Effect of tree nuts on metabolic syndrome criteria: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
- Sonia Blanco Mejia1,2,
- Cyril W C Kendall1,2,3,
- Effie Viguiliouk1,2,
- Livia S Augustin1,2,
- Vanessa Ha1,2,
- Adrian I Cozma1,2,
- Arash Mirrahimi1,2,4,
- Adriana Maroleanu2,
- Laura Chiavaroli1,2,
- Lawrence A Leiter1,2,5,6,7,
- Russell J de Souza1,2,8,
- David J A Jenkins1,2,5,6,7,
- John L Sievenpiper2,5,6,9
- 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- 2Toronto 3D Knowledge Synthesis and Clinical Trials Unit, Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- 3College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
- 4Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Ontario, Canada
- 5Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- 6Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- 7Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- 8Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
- 9Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
- Correspondence to Dr Cyril W C Kendall;
- Received 10 December 2013
- Revised 13 June 2014
- Accepted 16 June 2014
- Published 29 July 2014
Objective To provide a broader evidence summary to inform dietary guidelines of the effect of tree nuts on criteria of the metabolic syndrome (MetS).
Design We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of tree nuts on criteria of the MetS.
Data sources We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library (through 4 April 2014).
Eligibility criteria for selecting studies We included relevant randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of ≥3 weeks reporting at least one criterion of the MetS.
Data extraction Two or more independent reviewers extracted all relevant data. Data were pooled using the generic inverse variance method using random effects models and expressed as mean differences (MD) with 95% CIs. Heterogeneity was assessed by the Cochran Q statistic and quantified by the I2 statistic. Study quality and risk of bias were assessed.
Results Eligibility criteria were met by 49 RCTs including 2226 participants who were otherwise healthy or had dyslipidaemia, MetS or type 2 diabetes mellitus. Tree nut interventions lowered triglycerides (MD=−0.06 mmol/L (95% CI −0.09 to −0.03 mmol/L)) and fasting blood glucose (MD=−0.08 mmol/L (95% CI −0.16 to −0.01 mmol/L)) compared with control diet interventions. There was no effect on waist circumference, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or blood pressure with the direction of effect favouring tree nuts for waist circumference. There was evidence of significant unexplained heterogeneity in all analyses (p<0.05).
Conclusions Pooled analyses show a MetS benefit of tree nuts through modest decreases in triglycerides and fasting blood glucose with no adverse effects on other criteria across nut types. As our conclusions are limited by the short duration and poor quality of the majority of trials, as well as significant unexplained between-study heterogeneity, there remains a need for larger, longer, high-quality trials.
Trial registration number NCT01630980.
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