Dietary enrichment with almond (Prunus amygdalis) supplementation: effects on CVD risk biomarkers

Khujesta Choudhury, Helen R. Griffiths

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished Conference Paperpeer-review


Epidemiological evidence suggests that diets rich in fruits, vegetables and pulses reduce the risk of CVD. The Physicians Health Study has demonstrated reduction of CHD death with regular nut consumption1. One major modifiable risk factor for CHD is an unhealthy diet. Thus, an almondenrichment study has been undertaken to examine the benefit of almonds (Prunus amygdalis) in healthy individuals either with or without significant risk of vascular disease. Almonds contain various macronutrients (low SFA content, absence of cholesterol and high MUFA content) and micronutrients, including vitamin E, polyphenols and arginine, which afford vascular benefit. The effects of almond consumption (25 g/d for 4 weeks followed by 50 g/d for 4 weeks) were evaluated in three non-smoking subject groups: healthy male volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35 years (n 15); men at risk of heart disease between the ages of 18 and 35 years (n 12); mature men and women >50 years of age (n 18). A fourth control group (n 14) were followed over 8 weeks without dietary almond enrichment as a treatment control. None of the subjects withdrew from the study and 90% completed the study. The interim results of the study showed that in the three active groups there was little evidence for a change in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol or HDL-cholesterol. In the mature group there was a trend towards increasing HDL-cholesterol. The mature and ‘at-risk’ groups also showed a significant changes in systolic blood pressure (P<0.05) during almond consumption. The healthy group showed a decrease in diastolic blood pressure (P<0.05). The ‘at-risk’ group showed a significant increase (P<0.05) in flowmediated dilation after 8 weeks of almond consumption. Data analysis is ongoing, with completion of the study in November 2007. The beneficial effects of almond consumption on flow-mediated dilation and blood pressure may be attributed to the high content in almonds of arginine, which serves as a precursor to the vasodilatory molecule, NO.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Jul 2007
EventScientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society - University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland
Duration: 1 Jul 2007 → …


OtherScientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society
CityUniversity of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland
Period1/07/07 → …

Bibliographical note

Abstract published in Abstracts of Original Communications Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (2007), 66 (Supplement OCA-B), Cambridge University Press, p.36A. DOI 10.1017/S0029665107005952


  • epidemiological evidence
  • diets
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • pulses
  • risk of CVD
  • Physicians Health Study
  • CHD death nut consumption
  • unhealthy diet
  • almondenrichment study
  • almonds
  • Prunus amygdalis
  • vascular disease
  • almond consumption
  • systolic blood pressure
  • diastolic blood pressure
  • flowmediated dilation
  • arginine
  • vasodilatory molecule
  • NO


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