Effects of hazelnut-enriched diet on plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein profiles in hypercholesterolemic adult men

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Feb;61(2):212-20. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602518. Epub 2006 Sep 13.


Objective: Frequent consumption of nuts is associated with favorable plasma lipid profiles and reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). This study was conducted to investigate the effects of hazelnut-enriched diet on plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein profiles in hypercholesterolemic adult men compared with baseline and control diet, and also to measure the anthropometric parameters, habitual physical activities, nutrient intake and endothelial function.

Subjects and design: Fifteen hypercholesterolemic men aged 48+/-8 years were recruited voluntarily. A well-controlled, 2-period (P1 and P2) study design with a total of 8-week was implemented. In the P1, subjects consumed a control diet (low-fat, low-cholesterol and high-carbohydrate). During the P2, the control diet was supplemented with MUFA-rich hazelnut (40 g/day), which provided 11.6% of total energy content. Anthropometric parameters and habitual physical activities were recorded. Plasma total and HDL cholesterol, TAG, ApoA-1, Apo B, total homocysteine and glucose concentrations were measured. All parameters and measurements were obtained at baseline and end of each 4-week diet period.

Results: Body weights of subjects remained stable throughout the study. Compared with baseline, the hazelnut-enriched diet decreased (P<0.05) the concentrations of VLDL cholesterol, triacylglycerol, apolipoprotein B by 29.5, 31.8, and 9.2%, respectively, while increasing HDL cholesterol concentrations by 12.6%. Total/HDL cholesterol and LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios favorably decreased (P<0.05). Although insignificant there was a decreasing trend for the rest of parameters, particularly in total (5.2%) and LDL cholesterol (3.3%) in subjects consuming a hazelnut-enriched diet compared to that of the baseline. No changes were found in fasting levels of glucose, Apo A-1 and homocysteine between the control and hazelnut-enriched diets.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that a high-fat and high-MUFA-rich hazelnut diet was superior to a low-fat control diet because of favorable changes in plasma lipid profiles of hypercholesterolemic adult men and, thereby positively affecting the CHD risk profile.

Sponsorship: Funding provided by a grant from the Hazelnut Promotion Group, Giresun, Turkey.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Apolipoproteins B / blood
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, VLDL / blood
  • Corylus*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / metabolism
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Homocysteine / blood
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diet therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Cholesterol, VLDL
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Triglycerides
  • Homocysteine
  • Cholesterol