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Can hazelnut intake modulate oxidative stress and lipid-related markers in children with primary dyslipidemia?



Introduction: Regular intake of nuts is suggested to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and to improve lipid profile. Dyslipidemic patients seem to be more susceptible to oxidative stress and CVD risk thus, they may benefit from nuts and their bioactives. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of hazelnuts consumed as snack on oxidative stress markers, erythrocytes fatty acid composition and serum lipids, in children with primary dyslipidemia. Methods: Sixty children (11.5 ± 2.5 years) with primary dyslipidemia were enrolled into an 8-week controlled, parallel, dietary intervention study with hazelnuts (0.43 g/kg body weight per day). Subjects received dietary guidelines and were randomized in 3 groups: 1- hazelnuts with skin; 2- hazelnut without skin; 3- control (without hazelnuts). Before and after the interventions, lipid profile, endogenous and H2O2-induced DNA damage and erythrocyte membrane phospholipids were evaluated. Results: Preliminary results (n=15 subjects) show that, compared with baseline concentrations, a significant reduction in serum LDL-C level was observed only after hazelnut with skin treatment for 8 weeks (-11.2%; p= 0.01). No difference in triglycerides, total and HDL-cholesterol levels were demonstrated. At baseline, H2O2-induced DNA damage was 41.7  10.0%. DNA damage decreased after hazelnut with skin (from 44.4 ± 3.1% to 35.7 ± 7.6%; n=5) as well as following hazelnut without-skin treatments (from 42.4 ± 16.0% to 33.3 ± 4.0%; n=5). No difference was observed in the control group. Moreover, data seem to suggest only a slight modulation of hazelnut treatment on erythrocyte membrane phospholipids composition. Conclusion: Results on the subsample analysed show a tendency towards a decrease in the levels of H2O2-induced DNA damage and serum LDL-C after 8-week of hazelnuts. Further data on the whole group of subjects will help understanding the effect of hazelnut consumption in dyslipidemic children.