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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Market Quality and Handling Research

Title: Peanuts, Peanut Oil and Fat Free Peanut Flour Reduced Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and the Development of Atherosclerosis in Syrian Golden Hamsters

item Stephens, Amanda -
item Davis, Jack
item Osborne, Jason -

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 26, 2010
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Citation: Stephens, A.M., Dean, L.L., Davis, J.P., Osborne, J.A., Sanders, T.H. 2010. Peanuts, Peanut Oil and Fat Free Peanut Flour Reduced Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and the Development of Atherosclerosis in Syrian Golden Hamsters. Journal of Food Science. 75(4):H116-H122.

Interpretive Summary: Regular consumption of nuts, including peanuts, has been shown to reduce the risk of cardio vascular disease (CVD). This study examined the effects of peanuts, peanut oil and fat free peanut flour added to a high fat, high cholesterol diet on CVD risk factors and development of atherosclerosis in hamsters. Animals consuming the peanut containing diets had significantly lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol and the same HDL (good) level as the control which contained no peanut component. The marker for atherosclerosis in aortas from hamsters consuming all the peanut diets was highly significantly lower than the control diet. Peanuts, peanut oil and fat free peanut flour were shown to be effective in maintaining positive blood chemistry risk factors and reducing the development of atherosclerosis even when animals were consuming a high fat, high cholesterol diet.

Technical Abstract: Human clinical trials have demonstrated the cardiovascular protective properties of peanuts and peanut oil in decreasing total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol without reducing high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. The cardiovascular effects of the non-lipid portion of peanuts has not been evaluated even though that fraction contains arginine, flavonoids, folates and other compounds that have been linked to cardiovascular health. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of fat free peanut flour (FFPF), peanuts and peanut oil on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and the development of atherosclerosis in male Syrian golden hamsters. Each experimental diet group was fed a high fat, high cholesterol diet with various peanut components (FFPF, peanut oil or peanuts) substituted for similar metabolic components in the control diet. Tissues were collected at wk 0, 12, 18 and 24. Total plasma cholesterol (TPC), LDL and HDL distribution were determined by high-performance gel filtration chromatography, while aortic total cholesterol (TC) and cholesteryl ester (CE) were determined by gas liquid chromatography. Peanuts, peanut oil, and FFPF diet groups had significantly (p<0.05) lower TPC, non-HDL than the control group beginning at about 12 wk and continuing through the 24 wk study. HDL was not significantly different among the diet groups. Peanut and peanut component diets retarded an increase in TC and CE. Because CE is an indicator of the development of atherosclerosis this study demonstrated that peanuts, peanut oil, and FFPF retarded the development of atherosclerosis in animals consuming an atherosclerosis inducing diet.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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