Pecan-enriched diets decrease postprandial lipid peroxidation and increase total antioxidant capacity in adults at-risk for cardiovascular disease

Nutr Res. 2021 Sep:93:69-78. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2021.07.004. Epub 2021 Jul 23.


Pecans are a rich source of antioxidants, but the effect of regular consumption on post-meal responses is unknown. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of daily pecan consumption for 8 weeks on fasting and postprandial lipid peroxidation, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and tocopherols in adults at higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) (hypercholesterolemia or elevated adiposity). We hypothesized that daily pecan consumption would result in increased fasting γ-tocopherol, increased fasting and postprandial TAC, and decreased fasting and postprandial lipid peroxidation. This was a randomized, parallel, controlled trial with 3 treatments: two pecan groups and a nut free control (n = 16). The ADD group (n = 15) consumed pecans as part of a free-living diet, and the SUB group (n = 16) substituted the pecans for isocaloric foods from their habitual diet. At the pre- and post-intervention, a high saturated fat breakfast shake was consumed with postprandial blood draws over 2h. In the ADD and SUB groups, postprandial lipid peroxidation was suppressed (iAUC: 0.9 ± 1.3 to -2.9 ± 2.0 and 4.5 ± 1.7 to 0.7 ± 1.1 µM/2h, respectively; P <0.05) and TAC was elevated (iAUC: -240.8 ± 110.2 to 130.9 ± 131.7 and -227.6 ± 131.2 to 208.7 ± 145.7 µM Trolox Equivalents/2h, respectively; P <0.01) from pre- to post-intervention. Furthermore, there was an increase in γ-tocopherol from pre- to post-intervention within the ADD (1.4 ± 0.1 to 1.8 ± 0.1 µg/mL; P <0.001) and SUB groups (1.8 ± 0.2 to 2.1 ± 0.2 µg/mL; P <0.05). There were no changes in any variable within the control group. These findings suggest that daily pecan consumption protects against oxidative stress that occurs following a high-fat meal in adults at risk for CVD.

Keywords: High-fat meal; Oxidative stress; Phenol; Tocopherol; Tree nuts.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Carya* / metabolism
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Postprandial Period


  • Antioxidants