05/20/2010 - News

Eating Nuts Lowers Lipid Levels

By: June Chen, MD


Consumption of nearly any type of nuts improves lipid levels in the blood, according to a new study published in the May 11, 2010 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. The lipid-lowering effect of nuts lowers total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels and may lower coronary heart disease risk. 

Previous studies have shown that consuming at least four servings of nuts per week lowers the risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 40 percent. In this latest review, researchers performed a meta-analysis of 25 trials involving a total of 583 men and women in order to examine the effect of eating nuts on blood lipid levels and whether these effects varied by population, type of nuts, diet, or body mass index. The researchers found that eating 67 grams of nuts lowered total and LDL cholesterol levels and also improved the ratio of LDL to high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. The lipid-lowering effect of nuts was similar in men and women of different age groups and did not seem to be affected by the types of nuts consumed. However, the cholesterol-lowering effects were more significant among those people with higher baseline LDL levels and a body mass index less than 25.

Based on this review, eating nuts has a favorable effect on blood lipid levels, at least in the short term, and has the potential to lower heart disease risk. However, further research is needed to determine whether the beneficial effect of nuts on cholesterol is maintained over the long term and whether this lipid lowering actually reduces the development of coronary heart disease.



Arch Intern Med 2010; 170(9): 821-827.


Created on: 05/20/2010
Reviewed on: 05/20/2010

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