Almonds have potential to prevent prediabetes: Study
Almonds have an effect on glucose and lipid metabolism and may be used to help prevent prediabetes.
Mumbai, India: Almonds have been shown to have an effect on glucose and lipid metabolism and may be used as a part of the food-based strategy to help prevent prediabetes especially in the young, according to a recent study which was published on the open science platform, Frontiers in Nutrition.
Over the past few decades, diabetes has become established as a major global health concern. A large percentage of the Indian population has diabetes or is at risk of pre-diabetes. Consumption of unhealthy snacks made from refined foods has increased in recent times and has resulted in a compromised state of health among the population. This has influenced metabolic health and increased the risk for the development of obesity as well as obesity associated non-communicable diseases (NCDs). One of the possible ways to improve metabolic health and reduce the risk of NCDs is by introducing healthy snacks. With this background, a group of researchers carried out a study to determine the effect of almond consumption on determinants of metabolic dysfunction—blood glucose, lipids, insulin and selected inflammatory markers.
The project was a randomized controlled, open-label, parallel arm study conducted on community living adolescents and young adults (16–25 years of age) in Mumbai, India. It was conducted over a period of 90 days and the inclusion criteria were participants in the age group of 16–25 years of age, with impaired fasting glucose levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL (5.6–6.9 mmol/L) and 2-h post-glucose value 140–199 mg/dL (7.8–11.0 mmol/L) and/or fasting hyperinsulinemia (≥15 mIU/ml) or glucose challenge hyperinsulinemia (≥80 m IU/ml). Baseline assessment was done for fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin, stimulated (2-h post 75 g glucose administration) blood glucose, stimulated insulin, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), lipid profile, oxidized LDL, adiponectin, leptin, inflammatory markers -IL-6 and TNF-α among the 275 participants. This was followed by randomisation to assign the individuals either to the almonds group or the control group. Participants in the almonds group received 56 g of raw almonds daily which was distributed in 2 packets that were to be consumed as snacks in a day. Participants in the control group received commonly consumed isocaloric (as provided by 56 g of raw almonds) Indian savory snacks of 2 varieties to prevent taste fatigue.
The mean glycosylated hemoglobin levels (HbA1c) levels showed a significant reduction in the almond group in comparison to the control group. There was also a significant reduction in the total cholesterol and LDL-c levels in the almond group in comparison to the control group, along with a decrease in the inflammatory marker, IL-6.
Overall, the study almonds were shown to have an effect on glucose metabolism by reducing HbA1c levels in just 12 weeks of consumption and manage dyslipidemia by reducing LDL-c and total cholesterol in the same population.
"Almonds can be a good healthy snack that can replace regular snacks and can be considered as a part of the food-based strategy to help prevent prediabetes especially in the young," the researchers concluded.
The study titled, "Effect of Almond Consumption on Metabolic Risk Factors—Glucose Metabolism, Hyperinsulinemia, Selected Markers of Inflammation: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Adolescents and Young Adults," is published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.