British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Human and Clinical Nutrition

Effect of almond consumption on the serum fatty acid profile: a dose–response study

Stephanie Nishia1a2, Cyril W. C. Kendalla1a2a3 c1, Ana-Maria Gascoynea1a2, Richard P. Bazineta1, Balachandran Bashyama1a2, Karen G. Lapsleya4, Livia S. A. Augustina2, John L. Sievenpipera1a2a5a6a7 and David J. A. Jenkinsa1a2a6a7a8

a1 Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3E2

a2 Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada

a3 Division of Nutrition and Dietetics, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

a4 The Almond Board of California, Modesto, CA, USA

a5 Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

a6 Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada

a7 Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada

a8 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Abstract

Consumption of almonds has been shown to be associated with a decreased risk of CHD, which may be related to their fatty acid (FA) composition. However, the effect of almond consumption on the serum FA composition is not known. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated whether almond consumption would alter the serum FA profile and risk of CHD, as calculated using Framingham's 10-year risk score, in a dose-dependent manner in hyperlipidaemic individuals when compared with a higher-carbohydrate control group using dietary interventions incorporating almonds. A total of twenty-seven hyperlipidaemic individuals consumed three isoenergetic (mean 1770 kJ/d) supplements during three 1-month dietary phases: (1) full-dose almonds (50–100 g/d); (2) half-dose almonds with half-dose muffins; (3) full-dose muffins. Fasting blood samples were obtained at weeks 0 and 4 for the determination of FA concentrations. Almond intake (g/d) was found to be inversely associated with the estimated Framingham 10-year CHD risk score (P= 0·026). In both the half-dose and full-dose almond groups, the proportions of oleic acid (OA) and MUFA in the TAG fraction (half-almond: OA P= 0·003; MUFA P= 0·004; full-almond: OA P< 0·001; MUFA P< 0·001) and in the NEFA fraction (half-almond: OA P= 0·01; MUFA P= 0·04; full-almond: OA P= 0·12; MUFA P= 0·06) increased. The estimated Framingham 10-year CHD risk score was inversely associated with the percentage change of OA (P= 0·011) and MUFA (P= 0·016) content in the TAG fraction. The proportions of MUFA in the TAG and NEFA fractions were positively associated with changes in HDL-cholesterol concentrations. Similarly, the estimated Framingham 10-year CHD risk score was inversely associated with the percentage change of OA (P= 0·069) and MUFA content in the NEFA fraction (P= 0·009). In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate that almond consumption increases OA and MUFA content in serum TAG and NEFA fractions, which are inversely associated with CHD lipid risk factors and overall estimated 10-year CHD risk.

(Received September 15 2013)

(Revised January 16 2014)

(Accepted February 11 2014)

(Online publication August 20 2014)

Key Words:

  • Coronary/heart disease;
  • Fatty acids;
  • Nutrition;
  • Almonds

Correspondence

c1 Corresponding author: C. W. C. Kendall, fax +1 416 978 5310, email cyril.kendall@utoronto.ca

Footnotes

  Abbreviations: FA, fatty acids; HDL-C, HDL-cholesterol; LDL-C, LDL-cholesterol; OA, oleic acid; PREDIMED, Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea

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