Effects of pistachio nuts consumption on plasma lipid profile and oxidative status were investigated in healthy volunteers with normal lipid levels.
The study was conducted in 24 healthy men and 20 healthy women. All subjects consumed their regular diets during a 1-week period. After this period, half of the subjects (12 men and 10 women, mean age 32.8 +/- 6.7 years) were randomized to a regular diet group and the other half (12 men and 10 women, mean age 33.4 +/- 7.2 years) were randomized to a pistachio group which involved substituting pistachio nuts for 20% of their daily caloric intake for 3 weeks. Plasma total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglyceride, malondialdehyde (MDA) and antioxidant potential (AOP) were measured before and after the dietary modification from all the subjects. After 3 weeks, with the pistachio diet, the mean plasma total cholesterol, MDA levels and, total cholesterol/HDL and LDL/HDL ratios were found to be significantly decreased (P < 0.05, P < 0.05, P < 0.001 and P < 0.01, respectively); on the contrary, HDL and AOP levels, and AOP/MDA ratios were significantly increased (P < 0.001, P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). Triglyceride and LDL levels also decreased but this was not statistically significant (P > 0.05).
These results indicated that consumption of pistachio nuts decreased oxidative stress, and improved total cholesterol and HDL levels in healthy volunteers.