Pistachio Nut Consumption and Serum Lipid Levels

J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Apr;26(2):141-8. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2007.10719595.

Abstract

Objective: Clinical and epidemiological studies have reported the beneficial effects of tree nuts and peanuts on serum lipid levels. We studied the effects of consuming 15% of the daily caloric intake in the form of pistachio nuts on the lipid profiles of free-living human subjects with primary, moderate hypercholesterolemia (serum cholesterol greater than 210 mg/dL).

Methods: design: Randomized crossover trial. setting: Outpatient dietary counseling and blood analysis. subjects: 15 subjects with moderate hypercholesterolemia. intervention: Fours weeks of dietary modification with 15% caloric intake from pistachio nuts.

Measures of outcome: Endpoints were serum lipid levels of total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C, VLDL-C, triglycerides and apolipoproteins A-1 and B-100. BMI, blood pressure, and nutrient intake (total energy, fat, protein, and fiber) were also measured at baseline, during, and after dietary intervention.

Results: No statistically significant differences were observed for total energy or percent of energy from protein, carbohydrate or fat. On the pistachio nut diet, a statistically significant decrease was seen for percent energy from saturated fat (mean difference, -2.7%; 95% CI, -5.4% to -0.08%; p = 0.04). On the pistachio nut diet, statistically significant increases were seen for percent energy from polyunsaturated fat (mean difference, 6.5%; 95% CI, 4.2% to 8.9%; p<.0001) and fiber intake (mean difference, 15 g; 95% CI, 8.4 g to 22 g; p = 0.0003). On the pistachio diet, statistically significant reductions were seen in TC/HDL-C (mean difference, -0.38; 95% CI, -0.57 to -0.19; p = 0.001), LDL-C/HDL-C (mean difference, -0.40; 95% CI, -0.66 to -0.15; p = 0.004), B-100/A-1 (mean difference, -0.11; 95% CI, -0.19 to -0.03; p = 0.009) and a statistically significant increase was seen in HDL-C (mean difference, 2.3; 95% CI, 0.48 to 4.0; p = 0.02). No statistically significant differences were seen for total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-C, VLDL-C, apolipoprotein A-1 or apolipoprotein B-100. No changes were observed in BMI or blood pressure.

Conclusion: A diet consisting of 15% of calories as pistachio nuts (about 2-3 ounces per day) over a four week period can favorably improve some lipid profiles in subjects with moderate hypercholesterolemia and may reduce risk of coronary disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Apolipoprotein A-I / blood
  • Apolipoprotein B-100 / blood
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Coronary Disease / blood
  • Coronary Disease / etiology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / complications
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diet therapy*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pistacia*

Substances

  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Apolipoprotein B-100
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Lipids
  • Cholesterol