Consumption of pistachio nuts is associated with decreased insulin resistance in individuals with prediabetes, according to a study presented at the annual European Congress on Obesity, held from May 28 to 31 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Pablo Hernández-Alonso, from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Reus, Spain, and colleagues examined the impact of chronic pistachio consumption on glucose metabolism and insulin resistance in prediabetes. A total of 49 individuals with prediabetes participated in a four-month, randomized, crossover clinical trial. Individuals were randomized to a control diet or an isocaloric pistachio diet (57 g daily), with a two-week washout period.
The researchers found that there were no significant between-group changes in body mass index. After the pistachio diet, there were significant decreases in fasting glucose, insulin, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance compared with the control diet. Participants in the pistachio diet also showed a non-significant decrease in glycosylated hemoglobin (P = 0.139), and a higher non-significant reduction in serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, compared with participants in the control diet. Compared with the control diet, after the pistachio diet there were significant decreases in other metabolic risk markers such as fibrinogen, glucagon-like peptide-1, oxidized LDL, and platelet factor-4 (P < 0.05).
“Regular consumption of pistachios could decrease insulin resistance thus suggesting a potential protective role for pistachio consumption against development of type 2 diabetes,” the authors note in a concluding statement.
The study was funded by the Western Pistachios Association and Paramount Farms.