Friday, May 14, 2010

Good News for 2010: Nuts

First came chocolate, now nuts!

A Pooled Analysis of 25 Intervention Trials
Joan Sabaté et al
Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(9):821-827.

Background  Epidemiological studies have consistently associated nut consumption with 
reduced risk for coronary heart disease. Subsequently, many dietary intervention trials 
investigated the effects of nut consumption on blood lipid levels. The objectives of this 
study were to estimate the effects of nut consumption on blood lipid levels and to 
examine whether different factors modify the effects.
Methods  We pooled individual primary data from 25 nut consumption trials conducted 
in 7 countries among 583 men and women with normo-lipidemia and 
hypercholesterolemia who were not taking lipid-lowering medications. I
n a pooled analysis, we used mixed linear models to assess the effects 
of nut consumption and the potential interactions.
Results  With a mean daily consumption of 67 g of nuts, the following estimated
 mean reductions were achieved: 

Total cholesterol concentration -----5.1% change
LDL-C----7.4% change
Ratio of LDL-C to HDL-C----8.3% change
Ratio of total cholesterol concentration to HDL-C ----5.6% change
Triglyceride levels were reduced by 20.6 mg/dL (10.2%) in subjects with blood triglyceride 
levels of at least 150 mg/dL (P < .05) but not in those with lower levels.

The effects of nut consumption were dose related, and different types of nuts 
had similar effects on blood lipid levels. The effects of nut consumption were significantly 
modified by LDL-C, body mass index, and diet type: the lipid-lowering effects of nut 
consumption were greatest among subjects with high baseline LDL-C and with low 
body mass index and among those consuming Western diets.
Conclusion  Nut consumption improves blood lipid levels in a dose-related manner, 
particularly among subjects with higher LDL-C or with lower BMI.

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