Garg M.L., R.J. Blake, R.B. Wills, E.H. Clayton, 2007. Macadamia nut consumption modulates favourably risk factors for coronary artery disease in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Lipids. 42(6):583-7.
Macadamia nuts are rich source of monounsaturated fats (oleic and palmitoleic acids) and contain polyphenol compounds, therefore, their consumption can be expected to impart health benefits to humans. This study was conducted to examine the effects of consuming macadamia nuts in hypercholesterolemic male individuals on plasma biomarkers of oxidative stress, coagulation and inflammation. Seventeen hypercholesterolemic male subjects were given macadamia nuts (40-90 g/day), equivalent to 15% energy intake, for a period of 4 weeks. As expected, monounsaturated fatty acids (16:1n-7, 18:1n-9 and 20:1n-9) were elevated in the plasma lipids of all volunteers following intervention with macadamia nuts. Plasma markers of inflammation (leukotriene, LTB(4)) and oxidative stress (8-isoprostane) were significantly lower (1,353 ± 225 vs. 1,030 ± 129 pg/mL and 876 ± 97 vs. 679 ± 116 pg/mL, respectively) within 4 weeks following macadamia nut intervention. There was a non-significant (23.6%) reduction in the plasma TXB(2)/PGI(2) ratio following macadamia nut consumption. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that short-term macadamia nut consumption modifies favourably the biomarkers of oxidative stress, thrombosis and inflammation, the risk factors for coronary artery disease, despite an increase in dietary fat intake. These data, combined with our previous results on cholesterol-lowering effects of macadamia nuts, suggest that regular consumption of macadamia nuts may play a role in the prevention of coronary artery disease.