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When It comes to Matters of the Heart, Almonds Are a Multi-Tasker
Date:5/20/2008

Ground-breaking research reveals more about the effects of almonds' antioxidants on heart health

MODESTO, Calif., May 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Heart Association estimates that one in three American adults have some type of cardiovascular disease, and that cardiovascular disease is the largest major killer of American men and women.(1) So, new research into mechanisms behind fighting heart disease is welcome to many of us -- particularly when it involves a simple behavior change that can make a difference.

The Food and Drug Administration reaffirmed what research has shown for many years: that almonds are a heart smart food(2); but, new, preliminary research published in this month's Journal of Nutrition provides further insight into how the antioxidants in almonds may help maintain a healthy heart.

Almonds aren't typically known for their antioxidants beyond vitamin E, but in previous research, experts determined total antioxidants (phenols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids) in California almonds' skins and kernels using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)/electrochemical detection, UV detection and mass spectometry. They found that almonds contain flavonoids and phenolics in their skins similar to fruits and vegetables.(3)

Antioxidants at Work

In a previous study, 27 men and women with high cholesterol levels consumed three supplements with the same calories each for one month. Supplements consisted of full-dose almonds (73+/-3 g/d), half-dose almonds plus half-dose muffins, and full-dose muffins. Significant reductions from baseline were seen on both half- and full-dose almonds for LDL cholesterol (4.4% and 9.4% respectively).(4) The current study, conducted in collaboration by researchers at the University of Toronto and Tufts University, sought to investigate other factors, beyond lowering cholesterol, that make almonds a heart-smart food, specifically almonds' antioxidants.

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SOURCE Almond Board of California
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