Effects of pistachio nuts on body composition, metabolic, inflammatory and oxidative stress parameters in Asian Indians with metabolic syndrome: a 24-wk, randomized control trial

Nutrition. 2014 Feb;30(2):192-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2013.08.005.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of pistachio nuts as an adjunct to diet and exercise on body composition, metabolic, inflammatory, and oxidative stress parameters in Asian Indians with metabolic syndrome.

Methods: In this 24-wk randomized control trial, 60 individuals with the metabolic syndrome were randomized to either pistachio (intervention group) or control group (diet as per weight and physical activity profile, modulated according to dietary guidelines for Asian Indians) after 3 wk of a diet and exercise run in. In the first group, unsalted pistachios (20% energy) were given daily. A standard diet and exercise protocol was followed for both groups. Body weight, waist circumference (WC), magnetic resonance imaging estimation of intraabdominal adipose tissue and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue, fasting blood glucose (FBG), fasting serum insulin, glycosylated hemoglobin, lipid profile, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), adiponectin, free fatty acids (FFAs), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, leptin, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were assessed before and after the intervention.

Results: Statistically significant improvement in mean values for various parameters in the intervention group compared with control group were as follows: WC (P < 0.02), FBG (P < 0.04), total cholesterol (P < 0.02), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < 0.006), hs-CRP (P < 0.05), TNF-α (P < 0.03), FFAs (P < 0.001), TBARS (P < 0.01), and adiponectin levels (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: A single food intervention with pistachios leads to beneficial effects on the cardiometabolic profile of Asian Indians with metabolic syndrome.

Keywords: Metabolic syndrome; Pistachio nut.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adiposity
  • Adult
  • Asian People
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Weight
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Fasting
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuts / chemistry*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pistacia / chemistry*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Adiponectin
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Fatty Acids
  • Hemoglobins
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • C-Reactive Protein