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15 January, 2020 Health News

Walnuts May Affect Positively the Gut Microbiota

Walnuts May Affect Positively the Gut Microbiota

This study, recently published in The Journal of Nutrition, examined between-diet gut bacterial differences in individuals at increased cardiovascular risk following diets that replaced saturated fatty acids (SFAs) with walnuts or vegetable oils.

A total of 42 adults at cardiovascular risk were included in this trial. Participants were men and women aged between 30-65 years old, with overweight or obesity, who had elevated blood pressure and/or increased LDL “bad” cholesterol. Volunteers followed a standard Western-diet during 2 weeks and after that, they followed a three 6-week diet periods (with compliance breaks between diet periods). The three diet periods consisted in: 1) a diet containing whole walnuts (57-99 g/day); 2) a fatty acid-matched diet devoid of walnuts, or 3) a diet replacing α-linolenic acid with oleic acid and without walnuts.
Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University concluded that whole walnuts and the fatty acid profile may differentially affect the gut microbiota relative to a Western-style diet with a greater percentage of calories from SFAs. The associations between Lachnospiraceae (a family of bacteria) and improved cardiovascular risk factors suggest that the gastrointestinal microbiota may contribute to the underlying mechanisms of the beneficial health effects of walnut consumption.

This study was funded by The California Walnut Commission.
Link to the study:
Tindall, A.M., McLimans, C.J., Petersen, K.S., Kris-Etherton, P.M., Lamendella, R. (2019). Walnuts and Vegetable Oils Containing Oleic Acid Differentially Affect the Gut Microbiota and Associations with Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Follow-up of a Randomized, Controlled, Feeding Trial in Adults at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease, The Journal of Nutrition, nxz289,
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