Hazelnuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidant bioactive substances: their consumption has been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease events. A systematic review and a meta-analysis was performed to combine the results from several trials and to estimate the pooled (overall) effect of hazelnuts on blood lipids and body weight outcomes. Specifically, a Bayesian random effect meta-analysis of mean differences of Δ-changes from baseline across treatment (MDΔ) (i.e., hazelnut-enriched diet vs. control diet) has been conducted. Nine studies representing 425 participants were included in the analysis. The intervention diet lasted 28–84 days with a dosage of hazelnuts ranging from 29 to 69 g/day. Out of nine studies, three randomized studies have been meta-analyzed showing a significant reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (pooled MDΔ = −0.150 mmol/L; 95% highest posterior density interval (95%HPD) = −0.308; −0.003) in favor of a hazelnut-enriched diet. Total cholesterol showed a marked trend toward a decrease (pooled MDΔ = −0.127 mmol/L; 95%HPD = −0.284; 0.014) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol remained substantially stable (pooled MDΔ = 0.002 mmol/L; 95%HPD = −0.140; 0.147). No effects on triglycerides (pooled MDΔ = 0.045 mmol/L; 95%HPD = −0.195; 0.269) and body mass index (BMI) (pooled MDΔ = 0.062 kg/m2
; 95%HPD = −0.293; 0.469) were found. Hazelnut-enriched diet is associated with a decrease of LDL and total cholesterol, while HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and BMI remain substantially unchanged.
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