An almond-enriched diet increases plasma α-tocopherol and improves vascular function but does not affect oxidative stress markers or lipid levels
Free radical research | 22 Feb 2014
K Choudhury, J Clark and HR Griffiths
Abstract Vascular dysfunction is one of the major causes of cardiovascular (CV) mortality and increases with age. Epidemiological studies suggest that Mediterranean diets and high nut consumption reduce CV disease risk and mortality while increasing plasma α-tocopherol. Therefore, we have investigated whether almond supplementation can improve oxidative stress markers and CV risk factors over 4 weeks in young and middle-aged men. Healthy middle-aged men (56+5.8years), healthy young men (22.1+2.9years) and young men with two or more CV risk factors (27.3+5years) consumed 50g almond /day for 4 weeks. A control group maintained habitual diets over the same period. Plasma α-tocopherol/cholesterol ratios were not different between groups at baseline and were significantly elevated by almond intervention with 50g almond/day for four weeks (p<0.05). Plasma protein oxidation and nitrite levels were not different between groups whereas total, HDL and LDL cholesterols and triglycerides were significantly higher in healthy middle-aged and young men with CV risk factors but were not affected by almond intake. In the almond consuming groups, flow mediated dilatation (FMD) was improved and diastolic blood pressure was reduced significantly after 4 weeks, but systolic blood pressure was only reduced in healthy men. In conclusion, a short-term almond-enriched diet can increase plasma α-tocopherol and improve vascular function in asymptomatic healthy mean men aged between 20 and 70 without effect on plasma lipids or markers of oxidative stress.
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