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Ruisinger JF et al. Statins and almonds to lower lipoproteins (the STALL Study). J Clin Lipidol. 2015 Jan-Feb;9(1):58-64.
BACKGROUND: Dietary supplementation with almonds has demonstrated dose-dependent decreases in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), likely because of their composition of beneficial nutrients including mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and protein.
OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this study was to determine the changes in the lipid profile (LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C], triglycerides, total cholesterol, non-HDL-C), LDL-C particle size, and lipoprotein (a) when 100 g of almonds daily were added to background statin therapy for 4 weeks.
METHODS: Subjects (N = 48) receiving a consistent statin dose were randomized to 100 g of almonds daily and to The National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel’s third report Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet counseling (almond group; n = 22) or solely Adult Treatment Panel’s third report Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet counseling (non-almond group; n = 26), for 4 weeks.
RESULTS: No significant changes in weight and weekly physical activity were noted between the 2 groups from baseline. However, the almond group consumed significantly more calories at 4 weeks compared with controls. The almond group experienced a 4.9% reduction in non-HDL-C compared with a 3.5% increase for the non-almond group (P = .02). Additionally, notable improvements were observed in LDL-C and triglycerides, but did not achieve statistical significance (P = .068 for both parameters). There was also a shift from LDL pattern A to pattern B particles (P = .003) in the almond group. No significant differences in total cholesterol (P = .1), HDL-C (P = .3), or lipoprotein (a) (P = .1) were observed.
CONCLUSION: Adding 100 g of almonds daily to chronic statin therapy for 4 weeks significantly reduced non-HDL-C.