The Traveling Nut: Researchers From Around the World Explore the Impact of Almonds on the Body
Two New Studies Examine the Potential Impact of Almonds in People with Type 2 Diabetes
The two studies examining the effect of almonds in people with type 2 diabetes explored the impact on cardiovascular risk factors. Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death for both men and women globally, but is of special concern for individuals with diabetes who are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than their non-diabetic counterparts.(5)(6) Previous research including nine-clinical studies have found that almonds as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can help maintain cholesterol levels and a healthy heart. The associated heart health effects of almonds, as well as low carbohydrate content (one-ounce of almonds contains 3g of net carbohydrates) has prompted researchers to further investigate the benefit of adding almonds and other nuts to the diets of individuals with diabetes.
Almonds Help People with Type 2 Diabetes Maintain a Healthy Heart(3)
Researchers from Taipei Medical University and
Study at a Glance:
Subjects: Twenty Chinese type 2 diabetic patients with mild hyperlipidemia and treated with oral hypoglycemics.
Methods: A 12-week crossover clinical trial where subjects were randomly assigned to receive either a NCEP Step II diet or an Almond Diet. The Almond Diet was the NCEP Step II diet, except that almonds were added to replace 20 percent of the total caloric intake. Researchers measured body fat, glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, oxidative stress and inflammatory biomarkers.
Results: Researchers found that the almond diet led to a significant decrease in body fat by 1%, total cholesterol by 8%, LDL cholesterol by 13%, blood sugar by 6.7%, and insulin by 7.9%. Changes were also noted among the inflammatory biomarkers measured, as well as the resistance of LDL against oxidation, when tissues were tested in a laboratory environment. Researchers also found an increase in alpha-tocopherol or vitamin E levels in the blood. The NCEP Step II diet also resulted in changes in cardiovascular risk factors. The changes however were not as clinically meaningful as those noted with the almond diet.
Almonds and other Nuts May Impact HbA1c levels and Risk for Cardiovascular Disease(4)
Another new study presented at EB by Dr.
Researchers found that the full dose mixed nut diet resulted in a significant improvement in glycemic control as indicated by a reduction in HbA1c levels (P<0.01). There was also a significant decrease in cardiovascular risk factors, total cholesterol (P<0.022) and LDL cholesterol (P<0.027), with the full dose mixed nut group compared to the control group.
Lead study author Dr. Kendall from the
Study at a Glance:
Subjects: 120 Non-insulin dependent subjects with diabetes mellitus treated with oral hypoglycemic agents.
Methods: In the three-month parallel study subjects were randomized to receive one of the three treatment groups: 1) Full Dose Nut Diet-raw nuts, including almonds were added to the subjects usual diet based on energy intake. 2) Half-Dose Nut Diet-half-dose of nuts and half-dose of control muffin were provided according to calorie needs. 3) Control: Whole wheat muffins were matched with energy content of nuts provided.
One week diet histories were obtained and fasting blood samples were collected at baseline weeks 2, 4, 8, 10 and 12 to measure cardiovascular risk factors and glycemic control measures.
Results: There were no significant differences in HbA1c between diets, although after the full-dose nut diet there was a significant reduction from baseline in HbA1c levels (p<0.01) compared to the half-dose nut, and the muffin alone. There were significant differences between the full-dose nut group and the muffin group for total cholesterol (p=0.022) and LDL cholesterol (p=0.027).
For more information on almonds or these studies, please visit www.AlmondsAreIn.com.
The Almond Board of
(1) Berry, S., Lapsley, K., Tydeman, E., Lewis, H., Phalora, R., Rosborough, J., Picout, D., Ellis, P. Manipulation of lipid bioaccessibility influences postprandial vitamin E concentrations in healthy human subjects: implications for implications for inflammation, oxidative stress and vascular responses.
(2) Mandalari, G., Rich, G., Bisignano, G., Parker, M., Waldron, K.,
(3) C-Y.O., Chen, J.-F., Liu, C.-M., Chen. Almonds ameliorate risk factors of cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes.
(4) Kendall, C., Esfahani, A.,Parker, T., Banach, M., Mitchell, S., Jenkins, D. Longer-term effects nuts on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes.
(5) World Health Organization. www.who.org
(6) American Heart Association www.aha.org
SOURCE Almond Board of