Poster Topical Area: Aging and Chronic Disease
Poster Board Number: 73
Background: Evidence suggests that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Objective: To conduct a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the effects of almond consumption and risk factors for CVD.
Methods: MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, and previous systematic reviews were searched from 1990 through June 2017 for studies evaluating almond consumption and risk factors of CVD. RCTs ≥3 weeks evaluating almond versus no almond in adults either healthy or at risk for CVD were included. The outcomes included serum lipids (total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein (LDL-C), high density lipoprotein (HDL-C), and triglycerides (TG)), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), body weight, and fasting blood glucose (FBG), LDL-C/HDL-C, TC/HDL-C, and BMI. Random effects model meta-analyses were conducted when >3 studies reported the same outcome.
Results: Meta-analysis included 13 studies (491 subjects) for serum lipid outcomes, 11 studies (432 subjects) for body weight, 7 studies (306 subjects) for SBP and DBP; 9 studies (381 subjects) for FBG; 5 studies for TC/HDL (235 subjects); 6 studies for LDL/HDL (168 subjects); 6 studies for BMI (284 subjects). Almond intervention significantly decreased TC (summary net change −10.69 mg/dL; 95% CI [−16.75; −4.63]), LDL-C (summary net change -5.83 mg/dL; 95% CI [-9.91, -1.75]); body weight (summary net change -1.39 kg; 95% CI [-2.49; -0.30]), HDL-C (summary net change -1.26 mg/dL; 95% CI [-2.47; -0.05]). TG, SBP showed no difference between almond and control in the main and subgroup analyses. FBG, DBP and BMI showed significant decrease with almond consumption only in doses >1.5 oz. vs. ≤1.5 oz. TC/HDL-C, LDL-C/HDL-C showed a significant decrease with almond consumption doses only ≤1.5 oz. vs. >1.5 oz. There was also substantial heterogeneity among studies in terms of types of almond intervention and doses.
Conclusion: Our review suggests that almond consumption may reduce the risk of CVD by improving TC, LDL-C, TC/HDL-C, LDL-C/HDL-C at doses ≤1.5 oz. and by significantly decreasing TC, FBG, DBP, body weight and BMI at doses >1.5 oz.
Michelle Lee Bravatti
Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy