Background and aim: Effects of pistachio nuts consumption on plasma lipid profile and oxidative status were investigated in healthy volunteers with normal lipid levels.
Methods and results: The study was conducted in 24 healthy men and 20 healthy women. All subjects consumed their regular diets during a 1-week period. After this period, half of the subjects (12 men and 10 women, mean age 32.8 +/- 6.7 years) were randomized to a regular diet group and the other half (12 men and 10 women, mean age 33.4 +/- 7.2 years) were randomized to a pistachio group which involved substituting pistachio nuts for 20% of their daily caloric intake for 3 weeks. Plasma total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglyceride, malondialdehyde (MDA) and antioxidant potential (AOP) were measured before and after the dietary modification from all the subjects. After 3 weeks, with the pistachio diet, the mean plasma total cholesterol, MDA levels and, total cholesterol/HDL and LDL/HDL ratios were found to be significantly decreased (P < 0.05, P < 0.05, P < 0.001 and P < 0.01, respectively); on the contrary, HDL and AOP levels, and AOP/MDA ratios were significantly increased (P < 0.001, P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). Triglyceride and LDL levels also decreased but this was not statistically significant (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: These results indicated that consumption of pistachio nuts decreased oxidative stress, and improved total cholesterol and HDL levels in healthy volunteers.