Skip to main content
Log in

Macadamia Nut Consumption Modulates Favourably Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease in Hypercholesterolemic Subjects

  • Communication
  • Published:


Macadamia nuts are rich source of monounsaturated fats (oleic and palmitoleic acids) and contain polyphenol compounds, therefore, their consumption can be expected to impart health benefits to humans. This study was conducted to examine the effects of consuming macadamia nuts in hypercholesterolemic male individuals on plasma biomarkers of oxidative stress, coagulation and inflammation. Seventeen hypercholesterolemic male subjects were given macadamia nuts (40–90 g/day), equivalent to 15% energy intake, for a period of 4 weeks. As expected, monounsaturated fatty acids (16:1n-7, 18:1n-9 and 20:1n-9) were elevated in the plasma lipids of all volunteers following intervention with macadamia nuts. Plasma markers of inflammation (leukotriene, LTB4) and oxidative stress (8-isoprostane) were significantly lower (1,353 ± 225 vs. 1,030 ± 129 pg/mL and 876 ± 97 vs. 679 ± 116 pg/mL, respectively) within 4 weeks following macadamia nut intervention. There was a non-significant (23.6%) reduction in the plasma TXB2/PGI2 ratio following macadamia nut consumption. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that short-term macadamia nut consumption modifies favourably the biomarkers of oxidative stress, thrombosis and inflammation, the risk factors for coronary artery disease, despite an increase in dietary fat intake. These data, combined with our previous results on cholesterol-lowering effects of macadamia nuts, suggest that regular consumption of macadamia nuts may play a role in the prevention of coronary artery disease.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1



Polyunsaturated fatty acids


Monounsaturated fatty acids


  1. Bulur H, Ozdemirler G, Oz B, Toker G, Ozturk M, Jysal M (1995) High cholesterol diet supplemented with sunflower seed oil but not olive oil stimulates lipid peroxidation in plasma, liver and aorta of rats. J Nutr Biochem 6(10):547–550

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Nair PP, Judd JT, Berlin E, Taylor PR, Shami S, Sainz E, Bhagavan HN (1993) Dietary fish oil-induced changes in the distribution of alpha-tocopherol, retinol, and beta-carotene in plasma, red blood cells, and platelets: modulation by vitamin E. Am J Clin Nutr 58(1):98–102

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Karlsson J (1997) Exercise, muscle metabolism and the antioxidant defense. In: Simopoulos AP, Pavlou KN (eds) World reviews on nutrition and dietetics, vol 82. Karger, Basel, pp 81–100

  4. Grundy SM (1986) Comparison of monounsaturated fatty acids and carbohydrates for lowering plasma cholesterol. N Engl J Med 314(12):745–748

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Kris-Etherton PM, Pearson TA, Wan Y, Hargrove RL, Moriarty K, Fishell V, Etherton TD (1999) High-monounsaturated fatty acid diets lower both plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr 70(6):1009–1015

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Lopez-Miranda J, Gomez P, Castro P, Marin C, Paz E, Bravo MD, Blanco J, Jimenez-Pereperez J, Fuentes F, Perez-Jimenez F (2000) Mediterranean diet improves low density lipoprotein susceptibility to oxidative modifications. Med Clin 115(10):361–365

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Parthasarathy S, Khoo JC, Miller E, Barnett J, Witztum JL, Steinberg D (1990) Low density lipoprotein rich in oleic acid is protected against oxidative modification: implications for dietary prevention of atherosclerosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 87(10):3894–3898

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Berry EM, Eisenberg S, Haratz D, Friedlander Y, Norman Y, Kaufmann NA, Stein Y (1991) Effects of diets rich in monounsaturated fatty acids on plasma lipoproteins—the Jerusalem nutrition study: high MUFAs vs. high PUFAs. Am J Clin Nutr 53(4):899–907

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Holland B, Unwin ID, Buss DH (1992) Fruits and nuts: the composition of foods, McCance and Widdowson’s 5th edn. Xerox Ventura, Cambridge

  10. Curb JD, Wergowske G, Dobbs JC, Abbott RD, Huang B (2000) Serum lipid effects of a high-monounsaturated fat diet based on macadamia nuts. Arch Intern Med 160(8):1154–1158

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Garg ML, Blake RJ, Wills RB (2003) Macadamia nut consumption lowers plasma total and LDL cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic men. J Nutr 133(4):1060–1063

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Lepage G, Roy CC (1986) Direct transesterification of all classes of lipids in a one-step reaction. J Lipid Res 27(1):114–120

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Mueller T, Dieplinger B, Gegenhuber A, Haidinger D, Schmid N, Roth N, Ebner F, Landl M, Poelz W, Haltmayer M (2004) Serum total 8-iso-prostaglandin F2alpha: a new and independent predictor of peripheral arterial disease. J Vasc Surg 40(4):768–773

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Wood LG, Gibson PG, Garg ML (2003) Biomarkers of lipid peroxidation, airway inflammation and asthma. Eur Respir J 21(1):177–186

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Nalsen C, Vessby B, Berglund L, Uusitupa M, Hermansen K, Riccardi G, Rivellese A, Storlien L, Erkkila A, Yla-Herttuala S, Tapsell L, Basu S (2006) Dietary (n-3) fatty acids reduce plasma F2-isoprostanes but not prostaglandin F2alpha in healthy humans. J Nutr 136(5):1222–1228

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Visioli F, Caruso D, Galli C, Viappiani S, Galli G, Sala A (2000) Olive oils rich in natural catecholic phenols decrease isoprostane excretion in humans. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 278(3):797–799

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Ros E, Nunez I, Perez-Heras A, Serra M, Gilabert R, Casals E, Deulofeu R (2004) A walnut diet improves endothelial function in hypercholesterolemic subjects: a randomized crossover trial. Circulation 109(13):1609–1614

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Osterud B, Elvevoll EO, Brox J, Olsen JO (2002) Cellular activation responses in blood in relation to lipid pattern: healthy men and women in families with myocardial infarction or cancer. Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis 13(5):399–405

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Kelly CM, Smith RD, Williams CM (2001) Dietary monounsaturated fatty acids and haemostasis. Proc Nutr Soc 60(2):161–170

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Ferroni P, Basili S, Falco A, Davi G (2004) Oxidant stress and platelet activation in hypercholesterolemia. Antioxid Redox Signal 6(4):747–756

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Jenkins DJA, Kendall CWC, Marchie A, Faulkner DA, Wong JMW, de Souza R, Emam A, Parker TL, Vidgen E, Lapsley KG, Trautwein EA, Josse RG, Leiter LA, Connelly PW (2003) Effects of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods versus lovastatin on serum lipids and C-reactive protein. J Am Med Assoc 290(4):502–510

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


Supported by a grant from the Horticultural Research and Development Corporation.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Manohar L. Garg.

About this article

Cite this article

Garg, M.L., Blake, R.J., Wills, R.B.H. et al. Macadamia Nut Consumption Modulates Favourably Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease in Hypercholesterolemic Subjects. Lipids 42, 583–587 (2007).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: