 g/d of hazelnuts. Blood pressure, body composition, plasma high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), lipid, and apolipoprotein (apo) profiles were assessed at baseline and at 6 and 12 wk. "Desire" and "liking" for nuts were assessed during the intervention. Results showed no significant differences in follow-up clinical outcomes between groups after adjusting for baseline values, age, sex, and BMI (all P ≥ 0.10), except for a tendency toward improvement in VCAM-1 concentration in the 60-g/d nut group (P = 0.07). Hazelnut consumption significantly improved diet quality in a dose-response manner. Desire and liking for nuts remained stable in the 30-g/d group, whereas these ratings decreased significantly over time in the 60-g/d group (both P < 0.001). In conclusion, 12 wk of hazelnut consumption appears to have minimal effect on inflammatory markers and cell adhesion molecules in this group of healthy, normocholesterolemic overweight and obese individuals. Nut consumption improves diet quality without adversely affecting body composition. Consuming 30 g/d of nuts regularly is achievable, whereas 60 g/d appears to compromise desire and liking.

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