Consumption of bitter apricot seeds affects lipid and endocrine profile in women

J Environ Sci Health B. 2021;56(4):378-386. doi: 10.1080/03601234.2021.1890513. Epub 2021 Feb 27.


Natural products have been attracting increasing attention in human diet, both due to the possible negative effects of synthetic food additives on human health and the increased consumer perception. Apricot seeds contain a wide variety of bioactive components and their consumption is associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of consumption of bitter apricot seeds on blood lipid and endocrine profile in Slovak women (n = 18, 41.60 ± 11.28 years) of reproductive age. Volunteers consumed 60 of body weight of bitter apricot seeds divided into 8-12 doses daily for 42 days. During the experiment, three blood collections were carried out (at the beginning of the experiment - day 0, and after 21 and 42 days of consumption apricot seeds). Lipid profile was measured in terms of - total cholesterol (T-C, enzymatic photometric method), low-density cholesterol (LDL-C, calculated using the Friedewald equation), high-density cholesterol (HDL-C, direct clearance method), triglycerides (TG, enzymatic colorimetric method) whereas endocrine profile - follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin (PRL), progesterone (P4), 17β-estradiol (E2), testosterone, and androstenedione was assessed by ELISA. The blood levels of T-C, HDL-C and T-C did not change significantly (P > 0.05), however, the level of LDL-C decreased significantly (P < 0.05) after 42 days. On the other hand, there was a significant (P < 0.05) increase of T-C and TG after 21 days. The blood level of FSH, testosterone and androstenedione increased significantly (P < 0.05) although the levels of LH, PRL, P4 and E2 did not change (P > 0.05) after 42 days. The level of PRL and testosterone significantly (P < 0.05) increased and E2 significantly decreased after 21 days of apricot seeds consumption. The study suggests that daily consumption of apricot seeds may affect plasma lipid and endocrine profile in women of reproductive age.

Keywords: Apricot seeds; FSH; LH; androstenedione; cholesterol; estradiol; progesterone; testosterone; triglyceride; women.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Endocrine System / drug effects*
  • Endocrine System / metabolism
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Progesterone / blood
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Prunus armeniaca / chemistry*
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Slovakia
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Prolactin
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone