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The vascular endothelium (inner lining of cells in blood vessels) normally prevents vasospasm and thrombosis by production of a variety of regulatory substances, including nitric oxide. In patients with atherosclerosis, these functions of the endothelium are impaired and these abnormalities may contribute to the development of heart attack and stroke.
Observational studies have shown that frequent nut consumption decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but the mechanisms of benefit have not been fully defined. Recent studies suggest that specific fatty acids and flavonoids in nuts may have favorable effects on cardiovascular disease. In addition, there is growing evidence that these compounds may improve the function of the endothelium.
The present study is designed to test the hypothesis that an almond-enriched diet will improve the function of the endothelium in patients with coronary artery disease. Subjects will be enrolled into a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study that will compare a National Cholesterol Education Program Step 1 diet without nuts to a Step 1 diet that has the same number of total calories but includes 3 ounces of almonds daily. Participants will consume each diet for six weeks with a four-week rest period between diets. The order of diets will be randomized (almonds or no almonds). Dietary assessments via food recall questionnaires will be employed at the study entry, end of the four week washout period, and end of the second intervention. If subjects are drifting from the recommendations of the STEP 1 diet, counseling will be given to urge compliance. The primary endpoint will be endothelium-dependent flow- mediated dilation assessed by ultrasound. Secondary study outcomes will include lipid profiles, markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. Enrollment will continue until 40 subjects with complete data are available.
Patients will be enrolled at Boston Medical Center and the Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts Medical Center. Dietary interventions will be performed at Tufts Medical Center or by telephone. Ultrasound studies and blood collection will be performed in the principal investigator's research unit at Boston Medical Center.
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Open Label
Coronary Artery Disease
NCEP Step 1 diet plus Almonds, No Almonds
Boston Medical Center
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:17:05-0400
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