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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2012, Article ID 265712, 6 pages
Research Article

Is Almond Consumption More Effective Than Reduced Dietary Saturated Fat at Decreasing Plasma Total Cholesterol and LDL-c Levels? A Theoretical Approach

1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, School of Natural Sciences, University of California, Merced, Merced, CA 95343, USA
2Department of Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced, Merced, CA 95343, USA

Received 4 October 2012; Revised 5 November 2012; Accepted 5 November 2012

Academic Editor: Phillip B. Hylemon

Copyright © 2012 Rudy M. Ortiz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hypercholesterolemia can be a consequence of excessive dietary saturated fatty acid (SFA), while almond-supplemented diets can improve lipid profiles. However, the differential and independent impacts of dietary SFA and almondsupplemented diets on plasma total cholesterol (pTC) and low-density lipoprotein (pLDL-c) concentrations have not been directly compared and are not well described. We reviewed the available data to construct multiple regression analyses to theoretically assess the impact of relative almond intake (RAI) and dietary SFA on reducing pTC and pLDL-c concentrations. Strong, negative correlations between RAI and percent change in mean pTC and RAI and percent change in mean pLDL-c were detected. The relationships between percent change in mean dietary SFA, and percent change in mean pTC and mean pLDL-c were weaker and only significant for pLDL-c. The multiple regression analyses demonstrated modest improvements in the strength of the correlations for both pTC and pLDL-c . The models suggest that the increase in RAI contributes to the reduction in pTC and pLDL-c to a greater extent than a reduction in dietary SFA, but a simultaneous decrease in dietary SFA should further improve lipid profiles.