A moderate-fat diet containing pistachios improves emerging markers of cardiometabolic syndrome in healthy adults with elevated LDL levels

Simone D. Holligan, Sheila G. West, Sarah K. Gebauer, Colin D. Kay, Penny M. Kris-Etherton

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Abstract

A randomised, cross-over, controlled-feeding study was conducted to evaluate the cholesterol-lowering effects of diets containing pistachios as a strategy for increasing total fat (TF) levels v. a control (step I) lower-fat diet. Ex vivo techniques were used to evaluate the effects of pistachio consumption on lipoprotein subclasses and functionality in individuals (n 28) with elevated LDL levels ( ≥ 2·86 mmol/l). The following test diets (SFA approximately 8 % and cholesterol < 300 mg/d) were used: a control diet (25 % TF); a diet comprising one serving of pistachios per d (1PD; 30 % TF); a diet comprising two servings of pistachios per d (2PD; 34 % TF). A significant decrease in small and dense LDL (sdLDL) levels was observed following the 2PD dietary treatment v. the 1PD dietary treatment (P= 0·03) and following the 2PD dietary treatment v. the control treatment (P= 0·001). Furthermore, reductions in sdLDL levels were correlated with reductions in TAG levels (r 0·424, P= 0·025) following the 2PD dietary treatment v. the control treatment. In addition, inclusion of pistachios increased the levels of functional α-1 (P= 0·073) and α-2 (P= 0·056) HDL particles. However, ATP-binding cassette transporter A1-mediated serum cholesterol efflux capacity (P= 0·016) and global serum cholesterol efflux capacity (P= 0·076) were only improved following the 2PD dietary treatment v. the 1PD dietary treatment when baseline C-reactive protein status was low ( < 103μg/l). Moreover, a significant decrease in the TAG:HDL ratio was observed following the 2PD dietary treatment v. the control treatment (P= 0·036). There was a significant increase in β-sitosterol levels (P< 0·0001) with the inclusion of pistachios, confirming adherence to the study protocol. In conclusion, the inclusion of pistachios in a moderate-fat diet favourably affects the cardiometabolic profile in individuals with an increased risk of CVD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)744-752
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Volume112
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 14 2014

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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