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Fat free peanut flour, whole peanuts and peanut oil all may have
cardio-protective properties, results from a new animal study suggest.
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are presenting the
findings at this week's Institute of Food Technologists 2008 Annual
Meeting in New Orleans, La.
For the study, male hamsters were randomly divided into four groups.
Each group of nearly 20 hamsters was fed one of four different diets,
all of which were high-fat and high-cholesterol.
Each diet consisted of nearly equal percentages of fats, carbohydrates
and proteins. For three of the four test diets, equivalent amounts of
food component were substituted with fat-free peanut flour, peanut oil
or peanuts without skins. The fourth diet contained no peanut product
and served as the control group.
After the hamsters had been on the test diets for six months, the
researchers tested their blood lipid chemistry. Compared to hamsters in
the no-peanut control group, those in each of the three peanut groups
were found to have significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL "bad"
cholesterol. Also positive, HDL "good" cholesterol levels held steady.
Other blood chemistry research has been published that links reduced
heart disease risk factors in humans with consuming peanut butter and
peanut oil, but this is the first animal study to exhibit such an
effect from consuming the fat-free portion of peanuts. While it is
still unknown if the effect would translate to humans, the unit’s
confirmatory and additional research studies with peanut components are
The study was conducted by Tim Sanders, who heads the ARS Market
Quality and Handling Research Unit, in Raleigh, N.C., and Amanda
Stephens, a food science and nutrition graduate student at North
Carolina State University (NC State), in Raleigh.
Stephens is participating in a cooperative program with ARS in which
students gain course credit through laboratory training and experience.
The ARS study was conducted in NC State facilities under an
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approved protocol.
ARS is a scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Rosalie Marion Bliss, (301) 504-4318, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 30, 2008
--View this report online, plus photos and related stories, at www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr
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