An almond-enriched diet increases plasma α-tocopherol and improves vascular function but does not affect oxidative stress markers or lipid levels

Free Radic Res. 2014 May;48(5):599-606. doi: 10.3109/10715762.2014.896458. Epub 2014 Mar 20.


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 ± 5.8 years), healthy young men (22.1 ± 2.9 years) and young men with two or more CV risk factors (27.3 ± 5 years) consumed 50 g 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 50 g almond/day for 4 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 intake. In the almond-consuming groups, flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) improved and systolic blood pressure reduced significantly after 50 g almonds/day for 4 weeks, but diastolic blood pressure reduced only in healthy men. In conclusion, a short-term almond-enriched diet can increase plasma α-tocopherol and improve vascular function in asymptomatic healthy men aged between 20 and 70 years without any effect on plasma lipids or markers of oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Prunus / cytology
  • Prunus / metabolism*
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood*
  • Triglycerides / metabolism
  • Young Adult
  • alpha-Tocopherol / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides
  • alpha-Tocopherol