A pecan-enriched diet increases gamma-tocopherol/cholesterol and decreases thiobarbituric acid reactive substances in plasma of adults
While the addition of any type of nuts to the diet improving health is not surprising, the blood levels of the tocopherols were interesting. Recall that most supplement forms of Vit E are in the alpha tocopherol form. While the alpha form was initially thought to be the most potent of the tocopherols, research has since shown that the gamma tocopherol is much more protective for heart disease.
This study found a very nice 10% increase in serum gamma tocopherol when pecans were added to the diet and well as lowered markers of oxidative stress. Interestingly, levels of alpha tocopherol dropped. This illustrates why some of the higher quality Vit E supplements will have mixed tocopherols–because supplementation of one form may lower the levels of another form (it is known that supplementation of the alpha form will lower levels of gamma in the blood).