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The Hazelnut Study

Posted May 22 2013 10:04pm

Turning to diets that actually increase vascular health, I wanted to focus on the recent hazelnut study .  This study increased flow-mediated dilation by 56%!  There are a number of interesting things about this study.

First, look at the baseline diet:

Table1-H

In the control diet, there is already a very high unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio.  If you calculate it, it is 3.27:1.  Based on my previous posts, this should by itself lead to a high level of flow-mediated dilation.  So does it?  Yes!

Table3-H

In this study, the baseline FMD on the control diet was 15.2!  That’s very high.  Compare it to the numbers in a previous  post that compared a low-carb versus a low-fat diet.  Those FMD numbers were between 6 and 9.  Now with a high level of unsaturated fat to saturated fats in the diet, the FMD is 15.2%.

So then hazelnuts are incorporated into the diet, which boosts fat intake and reduces carbohydrate intake.  The ratio of unsaturated/saturated fats goes even higher to 5.5:1.  The result: FMD increases to 21.8%!

This is one of the highest levels of FMD I have ever seen!  So what would this change do for a person, health-wise?

A recent meta-analysis showed that for every 1% increase in FMD, the risk of a cardiovascular event is lowered by 13%.  So in this study the increase of 6.6% in FMD would reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event by

Not bad for swapping some carbs for hazelnuts in your diet!

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