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Pecans Lower LDL-Cholesterol in Normolipidemic Individuals

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      Design. An eight week, randomized, controlled study with a pecan group versus a control group (no nut consumption) in normolipidemic adults. Subjects. Nineteen normolipidemic individuals were randomly assigned to pecan (seven women, three men, age 45±10 years) or control group (eight women, one man, age 37±12 years). Intervention. The pecan group consumed 68g of pecan nutmeats/day for eight weeks plus self-selected diets. The 68g of pecans contributed 384 kcal of energy and 33g of total dietary fat to the daily intake of the pecan treatment group. The control group avoided nut consumption and consumed self-selected diets for eight weeks. Main Outcome Measures. Total plasma cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, and total triglycerides were measured at entrance, week four, and week eight. Computer analyses was done on four three-day food records. Statistical Analysis Performed. Comparisons were analyzed using a repeated measures analysis of variance. Results. LDL-cholesterol was lowered in the pecan group by 10% from 2.61±0.49mmol/L at entrance to 2.35±0.49mmol/L (p<0.05) at week four and 6% to 2.46±0.59 at week eight (p<0.05). Total cholesterol was significantly lower (p<0.05) in the pecan group at week eight when compared with the control group. HDL-cholesterol remained unchanged in both groups. Total triglyceride differences were nonsignificant. Dietary fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, fiber, and energy were significantly higher (p<0.05) in the pecan group than the control group. Body mass indices remained the same in both groups. Conclusions. The inclusion of pecans in the diets of normolipidemic individuals can favorably influence LDL-cholesterol profiles.
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