Boston: A daily intake of almonds could significantly decrease levels of two biomarkers for oxidative stress in people with high cholesterol, according to a study by scientists at Tufts University in Boston, Mass. Coauthor Jeffrey Blumberg and colleagues found that almonds successfully lowered plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and urinary isoprostanes levels in a group of 27 male and female volunteers with elevated cholesterol. Blumberg is the director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts The researchers analysed blood and urine samples from the subjects who had consumed three different dietary treatments, consisting of the same amount of calories each, for one month. The study was a crossover, randomised clinical trial, so each subject received each treatment in random order. Treatments consisted of a "full dose" of almonds, defined as 73 grams daily (about 2.5 ounces), a "half-dose" of almonds plus a half-dose of muffins, and a full-dose of muffins as a control. The subjects consumed a low-fat background diet and were counseled on strategies to maintain weight and to consistently follow their usual exercise routines throughout each test phase. The researchers wanted to investigate possible antioxidant effects from eating almonds.
While the study helps to show the antioxidant benefit of eating almonds, further research is needed to shed light on the individual contributions of vitamin E and polyphenolic constituents, such as flavonoids, found in almonds and other tree nuts. IANS