newsA Healthy Plant-Based Diet is Associated with Lower Risk of COVID-19A new preprint article, published in medRxiv analyzed how a diet that includes healthy plant-based foods affects the risk and severity of COVID-19. The authors point out that poor metabolic health and certain lifestyle factors are associated with risk and severity of COVID-19, but not many studies examine diet due to lack of data. The study included 592,571 individuals from the smartphone-based COVID Symptom Study and diet quality was assessed using a healthful plant-based diet score. This score emphasizes consuming plant-based foods, a category that nuts and dried fruits would fit into. The researchers concluded that participants who had a dietary pattern including healthy plant-based foods were associated with lower risk and severity of COVID-19. Merino, J., Joshi, A. D., Nguyen, L., Leeming, E., Drew, D. A., Gibson, R., ... & Chan, A. T. (2021). Diet quality and risk and severity of COVID-19: a prospective cohort study. medRxiv. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/a-healthy-plant-based-diet-is-associated-with-lower-risk-of-covid-19Consuming Nuts Does Not Lead to Weight Gain for People with Type 2 DiabetesMany studies have shown that consuming nuts does not cause weight gain, however, fewer studies have examined the effect on people with type 2 diabetes. Nutrition Reviews recently published a paper that explored this relationship. Researchers looked to four databases to gather randomized controlled trials that examined how consuming nuts affected body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and body fat percentage. In total, 15 randomized controlled trials with 899 individuals were included in the study. The results concluded that nut consumption did not lead to any weight gain or adiposity parameters for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Fernández-Rodríguez, R., Martínez-Vizcaíno, V., Garrido-Miguel, M., Martínez-Ortega, I. A., Álvarez-Bueno, C., & Eumann Mesas, A. (2021). Nut consumption, body weight, and adiposity in patients with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition Reviews. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/consuming-nuts-does-not-lead-to-weight-gain-for-people-with-type-2-diabetesWalnut Consumption Associated with Greater Life Expectancy in US AdultsResearchers from Harvard found that including walnuts in the diet was positively associated with lower mortality and those who consumed more than 5 servings of walnuts a week saw a greater life expectancy. The study was conducted using US adults from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. In total, 67,014 women and 26,326 men were included in the research. Using statistical analysis, the authors analyzed total mortality across various categories of walnut intake, ranging from less than 1 serving per week to more than 5 servings per week. They found that higher consumption of walnuts was associated with a lower risk of total and cardiovascular disease mortality. Moreover, a greater life expectancy at age 60 was observed in those who consumed walnuts more than five servings a week, compared to non-consumers. Liu, X., Guasch-Ferré, M., Tobias, D. K., & Li, Y. (2021). Association of Walnut Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality and Life Expectancy in US Adults. Nutrients, 13(8), 2699. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/walnut-consumption-associated-with-greater-life-expectancy-in-us-adultsINC Co-sponsors Session at the 38th International Symposium on Diabetes and NutritionThe 38th International Symposium on Diabetes and Nutrition (ISDN) was held virtually from June 21-24, 2021, and was attended by more than 470 participants from more than 30 countries. The INC co-sponsored the session ‘Nuts, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome’, along with the NREF. The session, co-chaired by Dr. Cyril Kendall (University of Toronto, Canada) and Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó (Rovira i Virgili University, Spain), discussed the most relevant studies highlighting the beneficial effects of nut consumption on diabetes, including an INC-funded study on nuts, gut microbiota, and cognition. The INC’s co-sponsored session took place on June 24 and featured four guest speakers who covered some of the most pertinent and recent scientific studies which examine how nut consumption can be beneficial for diabetes and the metabolic system.   Dr. Zhaoping Li from the University of California in the US presented various epidemiologic studies and clinical trials that examined nut consumption and Metabolic Syndrome (MetS). The results from the studies suggest that including nuts in your diet may significantly decrease risks for MetS, which is a cluster of cardiometabolic risk factors like type 2 diabetes, abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, and hypertriglyceridemia. The protective effects of nuts could be explained by the modulation of inflammation and oxidation.   Prof. Anoop Misra from Fortis C-DOC Healthcare Ltd in India discussed how nuts assist in the management of diabetes. In a review of recent studies, data shows that nut consumption may have beneficial effects on glucose-insulin metabolism and decrease hepatic fat. The data also suggests there is an inverse relation between nut intake and type 2 diabetes and MetS, especially in women. In short-term intervention studies, it was noted that intake of nuts decreased blood glucose levels, triglycerides and inflammatory markers, and increased glucagon-like peptide-1 levels.   Next, Dr. Crystal Haskell-Ramsey from Northumbria University in the UK talked about the potential effects of daily tree nut consumption on cognitive function, metabolomics and intestinal microbiota. Studies have shown cognitive benefits of nut consumption. These benefits may be important because a number of studies have shown cognitive impairments in diabetes, which are also linked with alterations in gut microbiota.   Dr. Jagmeet Madan from Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College of Home Sciences, SNDT Women’s University in India presented the oral abstract “Effect of Almond Consumption on Glucose Metabolism, Hyperinsulinemia and Selected Markers of Inflammation: A randomized Controlled Trial in Adolescents and Young Adults in Mumbai, India.” Almonds have the potential to reduce hyperinsulinemia and thus improve insulin resistance at a fairly early stage that even precedes prediabetes, in addition to having beneficial effects on HbAIC and some lipid and inflammatory markers. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-co-sponsors-session-at-the-38th-international-symposium-on-diabetes-and-nutritionFunctional Benefits of Raisins in Sweet Baked Goods as Substitute to Animal FatA recent white paper released by the California Raisin Marketing Board examined the functionality of using California raisins, more specifically, raisin paste as a substitute for fat and sugar in sweet baked goods. The research, conducted by food consulting firm CuliNex involved using a basic fudge brownie and then gradually replacing the percentage of total fat from egg yolks and butter with raisin paste.  The research started with a base brownie where 100% of the fat content came from egg yolks and butter and then gradually increased the amount of raisin paste used, using 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%. Furthermore, throughout the experiment, they reduced sugar and increased the bitter chocolate to account for the sweetness of the raisin paste. It was noted that at each level of raisin paste usage, the visible crumb and texture of the brownies was relatively unaffected; additionally, the moisture was found to be consistent with the base brownie. At higher percentages of raisin paste usage, the brownies became slightly stickier, but this was considered positive as a slightly undercooked or gooey brownie is naturally considered better. Considering these findings, the researchers concluded that raisin paste was shown to be a viable alternative to animal fats in this brownie.   Other findings from the study showed that the raisin flavor was not noticeable until at least 75% of the fat content was from the raisin paste; at 75% and 100% raisin paste, the fruity notes from the raisins were found to be complementary of the chocolate. Moreover, on a nutritional level, a decrease in overall calories, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol was observed as more and more of the fat was derived from the raisin paste. At 100% usage of the raisin paste, the level of cholesterol was zero. More Information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/functional-benefits-of-raisins-in-sweet-baked-goods-as-substitute-to-animal-fatRelationship between Tree Nuts and Peanuts and AdiposityAs weight problems continue to be a major health concern around the globe, there is an increased focus on maintaining a healthy diet to control weight. Researchers conducted a meta-analysis and systematic review to assess the relationship between tree nut and peanut consumption and body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and body fat percentage. In total, 105 randomized controlled trials were used in the study and measures of body weight included 6,768 participants, body mass index analyzed 2,918, waist circumference was examined in 5,045, and percentage of body fat included 1,226 participants.   The results from the study support the conclusions that tree nut and peanut consumption do not influence adiposity, and that in comparison to a control diet, almond consumption was associated with a significant decrease in waist circumference.   Fernández-Rodríguez, R., Mesas, A. E., Garrido-Miguel, M., Martínez-Ortega, I. A., Jiménez-López, E., & Martínez-Vizcaíno, V. (2021). The relationship of tree nuts and peanuts with adiposity parameters: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. Nutrients, 13(7), 2251. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almonds-consumption-and-metabolic-health-biomarkers-weight-measures-and-gut-microbiotaPrunes May Improve Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors for Postmenopausal WomanResearchers directed a 6-month parallel-design controlled clinical trial with 48 postmenopausal women. Each participant was randomly divided into one of three groups that consumed, either 0, 50, or 100 grams of prunes per day. At the conclusion of the 6-month intervention, it was found that the total cholesterol in those individuals consuming 100 grams per day and the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in those consuming 50 grams per day were significantly improved compared to those with an intake of 0 grams of prunes. Furthermore, improvements in inflammatory biomarkers interleukin and tumor necrosis factor were observed in the 50 gram/day group and this group also saw their antioxidant capacity increased. In summary, the research shows that consuming between 50 and 100 grams of prunes per day may improve various cardiovascular disease risk factors in postmenopausal women such as total cholesterol, oxidative stress, and inflammatory markers. Hong, M. Y., Kern, M., Nakamichi-Lee, M., Abbaspour, N., Ahouraei Far, A., & Hooshmand, S. (2021). Dried Plum Consumption Improves Total Cholesterol and Antioxidant Capacity and Reduces Inflammation in Healthy Postmenopausal Women. Journal of Medicinal Food. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/prunes-may-improve-cardiovascular-disease-risk-factors-for-postmenopausal-womanEffects of Consuming Almonds on Weight Measures, Metabolic Health Biomarkers, and the Gut MicrobiotaIn total, the researchers completed a comprehensive narrative review of 64 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 14 systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses. The review showed that consuming almonds significantly reduced both mean body mass and fat mass in comparison to control diets. Moreover, increased satiety and resting energy expenditure was noted in those who consumed almonds. Intaking 42.5 grams per day of almonds also significantly lowered low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C). Diastolic blood pressure was found to be lower when almonds were consumed at more than 42.5 grams per day over at least 6 weeks. Additionally, the review suggests new emerging health benefits like enhanced cognitive performance, improved heart rate variability, and reduced rate of aging in skin exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Eight RCTs showed almonds could support colonic microbiota through increased richness and diversity of microflora, increased rate of symbiotic to pathogenic microflora, and increasing colonic bioactives.   The research provides evidence and an in-depth understanding of potential health benefits of consuming almonds.   Dreher, M. L. (2021). A Comprehensive Review of Almond Clinical Trials on Weight Measures, Metabolic Health Biomarkers and Outcomes, and the Gut Microbiota. Nutrients, 13(6), 1968. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/effects-of-consuming-almonds-on-weight-measures-metabolic-health-biomarkers-and-the-gut-microbiotaINC Sponsors Nut Session at the 38th International Symposium on Diabetes and NutritionThe INC will be sponsoring the session “Nuts, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome”, as part of the International Symposium on Diabetes and Nutrition from June 21-24, 2021. The session will aim to grow and enrich the understanding of the effects of nut and dried fruit consumption on diabetes through exchange, learning and debate.   This international symposium will bring together clinicians and researchers to present the latest advances in research in food, nutrition and diabetes, and to debate about this field of science. The program includes plenary sessions, panel discussions and debate, as well as oral communications and posters to encourage the integration and participation of young researchers.   Session Num. 9, “Nuts, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome”, is scheduled for Thursday, June 24, 2021, from 3:00 to 4:25 pm, CEST.   Chairpersons: Dr. Cyril Kendall, University of Toronto, Canada Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Rovira i Virgili University, Spain Guest speakers: Dr. Zhaoping Li, University of California, USA: Nuts in the prevention of diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome Prof. Anoop Misra, Fortis C-DOC Healthcare Ltd, India: Nuts in the management of diabetes Dr. Crystal Haskell-Ramsay, Northumbria University, United Kingdom: Nuts, gut microbiota and cognition Oral abstract, Dr. Jagmeet Madan, Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College of Home Science (Autonomous), SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, India: Effect of Almond Consumption on Glucose Metabolism, Hyperinsulinemia and Selected Markers of Inflammation: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Adolescents and Young Adults in Mumbai, India If you would like to attend, please feel free to email us at inc@nutfruit.org.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-sponsors-session-at-the-38th-international-symposium-on-diabetes-and-nutritionNut Intake May Increase Cognitive Performance of Older AdultsA team of researchers from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University, Australia have studied the impact of consuming nuts on cognitive performance among older adults in the US.   The study included 1,814 participants all above the age of 60 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) 2011-2012 and 2014-2014 cohorts. Researchers monitored the participants’ nut intake and diet quality with two 24-hour diet recalls and split them into four groups considering their nut intake: non-consumers (0 g/d), low intake (0.1-15 g/d), moderate intake (15.1-30.0 g/d) or met recommendation (>30 g/d).   The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease or CERAD test was used to evaluate the cognitive function of each participant. This included immediate and delayed recall, verbal fluency, and processing speed and attention.   The results of the study showed a consistent difference in cognitive performance between older adults who were in the non-consumers group and those in the moderate nut intake group. The lowest cognitive performance was found in older adults who did not consume any nuts and the highest scores were found in those who consumed 15.1 g/d and 30.0 g/d. It was noted that increasing consumption to over 30.0 g/d did not lead to higher cognitive performance compared to the moderate intake group.   In conclusion, the study suggests that moderate intake of nuts, equivalent to half to a serving of nuts, may aid and increase cognitive performance among older adults. This study was funded by the INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council. Tan, S. Y., Georgousopoulou, E. N., Cardoso, B. R., Daly, R. M., & George, E. S. (2021). Associations between nut intake, cognitive function and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in older adults in the United States: NHANES 2011-14. BMC geriatrics, 21(1), 313.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-intake-may-increase-cognitive-performance-of-older-adults-1Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Adhering to the Portfolio and DASH Dietary Patterns To analyze the effects of adherence to the Portfolio and DASH dietary patterns, researchers conducted a longitudinal analysis of changes in Portfolio and DASH diet scores and observed their association with various cardiometabolic risk factors that are set out in the PREDIMED trial. The PREDIMED trial is an ongoing trial with 6,874 older individuals who fulfill at least three criteria for MetS. Data were collected at baseline, six months, and one year, while adherence to dietary patterns was observed using a validated 143-item food frequency questionnaire. The results showed that a one standard deviation increase in an individual’s Portfolio diet score was significantly associated with lower HbA1c, or known as an individual’s blood sugar level, lower fasting glucose, triglycerides, waist circumference, and body mass index. A one standard deviation increase in the DASH diet score was associated with lower HbA1c, glucose, triglycerides, non-HDL-cholesterol, body mass index, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and with higher HDL-cholesterol. In conclusion, older adults with MetS and high cardiovascular risk may be able to improve their cardiovascular parameters by adhering to the Portfolio and DASH diets. Greater adherence to both dietary patterns showed advantageous associations with many relevant cardiometabolic risk factors. Glenn, A. J., Hernández-Alonso, P., Kendall, C. W., Martínez-González, M. Á., Corella, D., Fitó, M., ... & Salas-Salvadó, J. (2021). Longitudinal changes in adherence to the portfolio and DASH dietary patterns and cardiometabolic risk factors in the PREDIMED-Plus study. Clinical Nutrition. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/cardiovascular-health-benefits-of-adhering-to-the-portfolio-and-dash-dietary-patternsSnacking on Mixed Tree Nuts for Weight Loss and Increased SatietyThe researchers performed a randomized, controlled, two-arm study with 95 overweight participants over the span of 24 weeks. The first 12 weeks of the trial had the individuals partake in a hypocaloric diet and the last 12 weeks were an isocaloric weight management program. Throughout the entire 24-week study, participants consumed 1.5 oz of mixed nuts or refined carbohydrate pretzel snack on a daily basis. After the study was complete, researchers noted that while both groups saw significant weight loss, the mixed nut group saw additional health benefits. At 24 weeks, the mixed nut groups showed a significant increase in satiety and at 4, 12, and 24 weeks, they experienced a significant decrease in heart rate. Moreover, the participants who consumed mixed nuts saw an increase in plasma oleic acid at 12 and 24 weeks while this was only observed at 12 weeks for the refined carbohydrate pretzel snack group. In conclusion, both mixed nut consumers and refined carbohydrate pretzel snack consumers experienced weight loss in the 24-week trial, however, it was observed that that the mixed nut groups also saw increased satiety, enhanced retention, decreased heart rate and increased serum oleic acid. This study was fund by NREF. Wang, J., Wang, S., Henning, S. M., Qin, T., Pan, Y., Yang, J., ... & Li, Z. (2021). Mixed Tree Nut Snacks Compared to Refined Carbohydrate Snacks Resulted in Weight Loss and Increased Satiety during Both Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance: A 24-Week Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 13(5), 1512. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/snacking-on-mixed-tree-nuts-for-weight-loss-and-increased-satietyThe Effect of a Dried Fruit and Vegetable Supplement on Gut and Health Among Female Healthcare WorkersFor the study, 57 asymptomatic, pre-menopausal, and overweight females between the ages of 25- and 50-years old working in the healthcare industry were included. Researchers collected blood and fecal samples from each of the individuals at two-, four-, and five-month checkups. The participants were given a daily supplementation of dried fruit, vegetables, and a high fiber shake. It was observed that the FVC supplement yielded no significant change in blood lipids, glucose, and immune parameters, however, there was a glucose clearance improvement. The FVC supplement did show results as it reduced Bacteroides abundance and increased fecal butyrate. The high fiber element improved levels of health-related to bacteria. In summary, the results suggest that a dried fruit and vegetable supplement, with a high fiber shake, may alter intestinal microbiota and improve glucose clearance. These results make the argument that this combination of supplements may improve glucose metabolism and possibly reduce the risk of insulin resistance. van der Merwe, M., Moore, D., Hill, J. L., Keating, F. H., Buddington, R. K., Bloomer, R. J., ... & Bowman, D. D. (2021). The Impact of a Dried Fruit and Vegetable Supplement and Fiber Rich Shake on Gut and Health Parameters in Female Healthcare Workers: A Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial. Microorganisms, 9(4), 843. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-effect-of-a-dried-fruit-and-vegetable-supplement-on-gut-and-health-among-female-healthcare-workersSupplemented Mediterranean Diet with Nuts Positively Affects Gut Microbiota of HIV Infected IndividualsAs many studies exist analyzing non-HIV-infected individuals, the authors were interested in studying just how beneficial the supplemented Mediterranean diet could be for those who are HIV-infected. The SMD consisted of extra-virgin olive oil and nuts. A total of 102 participants with HIV were randomized and separated into a control group who continued with their normal diets and a SMD group who received 50 g/day of extra virgin olive oil and 30 g/day of walnuts. This study was conducted over a span of 12 weeks and used the MD-Adherence-Screener (MEDAS) to measure the adherence to the Mediterranean diet. Researchers found that those in the SMD group had an improved lipid profile, and the immune activation and IFN-y-producing T-cells were reduced. Moreover, those individuals in the high-adherence group of the SMD experienced a significantly higher diversity of the gut microbiota. In conclusion, the study appeared to present that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil and walnuts could improve metabolic indicators, immune activation, and gut microbiota diversity for those people affected with HIV-1. Pastor-Ibáñez, R., Blanco-Heredia, J., Etcheverry, F., Sánchez-Palomino, S., Díez-Fuertes, F., Casas, R., ... & García, F. (2021). Adherence to a Supplemented Mediterranean Diet Drives Changes in the Gut Microbiota of HIV-1-Infected Individuals. Nutrients, 13(4), 1141. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/supplemented-mediterranean-diet-with-nuts-positively-affects-gut-microbiota-of-hiv-infected-individualsAlmonds and Their Effects on Facial Wrinkles and PigmentationFor the assessment, a prospective randomized controlled study was conducted on postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types I or II. One group of women consumed 20% of their daily energy from almonds and the control group consumed a snack with the same number of calories. To analyze the photoaging effects of almonds, a facial photograph and image analysis system was used to provide high-detailed information on facial wrinkle width and severity at 0, 8, 16, and 24 weeks. The aforementioned indicators of skin were also analyzed at each point. Researchers found that the average wrinkle severity and the facial pigment intensity were both significantly decreased starting at week 16 and continuing through to week 24. The group that consumed almonds saw wrinkle severity drop 15% at week 16 and 16% by week 24. The facial pigment intensity dropped 20% at week 16 and was constant through week 24. All other indicators lacked significant changes. In conclusion, consuming almonds may lead to the improvement of facial wrinkles and facial pigmentation for postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types I and II. Rybak, I., Carrington, A. E., Dhaliwal, S., Hasan, A., Wu, H., Burney, W., ... & Sivamani, R. K. (2021). Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effects of Almonds on Facial Wrinkles and Pigmentation. Nutrients, 13(3), 785. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almonds-and-their-effects-on-facial-wrinkles-and-pigmentationEffects of Raisins on Cardiovascular Risk FactorsA randomized controlled trial was performed in which 38 hyperlipidemic patients were separated into two groups, with one group receiving 90 g/day of black seed raisins and the other group receiving no intervention. Researchers analyzed blood pressure, lipid profile, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), malondialdehyde (MDA), and serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC). At 5 weeks, participants’ cardiovascular risk factors were examined and it was shown that the blood pressure significantly reduced for those who consumed raisins and that the TAC was significantly increased. Moreover, the serum level of MDA was lower in the raisin group compared to the control group. The other factors showed no significant changes. In conclusion, the results suggest that consuming black seed raisins could lead to beneficial effects on some cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure and serum antioxidant capacity in individuals with hyperlipidemia. Shishehbor, F., Joola, P., Malehi, A. S., & Jalalifar, M. A. (2021). The effect of black seed raisin on some cardiovascular risk factors, serum malondialdehyde, and total antioxidant capacity in hyperlipidemic patients: a randomized controlled trials. Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971-), 1-10. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/effects-of-raisins-on-cardiovascular-risk-factors2021 Call for Promotion and Dissemination Projects Now OpenWe are pleased to announce that the INC has launched the Call for Promotion and Dissemination Projects for 2021.   The goal of this grant is to fund promotion and dissemination projects aimed at building consumer demand for nuts or dried fruits, whenever such projects are beyond the scope of the INC, i.e. projects that the INC cannot fit within its regular activity, for instance due to language or geographic challenges.   Targeted projects: Activities that provide markets and consumers with information on the properties and qualities of nuts and dried fruits (e.g. marketing campaigns at points-of-sale, education campaigns at schools…). Market research and activities aimed at ensuring that buyers, consumers and health professionals know about nuts and dried fruits and their many positive features (e.g. participation in specialized events). Priorities: Promoting nuts and dried fruits use and consumption in markets where INC headquarters face barriers of entry, for instance due to language or geographic challenges. Projects to be undertaken in developing countries. Multi-collaborative projects and cooperation with INC members and industry-related partners. Project proposals aimed at disseminating the outcomes of the scientific findings that come from INC-funded research (annual Call for Research Projects) or new scientific findings that have been published in high-impact scientific journals. Supporting the development of innovative new products and marketing initiatives. The Evaluating Committee will judge favorably innovative proposals. Up to €100,000 is available for the 2021 Grant. INC will only accept one project per institution, and will fund a maximum of €50,000 per project/institution.   All projects must be submitted using the Application Form. Applications are due by May 7, 2021, 12:00 (noon) CEST. The Guidelines and Application Form are available online. For queries about this grant, please contact Ms. Irene Gironès at irene.girones@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/2021-call-for-promotion-and-dissemination-projects-now-openConsuming Nuts in a Mediterranean Diet Maintained Platelet Count in a Healthy RangeUsing participants from the PREDIMED study, researchers evaluated how following the Mediterranean diet including extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, controlled platelet count, affected the risk of developing thrombocytosis and thrombocytopenia, and the association between these changes and all-cause mortality. They found that in the participants, the platelet count increased over time, but was moderated by Mediterranean diet interventions. They also saw that thrombocytopenia was lower in those participants practicing a Mediterranean diet. Lastly, the researchers noted that thrombocytopenia was associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality, but was reduced with the intervention of the Mediterranean diet. In conclusion, consuming nuts as part of the Mediterranean diet may help regulate the platelet count in a healthy range and it may reduce platelet-related mortality in older adults with a high cardiovascular risk. Hernáez, Á., Lassale, C., Castro-Barquero, S., Ros, E., Tresserra-Rimbau, A., Castañer, O., ... & Estruch, R. (2021). Mediterranean Diet Maintained Platelet Count within a Healthy Range and Decreased Thrombocytopenia-Related Mortality Risk: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 13(2), 559. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/consuming-nuts-in-a-mediterranean-diet-maintained-platelet-count-in-a-healthy-rangeHealth Effects and Impact on Diet Quality Among Children Who Consume NutsResearchers scanned various databases to classify randomized control trials of interest and in total, 5,783 articles were identified. Through screening of abstracts, titles, and then full text, a total of 4 articles meeting the criteria were used. From the studies included, nut consumption ranged from 15 to 30 grams and the studies lasted between 3 and 16 weeks. They concluded that nut consumption improved the children’s diet quality by introducing essential nutrients including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as well as protein and fiber. The results were a little more inconsistent when considering the effects on biomarkers of cardiometabolic health and gastrointestinal health. Researchers recommended that more studies should explore the broad health benefits of nuts among children and that these studies should include a higher intake of nuts and done over longer periods of time. Mead, L. C., Hill, A. M., Carter, S., & Coates, A. M. (2021). The Effect of Nut Consumption on Diet Quality, Cardiometabolic and Gastrointestinal Health in Children: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(2), 454. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/health-effects-and-impact-on-diet-quality-among-children-who-consume-nutsNut Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Mortality Among WomenThe study followed 39,167 women from the Women’s Health Study, with 28,034 women providing blood samples. Participants self-reported their nut consumption at baseline and were followed up with a food frequency questionnaire. The researchers considered cardiovascular death as their primary outcome and used medical records along with the national death index and death certificates to get this information. With an average follow-up of 19 years, the results suggested that those women who consumed nuts had a lower risk of cardiovascular mortality. The data was adjusted for individual’s age, body mass index, smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, postmenopausal status, marital status, family history of premature myocardial infarction, and alternate healthy eating index score. The study also showed that lipids, inflammatory markers and glucose metabolism account for a portion of the lowered cardiovascular mortality, assuming a causal relationship between nut consumption and cardiovascular mortality. Imran, T. F., Kim, E., Buring, J. E., Lee, I. M., Gaziano, J. M., & Djousse, L. (2021). Nut consumption, risk of cardiovascular mortality, and potential mediating mechanisms: the Women’s Health Study. Journal of Clinical Lipidology. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-and-risk-of-cardiovascular-mortality-among-womenThe Effects of Nut Intake on Left Ventricular Hypertrophy Despite studies showing nut consumption is potentially helpful in preventing cardiovascular disease, there is not sufficient research on the association between nut consumption and left ventricular hypertrophy. The study included participants from the Kangbuk Samsung Health Study and was separated by 34,617 men and 12,257 women. Participants completed a food-frequency questionnaire highlighting peanuts, pine nuts, and almond consumption, and they received echocardiography. Moreover, the group was split into two subgroups: the non-hypertensive/non-diabetic group and the hypertensive or diabetic group. In conclusion, the results showed that for women of both subgroups, those with hypertension or diabetes and those without hypertension and diabetes, nut consumption was associated with a lower risk of left ventricular hypertrophy. For men of both subgroups, the results did not show a significant association. Park, S. K., Oh, C. M., Kang, J. G., Seok, H. S., & Jung, J. Y. (2020). The association between left ventricular hypertrophy and consumption of nuts, including peanuts, pine nuts, and almonds. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-effects-of-nut-intake-on-left-ventricular-hypertrophyPolyphenols Found in Raisins Could Protect Our Skin from Sun DamageThe study aimed to paint a picture of how polyphenols, found in grapes, can reduce acute UV radiation damage in healthy adults. In the study, nineteen healthy participants consumed freeze-dried grape powder for fourteen days and researchers noted a 74.8 percent increase in natural protection of the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Previous studies on mice showed that polyphenols could reduce acute UV radiation damage, but this study is the first that shows oral ingestion of freeze-dried grapes may have a positive effect on sunburn in humans. Furthermore, the consumption of freeze-dried grapes can decrease proteins in the body that promote inflammation. Researchers were quick to point out that this subject requires more studies and that freeze-dried grapes should not be used in lieu of sunscreen, but that they could supplement and add additional protective properties against sunburns. Oak, A. S., Shafi, R., Elsayed, M., Bae, S., Saag, L., Wang, C. L., ... & Elmets, C. A. (2021). Dietary table grape protects against UV photodamage in humans: 1. clinical evaluation. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/polyphenols-found-in-raisins-could-protect-our-skin-from-sun-damageNatural Compound in Some Nuts and Dried Fruits May Assist in the Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19Coagulation disorders and inflammation are both common effects of a COVID-19 infection and these markers play a large role in determining the outcome and severity of the infection. Researchers have found that resveratrol, a natural compound found in many foods such as peanuts, cranberries, grapes, and pistachios, may assist in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Resveratrol naturally has anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory properties, therefore giving reason to believe it could lower COVID-19 associated mortality, which can be increased by thrombosis and inflammation. In conclusion, the researchers believe that resveratrol appears to be an attractive pharmacotherapeutic agent in the fight against COVID-19. The authors do also mention some of the limitations of the compound, like poor bioavailability and rapid metabolism.   Giordo, R., Zinellu, A., Eid, A. H., & Pintus, G. (2021). Therapeutic Potential of Resveratrol in COVID-19-Associated Hemostatic Disorders. Molecules, 26(4), 856. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/natural-compound-in-some-nuts-and-dried-fruits-may-assist-in-the-prevention-and-treatment-of-covid-19Comparing Organic and Conventional Grown Hazelnuts’ Fatty Acid, Tocopherol and Phenolic ProfileAccording to a consumer purchasing survey, consumers believe that organic foods are richer in nutrition and more beneficial to health. This study looked to provide evidence for these beliefs. Researchers compared six commercially important hazelnut varieties in Turkey and found that the nutritional profile was influenced by the variety, but it was found that the method of production, organic or conventional, did not significantly affect the included parameters, except for the content of palmitoleic acid. The palmitoleic acid content of organically grown hazelnuts was higher than those hazelnuts grown with conventional methods. The researchers concluded that because there is no significant difference between organically and conventionally grown hazelnuts in the parameters examined, the environmental effects should be considered.   Karaosmanoglu, H., & Ustun, N. S. (2021). Fatty Acids, Tocopherol and Phenolic Contents of Organic and Conventional Grown Hazelnuts. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology, 23(1), 167-177. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/comparing-organic-and-conventional-grown-hazelnuts-fatty-acid-tocopherol-and-phenolic-profileNew US Dietary Guidelines and Introduction of Peanut Products to InfantsOne change in these guidelines is the official recommendation for parents to introduce potentially allergenic foods, like peanuts to infants within the child’s first year. The guidelines go even further for infants who are at a high risk of peanut allergies, suggesting and recommending to introduce peanut-containing foods at age 4 to 6 months. One reason that this new change is substantial is because it marks the first time that the USDA or Department of Health have officially made this recommendation. Previously, the recommendations ranged from waiting until 3 years or older to saying there was not sufficient evidence to delay the introduction of potential allergens like peanuts. Now, more research has suggested it can be beneficial to introduce these products to infants. Most notably, the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study which was published in 2015, right after the last USDA and Department of Health Dietary Guidelines was made public, showed that introducing peanuts at an early age, as early as four months reduced the risk of developing peanut allergies. The guidelines state that caregivers should first check with healthcare providers before feeding the infant peanuts and that a simple blood test or skin prick could be used to recommend whether peanut and peanut-products should be introduced, and what the safest method to introduce it is. For more information, you can consult the USDA and Department of Health’s, US Dietary Guidelines. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-us-dietary-guidelines-and-introduction-of-peanut-products-to-infantsThe Mediterranean Diet and Heart HealthFor the analysis, 294 participants were split into three different dietary groups, one consuming food based on a healthy dietary guidance, one utilizing the Mediterranean diet, and one group using the green Mediterranean diet. Both of the Mediterranean diets included walnuts and the green Mediterranean diet further emphasized plant-based foods and included green tea and a plant-based protein shake to lower the intake of animal protein. These groups were then tracked and analyzed over a six-month trial to estimate the effect on weight loss and the cardiometabolic state. The results showed that both of the Mediterranean diets had similar weight loss while the green Mediterranean diet had a slightly greater reduction in waist circumference, albeit the waist circumference difference was only significant in men. Moreover, the green Mediterranean diet showed better results when it came to cardiometabolic factors like the LDL-C/HDL-C ratio (“bad”/”good” cholesterol ratio). This conclusion supports the notion that a green Mediterranean diet, complemented with walnuts, green tea, and lower animal protein intake may increase the beneficial cardiometabolic effects of the Mediterranean diet. Tsaban, G., Meir, A. Y., Rinott, E., Zelicha, H., Kaplan, A., Shalev, A., ... & Shai, I. (2020). The effect of green Mediterranean diet on cardiometabolic risk; a randomised controlled trial. Heart. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-mediterranean-diet-and-heart-healthConsuming Nuts for Your Cognitive HealthIn the study, 16,737 participants were assessed from a population-based cohort in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. To record the intake of nuts, researchers used a validated food-frequency questionnaire from 1993-1998 when the average age of the participants was 53.5 years old. Then the researchers examined the cognitive function through the Singapore modified Mini-Mental State Examination during a follow-up visit from 2014-2016. This meant the participants now had an average age of 73.2 years. Cognitive impairment was defined as using education-specific cut-off points. At the conclusion of the study, 14.3% of the participants were identified to have a cognitive impairment. It was discovered that those who ate 1-3 servings of nuts per month, 1 serving of nuts a week, and more than 2 servings of nuts a week had a 12% lower risk of cognitive impairment. The authors also discovered that 50.8% of the association between nuts and risk of cognitive impairment was mediated by the consumption of total unsaturated fatty acids. Overall, increasing consumption of nuts in midlife may lead to a lower risk of cognitive impairment later on in life. Jiang, Y. W., Sheng, L. T., Feng, L., Pan, A., & Koh, W. P. (2020). Consumption of dietary nuts in midlife and risk of cognitive impairment in late-life: the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Age and Ageing. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/consuming-nuts-for-your-cognitive-healthMeta-Analysis of Nut Consumption and Prevention of Type 2 DiabetesFor the analysis, researchers reviewed and searched for studies using the PubMed and Cochrane databases all the way up to August 12, 2020. They identified eight studies, five of which were prospective and three were cross-sectional studies. From these studies, researchers found that there was not a significant association between total nut consumption and type 2 diabetes. The meta-analysis did show an inverse association between peanut butter intake and type 2 diabetes incidence. In conclusion, the current results reveal no significant association of total nut consumption with type two diabetes. On the contrary, peanut butter consumption may be inversely associated with the disease. While there is plenty of research that suggests nut consumption does not increase weight and may help those with type 2 diabetes control it, this study does not give a clear-cut answer on the role nut consumption may play in preventing diabetes. Therefore, there should be more long-term clinical trials that review this association. Becerra-Tomás N, Paz-Graniel I, Hernández-Alonso P, Jenkins DJA, Kendall CWC, Sievenpiper JL, Salas-Salvadó J. Nut consumption and type 2 diabetes risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2021 Jan 20:nqaa358. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqaa358 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/meta-analysis-of-nut-consumption-and-prevention-of-type-2-diabetesNut Consumption and Cardiovascular Health Among Iranian PopulationThe study was carried out with 6,504 randomly selected Iranian individuals, all over the age of 35. The data was collected through a validated food frequency questionnaire and the occurrence of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality was identified with biannual interviews with the subjects or their next of kin. During the follow up after 135 months, the researchers identified 751 cases of cardiovascular events. They found that participants who were in the highest quartile of nut consumption had a lower cardiovascular disease risk and all-cause mortality. In conclusion, the consumption of nuts may have an inverse association with the risk of cardiovascular disease among individuals from Iran. The authors suggest more studies should be carried out to analyze individual types of nuts and how they related to cardiovascular disease risk and mortality. Mohammadifard, N., Ghaderian, N., Sajjadi, F., Hassannejhad, R., Salas-Salvado, J., Sadeghi, M., ... & Sarrafzadegan, N. (2020). Longitudinal association of nut consumption and the risk of cardiovascular events: a prospective cohort study in Eastern Mediterranean Region. Frontiers in Nutrition, 7, 315. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-and-cardiovascular-health-among-iranian-populationPlasma Metabolomics from Walnut Consumption and Cardiovascular Health In this recent study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, researchers examined the correlation between plasma metabolomics from walnut consumption and cardiovascular health. Through studies on the health benefits of eating walnuts, they identified an association between walnut consumption and lower risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, what is not clear, is the relationship between the plasma metabolites connected to walnuts and lower risk of cardiovascular disease.   For the study, 1833 participants with a high risk for cardiovascular disease and metabolomic data available from the PREDIMED study –a large Spanish primary prevention trial– were identified. Of these 1833 participants, 1522 of them also had metabolomic data at year one available. The analysis aimed to associate 385 known metabolites with walnut consumption. Once researchers found a metabolite profile (a new metabolic signature), they evaluated the relationship between the newly identified profile and incident type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.   In conclusion, a total of 19 metabolites were significantly connected with walnut consumption. This metabolite profile, which was linked to walnut consumption, was also found to be associated with a decrease in the risk of incident type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease among participants with an existing high cardiovascular risk.   Guasch-Ferré, M., Hernández-Alonso, P., Drouin-Chartier, J. P., Ruiz-Canela, M., Razquin, C., Toledo, E., ... & Salas-Salvadó, J. (2020). Walnut Consumption, Plasma Metabolomics, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. The Journal of Nutrition. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/plasma-metabolomics-from-walnut-consumption-and-cardiovascular-healthConsumption of Tree Nuts and Peanuts on the Risk of Cancer and Its MortalityThe authors used a meta-analysis approach to gather and examine the current literature. Furthermore, they found that no previous meta-analyses used the dose-response association for risk of specific cancers as well as the associations between specific types of nuts and cancer mortality.   Using an online database, they found a total of 43 articles on cancer and 9 articles on cancer mortality. After examining the identified articles, they found that summary effect size (ES) for risk of cancer and the ES for the tree nut intake was significantly inverse. Moreover, looking closer at the dose-response analysis, they concluded that a 5 gram a day increase in consumption of total nut intake was associated with a 3%, 6%, and 25% lower risks of overall, pancreatic, and colon cancers. Concerning cancer mortality, they found 13%, 18%, and 8% risk reductions with higher levels of total nut, tree nut, and peanut consumption. In addition, increasing 5 grams a day of total nut consumption was also associated with a 4% decrease in risk of cancer mortality.   Naghshi, S., Sadeghian, M., Nasiri, M., Mobarak, S., Asadi, M., & Sadeghi, O. (2020). Association of Total Nut, Tree Nut, Peanut, and Peanut Butter Consumption with Cancer Incidence and Mortality: A Comprehensive Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. Advances in Nutrition. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/consumption-of-tree-nuts-and-peanuts-on-the-risk-of-cancer-and-its-mortalityOmega-3 Rich Foods Have Protective Cardiovascular PropertiesThe authors investigated EPA levels at the time of STEMI were associated with a lower rate of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), all-cause mortality, and readmission for cardiovascular (CV) causes in a 3 years’ follow-up. The study included 944 patients with STEMI with an average age of 61. At the follow-up, 211 participants had MACE, 108 died, and 130 were readmitted for CV causes. Their model showed that EPA at the time of STEMI was inversely associated with both incident MACE and CV readmission.   In conclusion, consuming food that is rich in fatty omega-3 acid might lead to a decreased risk of MACE and CV during STEMI.   Lázaro, I., Rueda, F., Cediel, G., Ortega, E., García-García, C., Sala-Vila, A., & Bayés-Genís, A. (2020). Circulating Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Incident Adverse Events in Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 76(18), 2089-2097. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/omega-3-rich-foods-have-protective-cardiovascular-propertiesSubstituting White Rice Bars with Peanuts May Improve Metabolic Syndrome RiskThe randomized controlled trial included 224 Chinese participants that have MetS or are at risk for MetS. In total, 163 had MetS and 61 were at risk for it. They were then randomly assigned to either a peanut group or a white rice bar group. At the 12-week intervention and a total of 209 participants completing the trial, it was found that while there were no group differences for fasting glucose, HDL cholesterol, waist circumference, and body weight, those in the peanut group had a significantly improved with respect to MetS, no longer meeting the criteria for MetS. All in all, consuming peanuts as a snack in place of a refined-grain may improve MetS risk without inducing weight gain in Chinese adults.   Wang, D., Sun, L., Liu, X., Niu, Z., Chen, S., Tang, L., ... & Malik, V. (2020). Replacing white rice bars with peanuts as snacks in the habitual diet improves metabolic syndrome risk among Chinese adults: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/substituting-white-rice-bars-with-peanuts-may-improve-metabolic-syndrome-riskNo Weight Gain Associated with Intake of Nuts or Nut ProductsThe study was a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials which included intake of nuts with and without dietary substitution instructions. In the fifty-five randomized trials analyzed, participants daily consumption was tracked along with their body weight (BW), body-mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and total body fat percentage (BF%), depending on the clinical trial. At the conclusion of the analysis, there was no change in the BW of participants from the standardized mean difference. In the studies that included dietary substitution instructions, there was also no change in BW and a significant decrease in BF%. BMI and WC were unchanged for both categories of studies.   In conclusion, nut-enriched diet interventions did not lead to changes in BW, BMI, or WC. There was a decrease in BF% for trials that included substitution instructions, although these results require more research.   Guarneiri, L. L., & Cooper, J. A. (2020). Intake of Nuts or Nut Products Does Not Lead to Weight Gain, Independent of Dietary Substitution Instructions: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials. Advances in Nutrition. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/no-weight-gain-associated-with-intake-of-nuts-or-nut-productsAlmond-Based Low Carbohydrate Diet Improves Depression and Glycometabolism for Type 2 Diabetes Patients The randomized controlled trial compared a-LCD with a low-fat diet (LFD). A total of 45 participants were involved in the study with 22 people in the a-LCD group and 23 in the LFD group. The indicators for depression and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were significantly improved for those participants in the a-LCD group. Moreover, a-LCD increased the short chain fatty acid-producing bacteria Roseburia, Ruminococcus and Eubacterium.   In conclusion, an almond-based low carbohydrate diet may provide a beneficial effect on depression and glycometabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes. The researchers suggest that more research should focus on the short chain fatty acid-producing bacteria.   Ren, M., Zhang, H., Qi, J., Hu, A., Jiang, Q., Hou, Y., ... & Wang, X. (2020). An almond-based low carbohydrate diet improves depression and glycometabolism in patients with Type 2 Diabetes through modulating gut microbiota and GLP-1: A randomized controlled trial. Nutrients, 12(10), 3036. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almond-based-low-carbohydrate-diet-improves-depression-and-glycometabolism-for-type-2-diabetes-patientsWalnut Consumption and Cognitive Function in Older AdultsPast research has shown that walnut consumption may be associated with better overall cognitive function, however, few studies have utilized longitudinal data from observational studies of aging populations.   The observational analysis was carried out by defining walnut consumption as either none, low (0.01-0.08 1 oz. servings per day) or moderate intake (>0.08 1 oz. servings per day). Researchers measured cognitive function using the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status. The study used a sample of 3,632 US adults aged 65 years and older.   The results of the study found that those individuals who consumed walnuts showed higher cognitive scores at the baseline compared to those who did not consume walnuts. However, although there was an association between walnut consumption and better cognitive scores, it was not associated with cognitive change over a 4-year observational period.   Bishop, N. J., & Zuniga, K. E. (2020). Investigating walnut consumption and cognitive trajectories in a representative sample of older US adults. Public Health Nutrition, 1-12. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980020001287 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/walnut-consumption-and-cognitive-function-in-older-adultsEfficacy and Safety of New Oral Immunotherapy Drug on Peanut AllergiesThe trial was conducted in several countries across Europe with a focus on children with peanut allergies aged 4 to 17 years.   For the trial, 227 children were randomly split into a daily dose of AR101 or a placebo group, and the dose was increased every two weeks over a six-month period. At the end of the six months, participants were receiving a dose of 300 mg peanut protein.   At the end of the trial, the researchers found that 58% of the individuals in the control group tolerated 1000mg of peanut protein versus 2% of the individuals in the placebo group. Although adverse events were reported by almost all of the individuals, the severity level for most participants in both groups was mild or moderate. In conclusion, AR101 oral immunotherapy treatment led to a desensitization to peanut protein and provided a predictable safety profile.   Hourihane, J. O. B., Beyer, K., Abbas, A., Fernández-Rivas, M., Turner, P. J., Blumchen, K., ... & Sharma, V. (2020). Efficacy and safety of oral immunotherapy with AR101 in European children with a peanut allergy (ARTEMIS): a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efficacy-and-safety-of-new-oral-immunotherapy-drug-on-peanut-allergiesSperm DNA Methylation and Short-Term Nut ConsumptionThroughout recent years, there has been a research focus on how different environmental and lifestyle features, including diet, affect sperm quality.   This study was a post-hoc analysis of a subset of individuals from the FERTINUTS 14 week randomized-controlled trial that took place between 2015 and 2017. The analysis focused on 72 individuals from the FERTINUTS study and consisted of 48 participants in the nut consumption group with 24 in the control group. Sperm DNA methylation was observed at the starting point and after 14 weeks.   The researchers found that there were 36 genomic regions which significantly changed in methylation after the trial for those who consumed nuts. They also identified that 97.2% of the regions displayed hypermethylation. In conclusion, the study showed that including nuts to a typical Western-style diet may impact sperm DNA methylation in specific regions, signifying some sperm regions are affected by diet.   Salas‐Huetos, A., James, E. R., Salas‐Salvadó, J., Bulló, M., Aston, K. I., Carrell, D. T., & Jenkins, T. G. Sperm DNA methylation changes after short‐term nut supplementation in healthy males consuming a Western‐style diet. Andrology. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/sperm-dna-methylation-and-short-term-nut-consumptionThe Relationship Between Pistachio Intake and AdiposityAfter searching through six databases for clinical trials concerning pistachios, body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference, eleven trials totaling 1593 participants were identified for the systematic review. Once the trials were identified, a meta-analysis for the weighted mean difference between a diet with pistachios and a control diet was implemented.   The analysis showed that across the eleven clinical trials, the pistachio diet exhibited lower BMI values and there were no differences in body weight nor waist circumference between the control diet group and the pistachio diet group.   In conclusion, a diet that contains pistachios may lead to a lower BMI while simultaneously not affecting body weight or waist circumference.   Read the full study. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-relationship-between-pistachio-intake-and-adiposityEffect of Nuts on Gut Microbiota, Gut Function and Symptoms in AdultsFor the systematic review, researchers investigated five electronic databases, along with manual searching of abstracts from conferences, clinical trial databases, and contacting key stakeholders. Through this search, eight studies considering nine randomized controlled trials were included in the review. The results from each trial were analyzed as the weighted mean difference or standardized mean difference using a random-effects model.   Researchers observed that nut consumption significantly increased Clostridium, Dialister, Lachnospira, while Parabacteroides significantly decreased. They also observed that nuts had no effect on the bacterial phyla, diversity, or stool output. They did note however that nut consumption affected gut microbiota composition at the genus level.   Overall, the strength of evidence from the meta-analyses is still weak and further research is needed to gain robust conclusions on the impact of nuts on gut microbiota and gut health.   Creedon, C. Alice, Hung, S. Estella, Berry, E. Sarah, Whelan, Kevin (2020), Nuts and their Effect on Gut Microbiota, Gut Function and Symptoms in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials. Nutrients 12(8), 2347. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082347 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/effect-of-nuts-on-gut-microbiota-gut-function-and-symptoms-in-adults2020 Call for Promotion and DisseminationThe INC Executive Committee approved the following two projects, as prioritized by the Evaluating Committee of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination, as the beneficiaries of the grant.   Project title: “Nuts about good health. Sporty and healthy lifestyle”. Applicant: Nucis Italia, Italy. Project title: “Get Real. Eat Dried Fruit Campaign”. Applicant: Raisins South Africa NPC, South Africa. If you would like to find out more about future Calls for Promotion and Dissemination please see funding opportunities. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/2020-call-for-promotion-and-dissemination2020 Call for Open AccessThe INC Executive Committee selected the following two studies, as prioritized by the Evaluating Committee of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination, as beneficiaries.   Effect of a 2-year diet intervention with walnuts on cognitive decline. The Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA) study: a randomized controlled trial. Applicant: Dr. Emilio Ros, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain. Study protocol for a 9-month randomized controlled trial assessing the effects of almonds vs. carbohydrate-rich snack foods on weight loss and weight maintenance. Applicant: Prof. Alison Coates, University of South Australia, Australia. If you would like to find out more about future Calls for Open Access please see funding opportunities. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/2020-call-for-open-accessDietary Recommendations during COVID-19Nutrients such as zinc and vitamins A, C and D have been mentioned by several nutrition guidelines to play a key role in optimizing the immune system. Adequate intakes of these micronutrients may be obtained by a daily diet that includes lean meat, fish, lentils and beans, dairy foods, nuts, seeds, eggs, citrus fruits and vegetables. Vitamin D can be also obtained through exposure of the skin to the sun.   On the other hand, unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fatty acids are known for their favorable immune-modulatory action. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, present in walnuts, seafood, algal oil, marine fish and flaxseed may support the immune system, while omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive, sunflower, and safflower oils and nuts may have antioxidant, antimicrobial and antiviral effects.   In their discussion of nutritional recommendations during COVID-19 quarantine, the role of tryptophan was highlighted in the regulation of satiety and caloric intake, suggesting protein-rich foods such as dairy, seeds and nuts as good sources. de Faria Coelho-Ravagnani, C., Corgosinho, F. C., Sanches, F. L. F. Z., Prado, C. M. M., Laviano, A., & Mota, J. F. (2020). Dietary recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutrition Reviews. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/dietary-recommendations-during-covid-19Effects of Pistachio Consumption in a Behavioral Weight Loss InterventionA total of 100 participants were enrolled and assigned to a 4-month behavioral weight loss intervention (control group) or also prescribed 1.5 oz/day (42 g/day) of pistachios (pistachio group). Participants in the control group were requested to abstain from consuming nuts during the study. Weight, height and waist circumference were measured, and a blood sample was collected at each scheduled clinic visit. The cardiopulmonary fitness of the participants was also assessed. Detailed dietary data were collected from all study participants and physical activity was estimated with a validated questionnaire. Prior to the visit, participants were mailed questionnaires to be completed and brought to the visit.   Researchers observed that regular pistachio consumption was associated with weight loss, and similar reductions in body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, in overweight/obese adults compared to the control group, and favorable changes in the diet were observed.   In conclusion, pistachios may contribute to a healthy dietary pattern and weight reduction in the context of an energy-restricted diet in a behavioral intervention, and may confer additional health benefits such as a reduction of blood pressure. Additionally, regular pistachio consumption has been associated with healthful shifts in dietary intake and food choices.   This research was funded by the American Pistachio Growers. Read the full study. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/effects-of-pistachio-consumption-in-a-behavioral-weight-loss-interventionNut Consumption in the Time of COVID-19PhD Student Indira Paz Graniel and Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó Human Nutrition Unit, Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, IISPV, Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus (Spain). CIBER, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición, Institute of Health Carlos III, Madrid (Spain). In the last months, along with the COVID-19 worldwide epidemic, the interest in strategies to prevent the infection appeared immediately. Consequently, some media sources published recommendations in various fields, including diet, to prevent COVID-19 infection. Although there is not enough scientific evidence that only one food could help avoid infections in the respiratory system, neither for COVID-19 nor other viruses, suggestions on the consumption of specific foods were made. Over the last few decades, researchers have explored the possible effects of physical activity, exercise, nutrition, psychological stress, and age on the immune response. Consequently, multiple possible mechanisms have been identified that can mediate the effect between lifestyle and the immune response to infection.  Diet is one of the determinants of the immune response that acts through different mechanisms. Some years ago the term "immuno-nutrition" was introduced in the scientific and clinical field, as a science whose objective was to study the modulation of either the immune system activity or modulation of the consequences of activation of it, by nutrients or specific food items (1). It helped to give some clarity regarding diet and nutrient interventions, especially in the clinical field. In an illness situation, our immune system becomes activated, which often gives place to an inflammation process, in order to protect us from the invaders (virus, bacteria, chemicals, plant-pollen, etc.). During this process, oxidant molecules are also produced. Nutrients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may contribute to the body’s antioxidant defenses and thereby limit the ability of oxidants, released during inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids, minerals such as selenium and zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D, are all nutrients with some of these properties. Therefore, it is recognized that almost all nutrients in the diet play a crucial role in maintaining an “optimal” immune response (2,3), some of them at a higher implication level (4). It is also known that malnutrition is associated with a higher risk of illness, either a deficient or excessive intake may have negative consequences on immune status and susceptibility to a variety of pathogens (2). For example, malnourished individuals may have an increased risk of infection. However, in relation to diet, as far as we know, there are few specific studies that have explored the association between a specific food group and the immune system. Also, few clinical trials demonstrate beneficial effects of a single food, or a food group, on the risk of infection or complications after infection and among these studies there are inconsistencies. Therefore, we do not have enough scientific evidence to give clear recommendations at population level. It has been reported that a Western Diet combined with chronic overnutrition and a sedentary lifestyle may induce a constant inflammation status (5) with harmful effects on the organism. On the contrary, dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean Diet based on the consumption of high amounts of vegetables, fruits, cereals, legumes, nuts, fish and the use of olive oil, had been negatively correlated with serum markers of inflammation (6). This leads us to hypothesize, that diets may provide resources of biologically active substances with local and systemic effects on immune function. Nuts, which are included in most of the healthy dietary patterns, are characterized by their high energy density as a result of their high lipid content (especially from unsaturated fatty acids). They also contain plant-protein and significant amounts of polyphenols, phytosterols, vegetable fiber, and micronutrients (folates, vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, among other minerals and vitamins)(7) that may interact synergically to benefit our health. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, peanuts, Brazil nuts, macadamias, pine nuts and pecans, contain all these nutrients, therefore the consumption of this food group might help regulate immunologic and inflammatory responses (8). Indeed, an in-vitro study reported that pistachio polyphenol extracts had an inhibitory effect of HSV-1 (Herpes simplex virus type 1) through the modulation of the expression of some of its proteins (9). Unfortunately, no human studies have been conducted investigating the possible effects of nut consumption against viral or bacterial infection, nor on the potential complications of these infections. Due to a lack of scientific evidence, we cannot recommend nuts to prevent COVID-19 infection as has been stated in some media in the last months. However, nut consumption has especially been shown to have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. In large epidemiologic studies, the frequency of nut consumption was consistently related to lower rates of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality, but also total death (10). Additionally, in few studies the frequency of nut consumption has also been inversely related to sudden death, peripheral artery disease and arrhythmia. Nuts have also demonstrated potential beneficial effects on the function of vessels, in reducing postprandial glycaemia and insulin resistance when substituting bad carbohydrates, in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, delaying the age-related cognitive decline, decreasing the risk of depression, and improving sperm motility and other parameters of fertility (11). The exceptional COVID-19 pandemic makes us realize that the field of nutrition and its association with the immune system, especially regarding respiratory illnesses, has been barely explored. Previously, in 2015 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies made the claim for health research related to the immune system defense against pathogens in the respiratory tract (10), but research on the subject has not advanced since then. Meanwhile, the recommendation to adhere to a healthy lifestyle (characterized by a healthy dietary pattern such as the Mediterranean Diet including nuts and physical activity practice) seems to be the best option to keep our immune system functioning well.   References (1) Grimble RF. Basics in clinical nutrition: Immunonutrition – Nutrients which influence immunity: Effect and mechanism of action. E Spen Eur E J Clin Nutr Metab [Internet]. 2009 Feb;4(1):e10–3. (2) Field CJ, Johnson IR, Schley PD. Nutrients and their role in host resistance to infection. J Leukoc Biol [Internet]. 2002 Jan;71(1):16–32. (3) Gombart AF, Pierre A, Maggini S. A Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System–Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection. Nutrients [Internet]. 2020 Jan 16;12(1):236. (4) Consolidated text: Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. Off J Eur Union. 2017 (5) Christ A, Lauterbach M, Latz E. Western Diet and the Immune System: An Inflammatory Connection. Immunity [Internet]. 2019 Nov;51(5):794–811. (6) Casas R, Sacanella E, Urpí-Sardà M, Corella D, Castañer O, Lamuela-Raventos R-M, et al. Long-Term Immunomodulatory Effects of a Mediterranean Diet in Adults at High Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in the PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea (PREDIMED) Randomized Controlled Trial. J Nutr [Internet]. 2016 Sep;146(9):1684–93. (7) Comunitaria GC de la SE de N, Aranceta Bartrina J, Arija Val V, Maíz Aldalur E, Martínez de la Victoria Muñoz E, Ortega Anta RM, et al. Dietary guidelines for the Spanish population (SENC, December 2016); the new graphic icon of healthy nutrition. Nutr Hosp [Internet]. 2016;33:1–48. (8) González CA, Salas-Salvadó J. The potential of nuts in the prevention of cancer. Br J Nutr [Internet]. 2006 Nov 19;96(S2):S87–94. (9) Musarra-Pizzo M, Pennisi R, Ben-Amor I, Smeriglio A, Mandalari G, Sciortino MT. In Vitro Anti-HSV-1 Activity of Polyphenol-Rich Extracts and Pure Polyphenol Compounds Derived from Pistachios Kernels (Pistacia vera L.). Plants [Internet]. 2020 Feb 18;9(2):267. (10) Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvadó J, Covas M-I, Corella D, Arós F, et al. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet Supplemented with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts. N Engl J Med [Internet]. 2018;378(25):e34. (11) Alasalvar C, Salas-Salvado J, Ros E, Sabate J. Health Benefits of Nuts and Dried Fruits. CRC Press; 2020. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-in-the-time-of-covid-19Snacking Almonds May Help Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular DiseaseThis is the conclusion of the study “Snacking on Whole Almonds for Six Weeks Increases Heart Rate Variability during Mental Stress in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial” published recently in the journal Nutrients.   Low heart rate variability, which can be induced by mental stress, is a predictor of risk of sudden cardiac death. Researchers form the King’s College London investigated the impact of almond consumption on heart rate variability. They recruited men and women (30-70 years-old) with above average risk of developing CVD. Participants were provided with 20% estimated energy requirements from muffins or almonds, which for a 2000 kcal diet equates to five muffins or 63 g of almonds per day. Supine heart rate and heart rate variability were measured at resting and during mental stress, at the beginning of the study and six weeks later.   Results showed that snacking on whole almonds instead of muffins may improve heart rate variability parameters, and therefore improve cardiac function. Researchers also conclude that incorporating tree nuts as daily snacks is encouraged as a positive lifestyle change that may enhance cardiovascular health.   This research was funded by the Almond Board of California and Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education. Dikariyanto, V., Smith, L., Chowienczyk, P. J., Berry, S. E., & Hall, W. L. (2020). Snacking on Whole Almonds for Six Weeks Increases Heart Rate Variability during Mental Stress in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 12(6), E1828. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/snacking-almonds-may-help-reduce-the-risk-of-cardiovascular-diseaseThe Positive Effect of Tree Nuts on Lipid ProfileThey performed a systematic review of dose-response clinical trials and controlled interventional trials. Databases such as MEDLINE/PubMed, Google Schoolar, Web of Science, Cochrane and ELSEVIER-Embase were used, and a total of 29 studies were included in this systematic review.    Researchers found that almonds, walnuts, pecans and peanuts have mainly advantageous action toward total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol, whereas hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts have mainly favorable action toward HDL “good” cholesterol. They also observed that all nuts included in this study resulted in an effective increase in good cholesterol levels.   This study was recently published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolic Insights.   Altamimi, M., Zidan, S., & Badrasawi, M. (2020). Effect of Tree Nuts Consumption on Serum Lipid Profile in Hyperlipidemic Individuals: A Systematic Review. Nutrition and Metabolic Insights. https://doi.org/10.1177/1178638820926521 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-positive-effect-of-tree-nuts-on-lipid-profileNut Consumption in Relation to GliomaA total of 128 confirmed new cases of glioma and 256 age and sex-matched controls were included in the study. Participants’ diet was assessed by a validated food frequency questionnaire.   Researchers, from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences (Iran), observed that the individuals in the top category of legume and nuts consumption were 66% less likely to have glioma compared with those in the bottom category. So, an inverse association between legume and nut consumption and odds of glioma was found.   Malmir, H., Shayanfar, M., Mohammad-Shirazi, M., Sharifi, G., & Esmaillzadeh, A. (2020). Legume and Nuts Consumption in Relation to Glioma: A Case- Control Study. Nutrition and cancer, 1–7. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-in-relation-to-gliomaEU Farm to Fork StrategyThis Strategy aims to address the challenges of producing and consuming food in a sustainable way, and reconcile what people eat with the needs of the planet. In addition, it will reduce the environmental and climate footprint and it will ensure food security, nutrition and public health, making sure that everyone has access to sufficient, safe, nutritious, sustainable food.   Current food consumption patterns are unsustainable from both health and environmental points of view. According to a 2019 study, consumption of whole-grain cereals, fruit and vegetables, legumes and nuts is insufficient, however, average intakes of energy, red meat, sugars, salt and fats continue to exceed recommendations. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-farm-to-fork-strategySnacking on Almonds May Help Improve Endothelial Function and Lower Bad CholesterolThe study was a randomized, parallel-arm design with two intervention groups, almonds and control. Participants consumed control snacks (savory mini-muffins) providing 20% of their estimated energy requirement or almond snacks (also providing 20% of daily estimated energy requirements) which were weighed and packed in a daily portion for each subject.   Endothelial function, liver fat and secondary outcomes as markers of cardiometabolic disease risk were assessed at the beginning of the study and at the end. Results observed that almonds, compared with the control group, increased endothelium dependent vasodilation and decreased plasma LDL “bad” cholesterol concentrations.   So, the study concluded that whole almonds consumed as snacks markedly improved endothelial function, in addition to lowering bad cholesterol, in adults with risk of cardiovascular disease.   This study was funded by the Almond Board of California.   Dikariyanto, V., Smith, L., Francis, L., Robertson, M., Kusaslan, E., O&#39;Callaghan-Latham, M., Palanche, C., D&#39;Annibale, M., Christodoulou, D., ... & Hall, W. L. (2020). Snacking on whole almonds for 6 weeks improves endothelial function and lowers LDL cholesterol but does not affect liver fat and other cardiometabolic risk factors in healthy adults: the ATTIS study, a randomized controlled trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition, nqaa100.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/snacking-on-almonds-may-help-improve-endothelial-function-and-lower-bad-cholesterolNut Intake Is Associated with Lower Mortality RiskResearchers from McMaster University (Canada) followed 124,329 participants from the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology (PURE) for a median of 9.5 years. PURE is a large multinational prospective cohort study of adults aged 35-70 years from 16 low-, middle-, and high-income countries in five continents. Participants’ habitual food and nut intake (tree nuts and groundnuts) was measured at the baseline visit, using country-specific validated food frequency questionnaires.   Results observed that a higher nut intake (>120 g per week compared with <30 g per month) was associated with lower mortality risk from both cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular causes in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. These findings support recommendations to increase the intake of a variety of nuts, as part of a healthy dietary pattern, to reduce the risk of death.   de Souza, R. J., Dehghan, M., Mente, A., Bangdiwala, S. I., Ahmed, S. … PURE study investigators (2020). Association of nut intake with risk factors, cardiovascular disease, and mortality in 16 countries from 5 continents: analysis from the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. The American journal of clinical nutrition, nqaa108.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-intake-is-associated-with-lower-mortality-riskAlmonds May Help Prevent Cardiovascular DiseaseThe study assessed the cost-effectiveness of consuming 42.5 g of almond from the US healthcare sector perspective. Researchers developed a decision model for CVD primary prevention among adults who consumed 42.5 g of (1.5 oz) almonds per day (almond strategy), as compared with no almond consumption (non-almond strategy) to project 1-year health outcomes and CVD-related costs.   The target population of this study was US adults with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, including overweight or obese, or normal-weight adults with a strong family history of diabetes. The randomized control trial recruited a total of 150 participants with a mean age of 30 years old.   The study observed that increasing almond consumption could be significant for American population, who consume an average of 2.93 g of almonds per day. In conclusion, consuming 42.5 g of almonds per day is a cost-effective approach to prevent cardiovascular disease in the short term and potentially in the long term. This study was funded by the Almond Board of California.   Wang, J., Lee Bravatti, M. A., Johnson, E. J., & Raman, G. (2020). Daily almond consumption in cardiovascular disease prevention via LDL-C change in the U.S. population: a cost-effectiveness analysis. BMC public health, 20(1), 558. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-08642-4 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almonds-may-help-prevent-cardiovascular-diseasePistachios Are “Good” Sources of ProteinThe protein quality of a food is determined by the protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), and the digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS).   The study was done with growing pigs. All pigs were fed every day with their assigned diets. Three diets were prepared: 1) with protein from raw pistachios; 2) with protein from roasted pistachios; and 3) a nitrogen-free formulated to measure basal amino acid and crude protein. Pistachio proteins were included in each diet as the only amino acid containing ingredient.   After the analyses, the study showed that raw pistachios had a PDCAAS of 73 and roasted pistachios had a PDCAAS of 81. The DIAAS was numerically greater for raw pistachio nuts than for roasted pistachio nuts with values of 86 and 83, respectively. Both greater than 75, an indicator of good protein quality.   This is the first study to determine protein quality of pistachio nuts by both the PDCAAS and DIAAS methods. Results show that pistachios both raw and roasted can be considered a good quality protein source.   Bailey, H. M., & Stein, H. H. (2020). Raw and roasted pistachio nuts (Pistacia vera L) are "Good" sources of protein based on their digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) as determined in pigs. Journal  of the science of food and agriculture, 10.1002/jsfa.10429. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.10429 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/pistachios-are-good-sources-of-proteinNutrition Advice During COVID-19The World Health Organization (WHO) has published some nutrition advice for adults during the COVID-19 outbreak. Among others, these recommendations include: eating more unsaturated fats, such as nuts, versus saturated or trans fats; and eating more fresh and unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains and foods from animal sources (e.g. milk, eggs, fish and meat). As for dried fruits, the WHO emphasizes the importance of choosing products without added salt or sugar.   In the same vein, a recent study [1] published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, establishes some nutritional recommendations for the quarantine. The study observed that foods supplying micronutrients may help boost the immune function. This happens because some of these micronutrients, such as vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene, are antioxidants. Antioxidants may help prevent or slow the damage of the cells. Another essential trace element that is crucial for the maintenance of immune function is zinc. And nuts are one of the major dietary sources of vitamin E and zinc.   The researchers conclude that keeping foods that are good sources of immuno-supportive nutrients, planning times to eat, meals, portions and having a cutoff time for eating but mostly having in mind positive attitudes could be helpful to tackle the negative health effects of quarantine.   [1] Muscogiuri, G., Barrea, L., Savastano, S., & Colao, A. (2020). Nutritional recommendations for CoVID-19 quarantine. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1-2. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nutrition-advice-during-covid-19-quarantineCardiorespiratory Fitness Is Positively Associated with Nut ConsumptionIn a new study, published in the journal Nutrients, researchers assessed the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and adherence to an overall Mediterranean Diet (MedD) pattern and specific MedD foods. A total of 275 subjects were enrolled. They completed a lifestyle and dietary pattern survey. Their height, body weight, waist circumference and CRF (maximum oxygen uptake, VO2max, ml/kg/min) were also measured.   The study results observed that CRF was positively associated with nut consumption. Those participants who consumed more servings of nuts were fitter than young adults who consumed less. Moreover, fitter subjects performed more physical activity, and had a lower body mass index and waist circumference than those who had lower fitness levels.   Santi-Cano, M. J., Novalbos-Ruiz, J. P., Bernal-Jiménez, M. Á., Bibiloni, M., Tur, J. A., & Rodriguez Martin, A. (2020). Association of Adherence to Specific Mediterranean Diet Components and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Young Adults. Nutrients, 12(3), E776. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/cardiorespiratory-fitness-is-positively-associated-with-nut-consumptionPistachio Extracts May Help Treat Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1In addition, researchers assessed the anti-herpetic effect of a mix of the most abundant pure polyphenol compounds present in pistachios.   Different laboratory techniques were used to measure the cytotoxicity activity, antiviral activity and cell viability. The results indicate that polyphenols from pistachios are effective against herpes simplex virus type 1. This study concluded that the antiviral effects of pistachio extracts are the result of a balance of the individual polyphenolic components (antioxidants) that in combination exert the anti-viral activity.   This research was funded by the American Pistachio Growers and by a grant from the University of Messina, Italy.   Full study here. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7076519/pdf/plants-09-00267.pdf   Musarra-Pizzo, M., Pennisi, R., Ben-Amor, I., Smeriglio, A., Mandalari, G., & Sciortino, M. T. (2020). In Vitro Anti-HSV-1 Activity of Polyphenol-Rich Extracts and Pure Polyphenol Compounds Derived from Pistachios Kernels (Pistacia vera L.). Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2), 267. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9020267 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/pistachio-extracts-may-help-treat-herpes-simplex-virus-type-1Nut Consumption Associated with Lower Odds of Anxiety in MenThe study was conducted with 3,172 adult participants aged 18-55 years. Researchers assessed the volunteers&#39; legume and nut consumption using a validated food frequency questionnaire. The Iranian validated version of Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to examine psychological health (scores of eight or more in the questionnaire were considered to indicate the presence of depression or anxiety).   According to the study results, consumption of legumes and nuts was associated with lower odds of anxiety in men. The researchers concluded that legume and nut consumption might be promising and, along with medications, could be used to prevent, control or delay psychological disorders.   Anjom-Shoae, J., Sadeghi, O., Keshteli, A. H., Afshar, H., Esmaillzadeh, A., & Adibi, P. (2020). Legume and nut consumption in relation to depression, anxiety and psychological distress in Iranian adults. European journal of nutrition, 10.1007/s00394-020-02197-1. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-020-02197-1 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-associated-with-lower-odds-of-anxiety-in-menNew Harvard Research Supports the Role of Nut Consumption in Cardiovascular Health The study included a total of 192,655 participants from three different cohorts. Researchers assessed nut consumption every 4 years using validated food frequency questionnaires. Per 0.5 serving/day increase in total nut consumption was associated with lower risk of CVD, coronary heart disease and stroke. Compared with individuals who remained non-consumers in a 4‐year interval, those who had higher consumption of total nuts (≥0.5 servings/day) had a lower risk of CVD, coronary heart disease and stroke in next 4 years.   The study concluded that increasing total consumption of nuts and intake of individual types of nuts (e.g. walnuts, other tree nuts and peanuts) was associated with a lower risk of CVD. This analysis provides further evidence that incorporating nuts into diet is beneficial for CVD risk, even among those who previously did not consume nuts. These data also support the role of nut intake in the primary prevention of CVD.   Liu, X., Guasch-Ferré, M., Drouin-Chartier, J. P., Tobias, D. K., Bhupathiraju, S. N., Rexrode, K. M., Willett, W. C., Sun, Q., & Li, Y. (2020). Changes in Nut Consumption and Subsequent Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among US Men and Women: 3 Large Prospective Cohort Studies. Journal of the American Heart Association, 9(7), e013877. https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.013877 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-harvard-research-supports-the-role-of-nut-consumption-in-cardiovascular-healthNew Study Suggests: Australians Should Increase Their Nut ConsumptionThis study, carried out by the University of Wollongong, is the first to analyze nut consumption in Australia, including whole nuts and nuts incorporated into other foods. The study aimed to examine nut consumption in the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS) and to investigate associations between nut intake, nutrient intake, anthropometric and blood pressure measurements. The NNPAS collected data from 12,153 participants, who were representative of the Australian population of 21,526,456 at the time of the survey.   Among participants, the average amount of nuts eaten was 4.6 g per day; this increased to 11.75 g of nuts a day when the analysis focused on ‘nut consumers’. Researchers found that a higher nut consumption was associated with higher intakes of fiber, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Eating nuts was not associated with higher body weight, body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference.   These results suggest that substantial increases in nut consumption are required to reach the intake level associated with improved health outcomes which is 30 g a day.   The University of Wollongong analysis was funded by Nuts for Life, Australia’s leading tree nut nutrition education body. The INC funded the Nuts for Life dissemination activities of the study through the Annual Call for Promotion and Dissemination Projects (2018). See full study.  [1] Nikodijevic C. et al. Nut consumption in a representative survey of Australians: a secondary analysis of the 2011–2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. Public Health Nutrition. March 2020 DOI: 10.1017/S1368980019004117. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-study-suggests-australians-should-increase-their-nut-consumptionInternational Researchers Publish Book on Health Benefits of Nuts and Dried Fruits Edited by Dr. Cesarettin Alasalvar, Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Dr. Emilio Ros and Dr. Joan Sabaté, the book has counted on the collaboration of nearly 60 international researchers.   The book provides detailed information on the health effects of nut and dried fruit consumption, highlights current regulation and health claims, provides updated dietary recommendations, describes nutrient absorption and metabolism, and discusses the mechanisms implicated in the health effects of nuts and dried fruits. In addition, this first edition can guide future research directions. Hopefully, it will help in public health strategies to promote healthy aging and improve wellbeing. The book Health Benefits of Nuts and Dried Fruits is available here - Save 20% by using the code ASR20 at checkout! https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/international-researchers-publish-book-on-health-benefits-of-nuts-and-dried-fruitsNut Consumption and Risk of CancerA total of 33 studies –which included more than 50,000 cancer cases– were eligible for the analysis. When comparing the highest with the lowest category of nut intake, high consumption of nuts was significantly associated with decreased risk of overall cancer. The protective effect of nut consumption was especially apparent against cancers from the digestive system. Researchers also observed a linear dose-response relationship between nut consumption and cancer: Per 20 g/day increase in nut consumption was related to a 10% decrease in cancer risk.   Long, J., Ji, Z., Yuan, P., Long, T., Liu, K., Li, J., & Cheng, L. (2020). Nut Consumption and Risk of Cancer: A Meta-analysis of Prospective Studies. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention: a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology, 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1167. Advance online publication. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1167 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-and-risk-of-cancerBeneficial Effects of Walnuts on Cognition and Brain HealthResearchers from the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities investigated in this field and suggested that a diet supplemented with walnuts (1-2 oz per day) may help reduce oxidative stress by decreasing the generation of free radicals and by boosting antioxidant defense.   Also, evidence from animal and human studies suggests that dietary consumption of walnuts may help improve cognitive function (brain health) and may also reduce the risk of other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, depression and type 2 diabetes, which are risk factors for the development of dementia.   Chauhan, A., & Chauhan, V. (2020). Beneficial Effects of Walnuts on Cognition and Brain Health. Nutrients, 12(2), E550. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020550 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/beneficial-effects-of-walnuts-on-cognition-and-brain-health-1FDA Approves First Drug for Peanut AllergyThe drug, designed by biotech company Aimmune Therapeutics Inc., is an oral immunotherapy indicated for the mitigation of allergic reactions, that may occur with accidental exposure to peanut.   The treatment is approved in patients aged between 4-17 years old with a confirmed diagnosis of peanut allergy. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/fda-approves-first-drug-for-peanut-allergyBioactive Compounds and Health Benefits of Nuts and Dried FruitsThe study also discusses the potential of nuts and dried fruits as foods that may benefit a number of diseases afflicting human beings.   This study observed that macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fats), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and other health-promoting bioactive compounds contained in nuts and dried fruits may synergistically contribute to modulate the risk of cardiometabolic and other non-communicable diseases through various mechanisms.   The review concluded that consumption of both nuts and dried fruits has been associated with cardiometabolic and other health benefits, and their consumption should be promoted for public health purposes.   Alasalvar, C., Salvadó, J. S., & Ros, E. (2020). Bioactives and health benefits of nuts and dried fruits. Food Chemistry, 126192. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/bioactive-compounds-and-health-benefits-of-nuts-and-dried-fruitsWalnuts May Help Prevent Cognitive DeclineA total of 708 participants, between 63-79 years old, were included in this study. The subjects were randomly allocated to the walnut group (30-60 g/day) or the control group (abstention from walnuts). Researchers administered a comprehensive neurocognitive test battery at the beginning of the study and after 2 years.   Thanks to the functional magnetic resonance imaging, the study results showed that walnuts might delay cognitive decline in subgroups at higher risk, such as in elderly.   Sala-Vila, A., Valls-Pedret, C., Rajaram, S., Coll-Padrós, N., Cofán, M., Serra-Mir, M., … Ros, E. (2020). Effect of a 2-year diet intervention with walnuts on cognitive decline. The Walnuts And Healthy Aging (WAHA) study: a randomized controlled trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition, nqz328. Advance online publication. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqz328 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/walnuts-may-help-prevent-cognitive-declineNut Consumption May Have a Protective Effect on Cardiometabolic DiseaseA search of updated meta-analysis studies was conducted in some databases, such as PubMed/MEDLINE and Cochrane Library, to examine the effects of nut consumption on cardiometabolic disease in humans. A total of seven meta-analysis were included in this review.   Results found that nut consumption significantly decreased cardiovascular disease mortality to -25%, coronary heart disease mortality to -30%, stroke mortality to -18%, cardiovascular disease incidence to -19%, coronary heart disease incidence to -34%, and stroke incidence to -11%, comparing high with low categories of nut consumption. In addition, fasting glucose (blood sugar) levels, total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol were significantly decreased with nut intake in comparison with the control diets (non-nut consumers).   The study concludes that nut consumption appears to bring a protective effect on cardiometabolic disease, possibly through improved concentrations of fasting blood sugar levels, total cholesterol, and LDL “bad” cholesterol.   Kim, Y., Keogh, J.B., Clifton, P.M. (2019). Does Nut Consumption Reduce Mortality and/or Risk of Cardiometabolic Disease? An Updated Review Based on Meta-Analyses. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(24), 4957. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-may-have-a-protective-effect-on-cardiometabolic-diseaseWalnuts May Affect Positively the Gut MicrobiotaA 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: https://academic.oup.com/jn/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jn/nxz289/5680186?searchresult=1   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, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxz289 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/walnuts-may-affect-positively-the-gut-microbiota-and-associations-with-cardiovascular-risk-factorsReplacing Saturated Fats with Unsaturated Fats from Walnuts May Help Lower Bad CholesterolA total of 34 adults at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) 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. After following a standard Western diet during 2 weeks, participants were randomly assigned in blocks of 6, to receive each of the following diets in random order for 6 weeks: 1) walnut diet (57-99 g/day); 2) walnut fatty acid-matched diet but devoid of walnuts, and 3) a diet replacing alpha-linolenic acid with oleic acid and without walnuts.   The study concluded that, in individuals at risk of CVD, replacement of saturated fatty acids with unsaturated fats from walnuts improved lipid/lipoprotein classes, including LDL “bad” cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol, which were lower after the walnut diet.   This study was partly funded by the California Walnut Commission.   Link to the study: https://academic.oup.com/jn/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jn/nxz313/5698016   Tindall, A. M., Kris-Etherton, P. M., & Petersen, K. S. (2020). Replacing Saturated Fats with Unsaturated Fats from Walnuts or Vegetable Oils Lowers Atherogenic Lipoprotein Classes Without Increasing Lipoprotein(a). The Journal of nutrition, nxz313. Advance online publication. doi:10.1093/jn/nxz313 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/replacing-saturated-fats-with-unsaturated-fats-from-walnuts-may-help-lower-bad-cholesterolProf. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, among the Most Highly Cited Researchers in the WorldHighly Cited Researchers is the list of scientists whose papers rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year of publication on the Web of Science. The list is released by the Web of Science Group, a Clarivate Analytics company.   Prof. Salas-Salvadó is the Chairman of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination, the mission of which is to promote research and dissemination projects about the health effects of nut and dried fruit consumption. He is the Director of the Human Nutrition Unit, Department of Biochemistry & Biotechnology at Rovira i Virgili University, Reus, Spain. Head of the Nutrition Department at the Sant Joan University Hospital of Reus. Vice-President of the Pere Virgili Institute of Health Research. Principal Investigator of the CIBERobn, at the Institute of Health Carlos III. Director of the Catalan Nutrition Center at Institut d&#39;Estudis Catalans. Director of the Ibero-American Network for the Study of Metabolic Syndrome (RIBESMET). Member of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, and member of the Spanish Academy of Nutrition.   More informationhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/prof-jordi-salas-salvad-among-the-most-highly-cited-researchers-in-the-worldHigher Nut Consumption May Help Prevent Cognitive Decline in the ElderlyA team of researchers examined whether a diet high in nuts might help protect against age-related cognitive decline over a three-year period.   A total of 119 participants aged 65 and over were selected from the InCHIANTI cohort, a representative population-based study of elderly residents of Chianti, Italy. Participants were selected based on their nut intake: non-nut consumers and regular nut consumers (≥2.9 g/day).   Nut exposure was measured at the beginning of the study with a validated food frequency questionnaire or with an analytical tool for the characterization of phenolic compounds. In addition, cognitive decline was measured using the Mini-Mental State Examination test.   Researchers found that, from 119 subjects, 38 participants experienced cognitive decline, 28 from the non-nut consumers group and 10 from the nut consumers group. Nut consumption estimated either by the dietary marker or by the urinary marker model was in both cases associated with lower cognitive decline.   “The use of a panel of metabolites provides accurate and complementary information on nut exposure and reinforces the results obtained using dietary information”, states Prof. Andrés-Lacueva, ICREA Academia at the University of Barcelona, Group leader of CIBERFES on Frailty and Healthy Aging and principal investigator of the study.   The study was supported by the INC. Link to the publication: https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201900532   Download the press release.  [1] Rabassa, M., Zamora-Ros, R., Palau-Rodriguez, M., Tulipani, S., Miñarro, A., Bandinelli, S., … Andres-Lacueva, C. (2019). Habitual Nut Exposure, Assessed by Dietary and Multiple Urinary Metabolomic Markers, and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults: The InCHIANTI Study. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, e1900532. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/higher-nut-consumption-may-help-prevent-cognitive-decline-in-the-elderlyWalnuts May Help Modulate Gut MicrobiotaA total of 27 healthy individuals were included in the study. The intervention consisted of an intake of 33 g of walnuts per day for three days. Antioxidants and other bioactive compounds were quantified. Also, urine and fecal samples were collected. Urolithins were identified in urine samples after the 3-day nut intervention.    The study results showed that walnut consumption for three days may be enough to modulate gut microbial composition and to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids.   García-Mantrana, I., Calatayud, M., Romo-Vaquero, M., Espín, J. C., Selma, M. V., & Collado, M. C. (2019). Urolithin Metabotypes Can Determine the Modulation of Gut Microbiota in Healthy Individuals by Tracking Walnuts Consumption over Three Days. Nutrients, 11(10), 2483. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/walnuts-may-help-modulate-gut-microbiotaNew Study Suggests That Regular Consumption of Pistachio Does Not Increase Body WeightA total of 60 women were included in this trial. Women who were not regular consumers of nuts (n=30, nut group) were requested either to consume 44 g (250 kcal) of pistachios as a mid-morning snack, or to go on with their usual diets for 12 weeks (n=30, control group). Body weight, body composition and some body circumferences were measured. In addition, appetite and satiety sensations were also measured.   Researchers concluded that the daily intake of pistachios (44 g) may help improve nutrient intake without affecting body weight or body composition in healthy women. The additional calories provided by the pistachios induced satiety and sufficient adjustment of intake to prevent body weight changes.   Fantino, M., Bichard, C., Mistretta, F., & Bellisle, F. (2019). Daily consumption of pistachios over 12 weeks improves dietary profile without increasing body weight in healthy women: A randomized controlled intervention. Appetite, 104483. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-study-suggests-that-regular-consumption-of-pistachio-does-not-increase-body-weightINC Doubles the Annual Grant for Promotion and Dissemination ProjectsThe objective of this grant is to fund projects aimed at increasing the use and consumption of nuts and dried fruits, whenever such projects are beyond the scope of the INC, i.e. projects that the INC cannot fit within its regular activity, for instance due to language or geographic challenges.   €100,000 is available for the 2020 Grant. INC will only accept one project per institution, and will fund a maximum of €50,000 per project/institution.   Applications are due by December 31, 2019.   For further information, please click here.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-doubles-the-annual-grant-for-promotion-and-dissemination-projectsINC Symposium at the European Nutrition ConferenceThis conference, organized by the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS), brings together over 2,500 delegates, not only from the 26 affiliated European countries, but also from over 50 other countries represented, as well as related partner groups and societies at European and international level.   The symposium, moderated by Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Chairman of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination, included leading researchers in the field of nutrition Dr. Richard Mattes from Purdue University (USA), Dr. Joan Sabaté from Loma Linda University (USA) and Dr. Crystal Haskell-Ramsay from Northumbria University (UK).   Prof. Salas-Salvadó presented an overview of the latest research on nut consumption, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes; Dr. Mattes shared new insights into nut intake and appetite; Dr. Sabaté focused on the latest epidemiologic studies and clinical trials in the field of nut consumption and obesity; and Dr. Haskell-Ramsay talked about the effects of nut consumption on gut microbiota. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-symposium-at-the-european-nutrition-conferenceAlmonds May Help Reduce WrinklesThe study was a randomized controlled trial in which participants consumed 20% of their daily energy consumption in either almonds or a calorie-matched snack for 16 weeks. A total of 50 healthy postmenopausal females were recruited, 31 participants were enrolled, and 28 completed the study. A facial photograph and image analysis system was used to obtain standardized photographs and information on wrinkle width and severity. Also, measurements of water loss and sebum production were taken.   Researchers at UC Davis observed that the almond group had significantly decreased wrinkle severity and width compared with the control group after 16 weeks. Foolad, N., Vaughn, A.R., Rybak, I., Burney, W.A., Chodur, G.M., Newman, J.W., Steinberg, F.M., Sivamani, R.K. (2019). Prospective randomized controlled pilot study on the effects of almond consumption on skin lipids and wrinkles. Phytotherapy research, doi: 10.1002/ptr.6495. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almonds-may-help-reduce-wrinklesNut Consumption May Help Prevent Weight GainThe study used data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, Nurses’ Health Study, and Nurses’ Health Study II from a total of 27,521 men and 61,680 women. The study found that increasing nut consumption by a 0.5 serving/day is significantly associated with less weight gain per 4-year interval: -0.19 kg for all nuts, -0.37 kg for walnuts, -0.36 kg for other tree nuts, and -0.15 kg for peanuts.   The study concluded that incorporating nuts as part of a healthy dietary pattern by replacing less healthful foods may help mitigate the gradual weight gain common during adulthood, and beneficially contribute to the prevention of obesity.   Liu X, Li Y, Guasch-Ferré M, et al. Changes in nut consumption influence long-term weight change in US men and women. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health 2019;bmjnph-2019-000034. doi: 10.1136/bmjnph-2019-000034 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-may-help-prevent-weight-gainGo Nuts and Join the Nutfruit Power Challenge! This September, the INC has launched Nutfruit Power, the new dissemination campaign that promotes the consumption of nuts and dried fruits in the morning to start your day with power. Nowadays, energy is turning into a key element within a contemporary health and wellness lifestyle. As consumers, we are starting to get tired of the concept of weight management and miraculous diets and we want to achieve a more holistic approach to a healthy diet. We all want to remain energetic for as long as we can. How can you do that? Join #NutfruitPowerChallenge, eat nuts and dried fruits in the morning and remain energetic for as long as you can! Get Involved! Be an ambassador of the Nutfruit Power and share some of your daily challenges. Jump out of bed, walk the dog, go for your morning run or add nuts and dried fruits to your breakfast. Post a photo of it or record yourself on your morning challenge and upload it onto your social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.). Remember to use the hashtag #NutfruitPowerChallenge. Want more ideas? Watch and share the Nutfruit Power video campaign. So, ready for today? Now it’s the time to choose your challenge and go nuts! To see more information about the campaign please visit the campaign&#39;s webpage.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/needing-a-boost-of-power-to-face-your-day-ahead-join-the-nutfruitpowerchallengeAlmonds May Be Effective for Appetite ControlA total of forty-two female participants were included in this study. Participants attended 4 visits, scheduled at least seven days apart. In all visits, participants were asked to refrain from eating or drinking anything besides water from 10 pm the evening before to ensure a standardized fasted state. Measurements such as the resting metabolic rate, waist circumference and body composition (fat mass, fat-free mass, and percentage body fat) were taken. Subjective appetite sensations were also measured by a validated questionnaire.   Results observed that the addition of almonds to the diet as a mid-morning snack reduced overall hunger and subsequent ad libitum energy intake and reduced hedonic wanting for high-fat foods.   In conclusion, these findings suggest that almonds are an appropriate snack food to incorporate into the diet.   Hollingworth, S., Dalton, M., Blundell, J. E., & Finlayson, G. (2019). Evaluation of the Influence of Raw Almonds on Appetite Control: Satiation, Satiety, Hedonics and Consumer Perceptions. Nutrients, 11(9), 2030. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almonds-may-be-effective-for-appetite-controlDried Fruit Intake May Help in the Prevention of Digestive CancersThe results observed that increasing dried fruit consumption to 3-5 or more servings per week may have beneficial health effects related to risk of certain cancers, including cancer of pancreas, prostate, stomach, bladder and colon.   In particular, prospective cohort studies determined significant reductions in relative risk of precancerous colorectal polyps, incidence of prostate cancer, or mortality from pancreatic cancer, by, respectively, 24%, 49% and 65%. In conclusion, the data suggest that higher intake of dried fruits may be important in the prevention of cancers of the digestive system.   Mossine, V. V., Mawhinney, T. P., & Giovannucci, E. L. (2019). Dried Fruit Intake and Cancer: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies. Advances in Nutrition. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/dried-fruit-intake-may-help-in-the-prevention-of-digestive-cancersFDA Recommends Approving Peanut Allergy Treatment PalforziaAs described in APAC’s Briefing Document, this is a treatment “to reduce the incidence and severity of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis after accidental exposure to peanut in patients aged 4 through 17 years with a confirmed diagnosis of peanut allergy.” The drug, called Palforzia, was designed by biotech company Aimmune Therapeutics. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/fda-recommends-approving-peanut-allergy-treatment-palforziaNuts and Dried Fruits Highlighted at the 13th Asian Congress of NutritionThe INC co-sponsored, along with the California Prune Board, the symposium “Nut and Dried Fruit Consumption and the Prevention of Prevalent Diseases/Conditions”, which featured leading nutrition experts Dr. Emilio Ros from University of Barcelona (Spain), Prof. Anoop Misra, Director of the Diabetes Foundation, Fortis Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases & Endocrinology (India), Prof. Linda Tapsell from the University of Wollongong (Australia), and Dr. Shirin Hooshmand from San Diego State University (USA).   Chaired by Dr. Emilio Ros, the symposium covered an array of topics, including the latest findings in nut consumption and diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and brain function, and also prune consumption and bone health. Guest speaker Dr. Emilio Ros spoke on the relation between nut consumption and brain function; Prof. Anoop Misra gave an overview of the efficacy of nuts for the prevention and management of diabetes; Prof. Linda Tapsell gave an update on the effects of nut consumption on cardiovascular disease; and Dr. Shirin Hooshmand talked about the effect of prunes on bone status and bone biomarkers. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-and-dried-fruits-highlighted-at-the-13th-asian-congress-of-nutritionNew Study Reveals Nut Consumption May Reduce Cardiovascular Death RiskA systematic search, limited to human studies, was conducted on PubMed and Cochrane databases. A total of 19 prospective studies from the 2,992 identified articles were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis. Nut consumption (including total nuts, or types of nuts, e.g. walnuts, almonds, peanuts, peanut butter and hazelnuts) was analyzed.   The results of the study showed a significant inverse association between total nut consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence and mortality, coronary heart disease incidence and mortality, and atrial fibrillation.   In conclusion, the study revealed a beneficial role of nut consumption in reducing the incidence of, and mortality from, different CVD outcomes.   Becerra-Tomás, N., Paz-Graniel, I., Kendall, C., Kahleova, H., Rahelić, D., Sievenpiper, J.L., Salas-Salvadó, J. (2013). Nut consumption and incidence of cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular disease mortality: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Nutrition Reviews, pii: nuz042. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-study-reveals-nut-consumption-may-reduce-cardiovascular-death-riskResearch Shows that Almonds Contain Good Protein QualityResearchers from the University of Manitoba in Canada carried out this study to provide current estimates of PDCAAS, using both in vivo and in vitro assays, of key almond varietals from the 2017 California harvest.   In conclusion, the current data support a PDCAAS value for raw almonds of between 44.3 and 47.8, for the varieties tested. So, these results provided additional evidence of the quality of almond proteins.   James D. House, J.D., Hill, K., Neufeld, J., Franczyk, A., Nosworthy, M.G. (2019). Determination of the protein quality of almonds (Prunus dulcis L.) as assessed by in vitro and in vivo methodologies. Food Science & Nutrition, DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.1146. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almonds-contain-good-protein-qualityNut Molecules May Help Improve Inflammatory and Metabolic Profile of Fat CellsObesity is an enlargement of adipose tissue to store excess energy intake. Excessive calorie intake may lead to the formation of fat cells, promoting their deterioration (aging) by increasing the production of proinflammatory molecules. Low grade inflammation is a key factor in the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in obesity.   This study characterized miRNAs (small nucleic acids involved in the regulation of gene expression) vehicled by nanovesicles (emerging players in cell-to-cell communication) isolated from walnuts and hazelnuts, and tested their effectiveness on inflammatory and metabolic profile in fat cells. Researchers found that two conserved plant miRs (miR156c and miR159a) were able to limit inflammatory response and recover insulin sensitivity in obese mice (fed with a high fat diet). Results suggest that nut miRs improve metabolic profile of fat cells and reveal a novel anti-inflammatory function of plant foods (including nuts) as promising therapeutics to treat low-grade inflammation.   “Our research has identified nut nucleic acids that, thanks to their high bioavailability and anti-inflammatory action, are able to limit the development of metabolic diseases linked to obesity” states Dr. Lettieri Barbato, researcher at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” and principal investigator of this study.   This study was supported by the INC.  Download the press release.  [1] Aquilano K., Ceci V., Gismondi A., De Stefano S., Iacovelli F., Faraonio R., …& Lettieri-Barbato D. (2019). Adipocyte metabolism is improved by TNF receptor-targeting small RNAs identified from dried nuts. Communications Biology, 2:317. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-molecules-may-help-improve-inflammatory-and-metabolic-profile-of-fat-cellsFunding Opportunities for Research and Dissemination 2020The Annual Call for Promotion and Dissemination Projects (€50,000) will be launched in October. The Call for Dissemination is aimed at helping promote nut and dried fruit consumption, especially in developing countries. Find out more information here.   The INC also runs the “Nutfruit Power” dissemination campaign, which is aimed at promoting the idea of eating nuts and dried fruits for breakfast or as a morning snack to gain power to face the challenges of the day ahead.              2019 Grant Awardees In the previous call, 4 projects were selected for funding, totalling €350,000. The INC awarded funding to a clinical study on the relationship between nut consumption and brain health and also an epidemiological study on nuts and cognitive function. 2 additional dissemination projects were also funded.   Research Grant Recipients: Project: “Effects of long-term mixed nut consumption on brain health in elderly: focus on underlying mechanisms”. Principal Investigator: Prof. Ronald Mensink, Maastricht University, Netherlands.   Project: “Associations between nut intake, cognitive function and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in older adults”. PI: Dr. Sze-Yen Tan, Deakin University, Australia.   Dissemination Grant Recipients: Nucis Italia. Project: “Nuts and nutrition system”.   Toronto 3D Knowledge Synthesis and Clinical Trials foundation. Project: “37th International Symposium on Diabetes and Nutrition: Dried Fruits & Diabetes Symposium and Presentation”.   By year end, the INC will have provided over 3.5 million euros of funding for research and dissemination projects over the last seven years.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/funding-opportunities-for-research-and-dissemination-2020New Study Reveals an Inverse Association between Nut Consumption and CVDA healthy diet is one component of the type of lifestyle that should be promoted to deal with this global health concern. Several healthy dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet and a vegetarian diet have nuts as a key food component. Given their interesting nutritional profile, the Diabetes and Nutrition Study Group (DNSG) of the EASD (European Association for the Study of Diabetes) commissioned a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies to summarize the evidence of the association between nut consumption and the incidence of, and mortality from, certain CVD outcomes[2].   A systematic search, limited to human studies, was conducted in the PubMed and Cochrane databases. In total, 19 prospective studies were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis.   A 13% reduction in the risk of CVD incidence was observed up to a consumption of 10 g/day, compared to no consumption. For CVD mortality and CHD mortality, a 29% and 32% lower risk was observed, respectively, at approximately 15-20 g/day. Similarly, for stroke mortality, a 16% reduction in the risk was observed up to a consumption of 5 g/day.   In conclusion, a beneficial role of total nut consumption was observed in reducing the incidence of, and mortality from, different CVD outcomes. [1] World Health Organization. WHO Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). 2017: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds). Accessed July 12, 2019. [2] Becerra-Tomás, N., Paz-Graniel, I., Kendall, C.W.C., Kahleova, H., Rahelić, D., Sievenpiper, J.L., Salas-Salvadó, J. (2019). Nut consumption and incidence of cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular disease mortality: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Nutrition Reviews, doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuz042. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-study-reveals-an-inverse-association-between-nut-consumption-and-cardiovascular-diseasesnew-study-reveals-an-inverse-association-between-nut-consumption-and-cardiovascular-diseasesNut Consumption May Help Improve Erectile FunctionA total of eighty-three healthy males aged 18-35 with erectile function were included in this FERTINUTS study sub-analysis. Forty-three participants were allocated into the “nut group” and consumed the usual Western-style diet supplemented with 60 g/day of raw mixed nuts (30 g of walnuts, 15 g of almonds, and 15 g of hazelnuts); and forty participants were allocated to the “control group” and followed the usual Western-style diet but avoiding nut consumption during the 14-week follow-up. At the beginning and the end of the intervention, levels of nitric oxide and E-selectin (two biomarkers of erectile endothelial function) were measured. Participants also completed the validated International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire which evaluated the influence of nuts on erectile function through 15 questions. The questionnaire addressed the relevant domains of male sexual function: erectile function, orgasmic function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction and overall satisfaction.   The results of the questionnaire observed a significant increase in some of the erectile function parameters in the nut-supplemented group. So, the study concluded that a Western-style diet supplemented with mixed nuts may help to improve erectile function. Salas-Huetos, A., Muralidharan, J., Galiè, S., Salas-Salvadó, J., & Bulló, M. (2019). Effect of Nut Consumption on Erectile and Sexual Function in Healthy Males: A Secondary Outcome Analysis of the FERTINUTS Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 11(6), 1372. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-may-help-improve-erectile-functionPrunes Intake May Have a Favorable Effect on Bone HealthA total of twenty-seven postmenopausal women were included in this crossover study. Participants were asked to consume six prunes (∼42 g) or two (∼14 g) per day for 2 weeks, after a 2-week washout period, then they crossed over and consumed the other amount of prunes. Serum C-telopeptide, beta-crosslinked (CTX) was used as a measure of bone resorption. Peripheral artery tonometry (PAT) was used to assess microvascular function. The study results observed that participants who consumed six prunes per day experimented a trend in CTX reduction (a decrease in bone resorption).   Al-Dashti, Y.A., Holt, R.R., Carson, J.G., Keen, C.L., Hackman, R.M. (2019). Effects of Short-Term Dried Plum (Prune) Intake on Markers of Bone Resorption and Vascular Function in Healthy Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Crossover Trial. Journal of Medicinal Food, doi: 10.1089/jmf.2018.0209. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/prunes-intake-may-have-a-favorable-effect-on-bone-healthNew Study Shows that Nut Consumption May Help Improve Erectile FunctionForty-three healthy males, aged 18-35, were assigned to a “nut group” and consumed the usual Western-style diet supplemented with 60 g/day of raw mixed nuts (30 g of walnuts, 15 g of almonds, and 15 g of hazelnuts); and forty participants were assigned to a “control group” and they followed the usual Western-style diet but avoided nut consumption during the 14-week follow-up. Levels of nitric oxide and E-selectin (two biomarkers of erectile endothelial function) were measured. Participants also completed the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire, which evaluated the influence of nuts on erectile function through 15 questions. The results of the questionnaire observed a significant increase in some of the erectile function parameters in the nut-supplemented group. The study, conducted by Dr. Albert Salas-Huetos and led by Dr. Mònica Bulló from Rovira i Virgili University in Spain, concluded that a Western-style diet supplemented with mixed nuts may help to improve erectile function.   “This is the largest randomized clinical trial to date analyzing the effect of nut supplementation on erectile and sexual function in subjects without erectile dysfunction” states Dr. Mònica Bulló. [1] Salas-Huetos, A., Muralidharan, J., Galiè, S., Salas-Salvadó, J., & Bulló, M. (2019). Effect of Nut Consumption on Erectile and Sexual Function in Healthy Males: A Secondary Outcome Analysis of the FERTINUTS Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 11(6), 1372. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-study-shows-that-nut-consumption-may-help-improve-erectile-functionNut and Dried Fruit Health Benefits at the International Symposium on Diabetes & NutritionThe DNSG has held this conference every year since 1982 in order to improve scientific exchange on the clinical and metabolic effects of nutrition in relation to diabetes. The group is comprised of more than 120 standing members, who are world leaders in their respective areas of nutrition and diabetes.   This year the conference featured a session titled “Fruit Sources in Diabetes –Friend or Foe?”, which was sponsored by the INC, with a panel of world-renowned experts in nutrition research, including Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó (Rovira i Virgili University, Spain), Prof. David Jenkins (University of Toronto, Canada), Prof. John Sievenpiper (University of Toronto, Canada) and Dr. Andreea Zurbau (University of Toronto, Canada). The session was attended by about 140 participants, including health professionals (clinicians and dietitians) and university professors.   The videos of the presentations have been posted on YouTube:   Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó: Fruit Sources and Cardio-metabolic Health in the PREDIMED Study Prof. David Jenkins: Dried Fruit and Fresh Fruit in Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Prof. John Sievenpiper: Fruit Juices in Diabetes –A Cause for Concern? Dr. Andreea Zurbau: Relation of Different Fruit Sources with Incident Cardiovascular Outcomes, A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-and-dried-fruit-health-benefits-at-the-international-symposium-on-diabetes-nutritionThe INC Sponsored a session on “Nuts and Cardiometabolic Health” within the Today’s Dietitian Annual MeetingAlong with the INC NREF, the INC co-sponsored the conference and breakfast “Nuts and Cardiometabolic Health, What We Know and What We Need to Know” on May 21, 2019. Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Chairman of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination, presented the latest research findings on nut consumption and cardiometabolic health. About 320 people of the nearly 725 attendees were present at the session. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-inc-sponsored-a-session-on-nuts-and-cardiometabolic-health-within-the-today-s-dietitian-annual-meetingDr. Vicki McWilliam Presented an Update of Current Evidence and Management on Nut Allergies during the Scientific Seminar in Boca RatonUnder the title “Nut allergies: update on current evidence and management”, Dr. McWilliam explained what is defined as a nut from an allergy perspective, how common are nut allergies around the world, the features of nut allergies, recent changes in nut allergy management and their implications, as well as the labeling of products containing allergens. She highlighted that “there are a lot of things to change around the way we approach nut allergies”.   Although much of the literature to date has focused on peanut allergy and research on tree nut allergy has been limited, it has been reported that the prevalence of tree nut allergy across the world is about 2%, Dr. McWilliam explained. One of the key messages of her presentation was that the way nut allergies are managed has changed significantly. Whereas in the past nut allergy management was based on removing all nuts (peanuts and tree nuts) from the diet, thanks to new research findings, avoidance is no longer recommended as a preventative strategy for food allergy. Nowadays, nut allergy prevention is based on the introduction of nuts and nut pastes before the child is 12 months old. On the other hand, those with a single nut allergy are advised to include non-allergic nuts in their diet. Unfortunately, food labels do not usually specify the type of nuts that a product contain or “may contain”.   The presentation is available at https://nutfruitcongress.org/bocaraton2019/program. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/dr-vicki-mcwilliam-presented-an-update-of-current-evidence-and-management-on-nut-allergies-during-the-scientific-seminar-in-boca-ratonProf. Linda Tapsell Presented the Latest Findings on Nuts and Health at the Nutrition Seminar in Boca RatonProf. Tapsell highlighted that nutrition is essentially a matter of balance. It is important to get a balanced intake of bioactive compounds (enough nutrients from food) and a balanced intake of energy (sufficient amount and types of foods in the diet) in order to maintain a healthy body weight. Following with the body weight topic, she asked the next question to the audience: Does eating nuts make you fat? The answer is no, as long as you consume the recommended amounts. Nuts are generally known as a high fat food but they deliver good fats and they are also a good plant protein source. Scientific studies have observed that people who eat nuts regularly tend to eat diets that do not increase body weight. Nuts are high in fiber, good fats and they also contain plant-based protein, vitamins and minerals. Due to their nutritional composition, nuts may help to increase satiety levels and therefore they may help prevent weight gain.   Prof. Tapsell also presented some scientific studies which concluded that nuts may help reduce the risk factors of cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, high LDL “bad” cholesterol, inflammation, etc.) which have been also associated with increased body fat. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/prof-linda-tapsell-presented-the-latest-findings-on-nuts-and-health-at-the-nutrition-seminar-in-boca-ratonNut Consumption During Pregnancy Linked to Improvements in Neurodevelopment in ChildrenThe study included 2208 mother-child pairs from a population-based birth cohort in four regions of Spain. The follow up settings were during pregnancy (first and third trimesters), birth, 1.5, 5 and 8 years. Also, several neuropsychological examinations were done through these years. Nut intake in pregnancy was reported through a validated food frequency questionnaire and the mean nut consumption among mothers in the first trimester of pregnancy was 41 g/week and the median were 17 g/week.   The study results observed that children of mothers who ate 2 to 3 ounces of nuts a week during pregnancy tended to score higher on tests of memory, attention and intelligence quotient (IQ). In conclusion, the study suggests that nut intake during early pregnancy is associated with long-term child neuropsychological development.   Gignac, F., Romaguera, D., Fernández-Barrés, S. et al. (2019). Maternal nut intake in pregnancy and child neuropsychological development up to 8 years old: a population-based cohort study in Spain. European Journal of Epidemiology, doi.org/10.1007/s10654-019-00521-6. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-during-pregnancy-linked-to-improvements-in-neurodevelopment-in-childrenPistachios May Help Reduce Oxidative Damage to DNAForty-nine prediabetic subjects were included in this trial. Participants consumed a pistachio-supplemented diet (57 g/day, half roasted/half roasted and salted) and a control diet (with the same calorie content) for 4 months each, separated by a 2-weeks washout period. DNA oxidation (the carrier of genetic information) and gene expression related to either oxidation, telomere maintenance or glucose, and insulin metabolism were analyzed.   The study results observed that compared with the control diet, the pistachio diet reduced oxidative damage to DNA. In conclusion, chronic pistachio consumption may help reduce oxidative damage to DNA and increase the gene expression of some telomere-associated genes, which may help revert certain deleterious metabolic consequences of prediabetes.   Canudas, S., Hernández-Alonso, P., Galié, S., Muralidharan, J., Morell-Azanza, L., Zalba, G., ... & Bulló, M. (2019). Pistachio consumption modulates DNA oxidation and genes related to telomere maintenance: a crossover randomized clinical trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/pistachios-may-help-reduce-oxidative-damage-to-dnaCranberry Extract May Interfere with Antibiotic Resistance MechanismsThe American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon L.) fruit and its derivatives have long been known as a natural remedy for urinary tract infections. Researchers have shown that cranberry proanthocyanidin (cPAC) may help potentiate the in vitro activity of a range of antibiotic classes against the human pathogens E. coli, P. mirabilis, and P. aeruginosa. Results from this study also demonstrated that cPAC acts by repressing two antibiotic resistance mechanisms, selective membrane permeability and multidrug efflux pumps (cell transporters). The use of cPAC to potentiate antibiotics and mitigate the development of resistance could improve treatment outcomes and may help to combat the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.   Maisuria, V., Okshevsky, M., Déziel, E., Tufenkji, N. (2019). Proanthocyanidin Interferes with Intrinsic Antibiotic Resistance Mechanisms of Gram‐Negative Bacteria. Advanced Science, doi.org/10.1002/advs.201802333. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/cranberry-extract-may-interfere-with-antibiotic-resistance-mechanismsAlmond Skin Polyphenols May Help Modulate Plasma Biomarkers of Oxidative StressThe objective of this study was to examine the effect of almond skin polyphenols (ASP) on plasma oxidative stress and redox status in a human clinical trial with seven healthy older adults consuming ASP in skim milk. Results observed that ASP consumption may modulate some plasma biomarkers of oxidative stress.    Polyphenolic compounds in blanched almond skins are capable of up-regulating antioxidant defense mechanisms and enhancing the resistance of LDL “bad” cholesterol to oxidation. Thus, almond skins resulted from the production of blanched almonds may have the potential for use in the development of some ingredients and food products.   This study was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Almond Board of California.   Chen, C. Y. O., Milbury, P. E., & Blumberg, J. B. (2019). Polyphenols in Almond Skins after Blanching Modulate Plasma Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress in Healthy Humans. Antioxidants, 8(4), 95. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almond-skin-polyphenols-may-help-modulate-plasma-biomarkers-of-oxidative-stress-1Diets Higher in Plant Protein Sources May Help Lower Heart Disease RiskThe study was recently published in the journal Circulation -a very high impact factor journal. Researchers conducted a search of randomized controlled trials published up until July 2017, comparing diets with red meat with diets that replaced red meat with a variety of foods. Thirty-six studies totaling 1,803 participants were included in this meta-analysis.   Researchers found that those eating diets higher in high-quality plant protein sources (legumes, soy and nuts) showed lower levels of both total and LDL “bad” cholesterol compared to diets with red meat. These findings emphasize the health-promoting effects of high-quality plant protein foods in comparison with red meat, and provide evidence for public health messages and clinical advice to favorably impact lipid profiles in the general population.   Guasch-Ferré, M., Satija, A., Blondin, S. A., Janiszewski, M., Emlen, E., O’Connor, L. E., ... & Stampfer, M. J. (2019). Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials of Red Meat Consumption in Comparison With Various Comparison Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Circulation, 139(15), 1828-1845. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/diets-higher-in-plant-protein-sources-may-help-lower-heart-disease-risk-1The Effect of Pistachio Consumption on Energy Intake, Satiety and AnthropometryA total of thirty French women were randomized in two groups and were instructed to consume either 56 g of pistachios or 56 g of biscuits as an afternoon snack. Evening energy intake, changes in anthropometric measures, daily intake of energy and selected nutrients were assessed.   The study results observed that satiety effects did not differ between groups and consuming pistachios or biscuits had no impact on body weight. Although thiamine or vitamin B1, vitamin B6, copper and potassium intakes were significantly higher in the pistachio group. In conclusion, a daily pistachio snack for a month did not affect body weight or composition but it did improve micronutrient intake.   The study has been published in the journal Nutrients.   Carughi, A., Bellisle, F., Dougkas, A., Giboreau, A., Feeney, M. J., & Higgs, J. (2019). A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study to Assess Effects of a Daily Pistachio (Pistacia Vera) Afternoon Snack on Next-Meal Energy Intake, Satiety, and Anthropometry in French Women. Nutrients, 11(4), 767. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-effect-of-pistachio-consumption-on-energy-intake-satiety-and-anthropometryDiets Higher in Plant Protein Sources May Help Lower Heart Disease RiskThe study was recently published in the journal Circulation (a very high impact factor journal). Researchers conducted a search of randomized controlled trials published up until July 2017 comparing diets with red meat with diets that replaced red meat with a variety of foods. Thirty-six studies totaling 1,803 participants were included in this meta-analysis.   Researchers found that those eating diets higher in high-quality plant protein sources (legumes, soy, and nuts) showed lower levels of both total and LDL “bad” cholesterol compared to diets with red meat. These findings emphasize the health-promoting effects of high-quality plant protein foods in comparison with red meat and provide evidence for public health messages and clinical advice to favorably impact lipid profiles in the general population.   Guasch-Ferré, M., Satija, A., Blondin, S. A., Janiszewski, M., Emlen, E., O’Connor, L. E., ... & Stampfer, M. J. (2019). Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials of Red Meat Consumption in Comparison With Various Comparison Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Circulation, 139(15), 1828-1845. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/diets-higher-in-plant-protein-sources-may-help-lower-heart-disease-riskEating Walnuts May Help Fight Breast CancerResearchers from Marshall University (USA) hypothesized that walnut consumption would alter gene expression in pathologically confirmed breast cancers of women in a direction that would be expected to decrease breast cancer growth and survival. A total of 38 women with breast lumps large enough for research and pathology biopsies were recruited and randomized to walnut consuming or control groups, but only 14 completed the study. Immediately after biopsy collection, women in the walnut group began to consume two ounces (60 g approx.) of walnuts per day until follow-up surgery.   The study results found that consumption of two ounces (60 g approx.) of walnuts a day for about two weeks significantly changed gene expression in confirmed breast cancers. These results support the hypothesis that walnut consumption could suppress growth and survival of breast cancer.   Hardman, W. E., Primerano, D. A., Legenza, M. T., Morgan, J., Fan, J., & Denvir, J. (2019). Dietary walnut altered gene expressions related to tumor growth, survival, and metastasis in breast Cancer patients: A pilot clinical trial. Nutrition Research. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eating-walnuts-may-help-fight-breast-cancerThe Potential Contribution of Traditional Dried Fruits to Public HealthThe discussion was focused on key consumer messages for the dried fruit and wider food industry and how consumer confusion can be avoided. Standard messaging advising consumers to read the ingredients list and the nutrition information is likely to be the most helpful way to ensure consumers can understand and distinguish different categories of dried fruits. How dried fruits are positioned and marketed in the food environment in order to provide consumer choice may also be influential, for example, as a composite food ingredient, as a meal ingredient or as a snack.   The INC has funded the Open Access publication of this article.   Sadler, M. J., Gibson, S., Whelan, K., Ha, M. A., Lovegrove, J., & Higgs, J. (2019). Dried fruit and public health–what does the evidence tell us?. International journal of food sciences and nutrition, 1-13. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-potential-contribution-of-traditional-dried-fruits-to-public-health"Would I Recommend Eating Nuts to Increase Fertility? I Would Say: Why Not?"Dr. Mònica Bulló, Associate Professor of Human Nutrition Unit, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Rovira i Virgili University, Spain. First of all, could you explain what is the background behind the study? Infertility is estimated to affect about 15% of all reproductive-age couples and 40-50% of cases are due to the male. Potential causes of infertility are associated with lifestyle, which includes dietary habits. Moreover, sperm quality may be modulated by inflammatory and oxidative processes, among others, thus compromising fertility. Since nuts modulate some of these molecular processes, we thought they should play a role in sperm quality.   Which was the starting point of this project? In many fertility clinics antioxidant or other dietary supplements are recommended in order to improve fertility. However, the scientific evidence for these recommendations is very low. Some observational studies and randomized controlled trials have found that the adherence to a healthy diet, rich in omega-3, some antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, selenium and zinc, carnitines and folate, may improve semen quality and fecundability in men. Given that nuts are particularly rich in some of these nutrients, their consumption should beneficially affect semen quality.   What was the aim of the study? The aim of the study was to demonstrate a beneficial role of regular consumption of nuts on classic and novel sperm quality parameters, which could be linked to an improvement in male fertility. The classic parameters include semen volume, total sperm count and concentration, vitality, motility and morphology, and are commonly used for clinical diagnoses. However, our study wanted to go further and so we looked in detail at potentially new markers at molecular levels including sperm DNA fragmentation, reactive oxygen species, micro RNAs, DNA methylation and chromosomal anomalies. These parameters are beyond those commonly assessed but we suspected that they would be closely related.   119 young men participated in the research. Can you give us a description of the study? This was a randomized controlled study conducted on 119 healthy males who follow a western-style diet, which is vastly different from a Mediterranean one. Participants were assigned to either a group that followed their usual diet supplemented with 60 g/day of mixed nuts (almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts) or their usual nut-free diet for 14 weeks. And now you may ask, why 14 weeks? Well, because that’s the sperm cycle.    Can you explain its main conclusions? I can proudly say that our hypotheses were true. The main results of the study demonstrate that regular nut consumption, in an otherwise imbalanced diet, improved sperm quality parameters such as total sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology and that the findings could be partially explained by a reduction in sperm DNA fragmentation. However, whether our findings can be translated into increased male fertility requires further studies. At this moment in time we can only assume that regular nut consumption improves the quality of sperm. In the same way, we saw other tendencies and statistics in other fields but these also require further studies.   So, could nut consumption help improve male fertility? We demonstrated an improvement in several parameters that could contribute to male fertility. However, we did not analyze fertility by itself. The classical parameters which we found to be beneficially modulated by nut consumption have been linked to increased male fecundability and fertility, but not the novel ones. The study provides evidence for the first time that nuts can have other medical functionalities beyond everything that has already been proved in biomedicine, such as improvements in the field of cardiovascular disease. We have before us an open window. It’s a matter of continuing to investigate   What specifically do nuts contain to potentially increase the number and quality of sperm? Nuts are remarkable for their bioactive compounds. They are high in several components, such as proteins, fiber, fat, MUFA, PUFA, magnesium, vitamin E, omega-3, ALA, omega-6 and are high in substances directly related to anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant compounds. So, if the hypothesis was that inflammation and oxidation negatively affect fertility, why shouldn’t nuts be beneficial?   What level of daily nut consumption would you recommend to potentially improve sperm count? In our study we used 60 g/day and we did not conduct any dose-response analysis, so we do not have information regarding whether lower doses could bring the same benefits.   Infertility is a major issue nowadays. Are you planning to continue your investigations further in this area? There are still some results derived from the study that deserve further analysis and we will also analyze DNA methylation in more depth in order to identify new potential markers of sperm quality.   What’s the next step? What are the implications of the research? Could this study open the door to new investigations? One of the next steps being studied is the role of DNA methylation in improvements in classic sperm parameters (seminogram). To demonstrate that a food group such as nuts can modulate sperm quality parameters is of great interest in developing public health strategies in developed countries where infertility seems to have fallen drastically. We believe our findings open new avenues for research into how they can be translated into an increase in the chances of fertility and whether nut consumption also has a positive effect on female fertility.     So, would you recommend eating nuts to increase fertility? I would say: Why not? Nuts are rich in beneficial compounds. In this study, we are not saying that they can raise male fertility to 100%, because there are so many other factors to be taken into account, but we have found solid evidence that they improve sperm quality patterns.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/would-i-recommend-eating-nuts-to-increase-fertility-i-would-say-why-notThe Role of Nuts in Adiposity and Obesity PreventionNerea Becerra-Tomás, RD, PhD and Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, MD, PhD Overweight and obesity are characterized by an abnormal/excessive accumulation of fat that could affect health. The body mass index, defined as the body weight divided by the square of the height, is a common index used to classify both diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) overweight is defined as a body mass index equal to or above 25kg/m2 and obesity greater than or equal to 30kg/m2. Although both disorders are multifactorial, it has been shown that environmental and behavioral factors are their major contributors. In fact, in many cases excess body weight is the result of a high calorie intake along with sedentary behavior. Therefore, obesity and overweight are in great measure preventable by tackling these factors. Diet has been in the spotlight of research since the beginning of the seventies, when the US government and nutritional organizations recommended a low-fat diet to reduce the intake of saturated fatty acids and calories. Consequently, the consumption of energy-dense high-fat foods such as nuts has been affected. The total fat content of nuts ranges from approximately 43.9% to 78.8%, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids being the major components (31.6% to 62.4%). Given their macronutrient composition, they would be expected to increase the risk of weight gain and obesity as other energy-dense foods do. In fact, there is a widespread belief among the general population and health professionals that nuts are unhealthful because of their high fat content. However, the potential contribution of nuts to weight gain has been a matter of debate in recent years. Few large prospective cohort studies have analyzed the association between nut consumption and long-term weight change. In a Mediterranean population of 11,895 university graduates, frequent nut consumption (at least 2 servings of 50gr/week) was not associated with weight gain during a median of 6 years of follow-up (OR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.34 to 1.10) compared to those who almost never consumed nuts.  Similarly, in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) I, no differences in weight gain were observed across the different categories of nut consumption (never/almost never, Recently, results from 10 European countries in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, including 373,293 participants, showed that individuals in the highest quartile of nut intake had -0.07kg (95% CI: -0.12 to -0.02) less weight gain and 5% lower risk of becoming overweight or obese (RR: 0.95; 95% CI: 0.92 to 0.98 and RR: 0.95; 95% CI: 0.90 to 0.99, respectively) compared to those non-consumers after an average of 5 years of follow-up. Due to the observational nature of prospective cohort studies, we can claim only associations and we cannot draw inferences about causation. For that reason, results from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are of great importance. In 2013, a meta-analysis of 33 RCTs evaluated the effect of nut-enriched diets on changes in BMI (Body Mass Index), body weight and waist circumference, demonstrating that nut-rich diets do not increase these measures of adiposity compared to different control diets. However, the majority of RCTs included in this meta-analysis were conducted during a relatively short period of time, included small sample sizes and were conducted mainly in young and middle-aged adults. Recently, the Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA) study has attempted to deal with these major limitations. The study included 356 free-living healthy elderly subjects that were randomized into an intervention group (where 15% of their estimated daily energy needs were supplied by walnuts) or a control group (habitual diet with instructions to refrain from eating walnuts or other nuts). After 2 years of follow-up, the results showed that the inclusion of walnuts in the diet does not promote weight gain or cause changes in body composition. These findings corroborate those from the previous meta-analysis and add new insights to allay the fear that nut consumption may promote obesity.  In summary, evidence from prospective cohort studies and RCTs regarding nut consumption and obesity is quite strong and consistent. Despite the fact that nuts are an energy-dense food, their inclusion in the diet does not promote weight gain. Further studies analyzing different types of nuts and preparation methods (e.g. salted versus unsalted nuts) are needed in order to corroborate the present findings. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-role-of-nuts-in-adiposity-and-obesity-preventionNuts for a Healthier World’s Campaign from INC Raises €47,800 to Fight Against Child MalnutritionLast year, the INC created a video campaign to raise awareness of the Project, and at the beginning of 2019, Save the Children joined forces and  turned all video shares into physical aid. The INC also asked members to join the project by donating, and further empowering the campaign. The main video has been shared over 43,000 times, with other content totalling over 1.1 million views. While the campaign visibility through all media and platforms has reached more than 43 million people. Since the partnership with Save the Children boosted the fundraiser, companies such as Starline Global Trade Inc., Bösch Boden Spies GMBH and Co. KG, Noberasco SPA, Tomra Sorting Solutions, Campos Brothers Farms, John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc., MWT Foods, QiaQia Food Co. Ltd., Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc., ShoEi Foods Corporation, Samsons Traders and CWS Ingredients, have become the cause’s most prominent flag-bearers. Goretti Guasch, INC Executive Director, has expressed: “I am delighted to see the nut and dried fruit industry come together again to support such an important cause.” As for Save the Children’s Director of International Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, David del Campo, “Nuts have much to offer in most situations of malnutrition and this campaign has helped us to ensure that pregnant women and young children have access to an accurate treatment.” The INC thanks the INC members, the INC community and above all, Save the Children for joining the campaign. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-for-a-healthier-world-campaign-reaches-its-final-goal-and-closes-having-raised-47-800Nut Consumption May Help Improve Blood Sugar ControlResearchers from The Pennsylvania State University (USA) conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to examine the effect of tree nuts and peanuts on markers of glycemic (blood sugar) control in adults.   A total of 40 articles (clinical trials) were included in this review. Fasting glucose, fasting insulin, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were determined for nut consumption groups and also the control groups. All of them are biomarkers that may help on the diagnose of diabetes mellitus.   The study concluded that peanuts and tree nuts significantly decreased HOMA-IR and fasting insulin. Findings suggest that nut consumption may play a role in improving insulin sensitivity and thus delay the development and progression of type 2 diabetes.   Tindall, A. M., Johnston, E. A., Kris-Etherton, P. M., & Petersen, K. S. (2019). The effect of nuts on markers of glycemic control: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 109(2), 297-314. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-may-help-improve-blood-sugar-controlHigher Nut Consumption Associated with Lower Cardiovascular Disease Incidence and MortalityThe objective of the study was to examine intake of total and specific types of nuts, including tree nuts and peanuts, in relation to subsequent risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality among individuals with diabetes.   A total of 16,217 participants (men and women with diabetes) were included in the study. Their nut consumption was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Participants were asked how often, on average, they had consumed nuts (serving size, 28 g [1 ounce]) during the preceding year: never or almost never, 1-3 servings/month, 1 serving/week, 2-4 servings/week, 5-6 servings/week, 1 serving/day, 2-3 servings/day, 4-6 servings/day, or >6 servings/day. They were required to update the survey every two to four years. During the study period, 3,336 people developed heart disease or stroke and 5,682 of the study volunteers died. Of those, nearly 1,700 died from heart disease or stroke. The study observed that participants who increased consumption of total nuts after diabetes diagnosis had an 11% lower risk of CVD, a 15% lower CHD risk, a 25% lower CVD mortality, and a 27% lower all-cause mortality. These findings provide novel evidence that supports the recommendation of incorporating nuts into healthy dietary patterns for the prevention of CVD complications and premature deaths among individuals with diabetes.   In conclusion, frequent consumption of nuts was associated with a lower risk of CVD incidence and mortality among participants with diabetes.   Liu, G., Guasch-Ferre, M., Hu, Y., Li, Y., Hu, F. B., Rimm, E. B., ... & Sun, Q. (2019). Nut Consumption in Relation to Cardiovascular Disease Incidence and Mortality among Patients with Diabetes Mellitus. Circulation Research, doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.314316. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/higher-nut-consumption-associated-with-lower-cardiovascular-disease-incidence-and-mortalityCashews May Have Fewer Calories Than Previously Thought - New Scientific FindingsEighteen healthy volunteers were recruited to participate in this 9-week study. Participants consumed a controlled base diet supplemented with cashew nuts (42 g/day) during one treatment period of 4 weeks, or a controlled base diet with no-cashew supplementation during another treatment period of 4 weeks. Diet samples from the study, as well as feces and urine from eighteen volunteers, were collected during the final week of each intervention phase and analyzed for protein, fat and energy content. From these, researchers were able to determine the actual digestible energy content of cashews.   Study results showed that the available energy (calorie) content of cashews is 16% lower than that which is typically stated on current food labels and databases in the United States, including the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. These must be corrected in order to provide consumers with accurate energy values. Whereas the current reported energy value is 163 kcal/serving, USDA researchers found that the metabolizable energy content of a 28 g (1 oz) serving of cashews is 137 kcal.   Meanwhile, another recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that 42 g/day of cashews does not increase LDL “bad” cholesterol levels(2). The study also observed that adding 42 g of cashews every day to a typical Western diet may help reduce the enzyme PCSK9, and lower PCSK9 concentrations are associated with the removal of LDL “bad” cholesterol from the blood.   This study was supported by the Global Cashew Council and the INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council.   (1) Baer, D., & Novotny, J. (2019). Metabolizable Energy from Cashew Nuts is Less than that Predicted by Atwater Factors. Nutrients, 11(1), 33. (2) Baer, D. J., & Novotny, J. A. (2019). Consumption of cashew nuts does not influence blood lipids or other markers of cardiovascular disease in humans: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 109(2), 269-275. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/cashews-may-have-fewer-calories-than-previously-thought-new-scientific-findingsUpdate: Nuts For A Healthier WorldThe INC and the global NGO Save The Children’s project kicked off this January and now, nearing its close, the campaign has reached €43,800, beating the original goal of €40,000. Bösch Boden Spies, Noberasco, Starline Global Trade, Tomra, Campos Brothers Farms, John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc., MWT Foods, QiaQia, Setton Farms, ShoEi, CWS Ingredients and Samsons Traders all took part in the campaign to help the INC reach its target.   Members who made a donation of €6,000 received the “Nuts for a Healthier World Authentication" stamp to build into their communications materials and packaging, and their logo displayed at the INC booth in Gulfood and in all INC publications. Members who donated €3,000 also received the latter. If you would like more information about the campaign, please don´t hesitate to contact us at hello@nutsforgifts.org or visit the campaign&#39;s website. Thank you for your support. Joining forces we can make a real difference.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/update-nuts-for-a-healthier-worldA New Plant-Based Diet Would Change the Planet’s FutureThe Commission convenes leading global researchers from diverse scientific disciplines to address the need to feed a growing global population a healthy diet, while also defining sustainable food systems that will minimize damage to the planet. The main objective is to achieve Planetary Health Diets for nearly 10 billion people by 2050. The Commission quantitatively describes a universal healthy reference diet, based on an increase in consumption of healthy foods (such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and nuts), and a decrease in consumption of red meat, sugar, and refined grains, that would provide major health benefits, and also increase the likelihood of attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.   These findings suggest that a shift towards a dietary pattern emphasizing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, without necessarily becoming a strict vegan, would be beneficial. “Global consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes will have to double, and consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar will have to be reduced by more than 50%”, said Prof. Walter Willett, from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.   Summary Report   Willett, W., Rockström, J., Loken, B., Springmann, M., Lang, T., Vermeulen, S., ... & Jonell, M. (2019). Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. The Lancet. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/a-new-plant-based-diet-would-change-the-planet-s-futureNut Consumption May Help Improve “Good” Cholesterol FunctionsA total of 296 participants were included in the study. Information such as clinical variables, use of cardiovascular drugs, physical activity, smoking and dietary habits were collected. Researchers computed the consumption of food groups from the results of food frequency questionnaire as follows: 1) virgin olive oil; 2) nuts as the sum of walnuts, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and pine nuts intake; 3) fruits and vegetables; 4) legumes; 5) whole grains; 6) fish and 7) wine.   The study reported that increases in the 1-year consumption of virgin olive oil, 30 g/day of nuts, legumes, whole grains and fish may lead to relevant improvements in HDL functions in high cardiovascular risk subjects.   Hernáez, Á., Sanllorente, A., Castañer, O., Martínez‐González, M. Á., Ros, E., Pintó, X., ... & Serra‐Majem, L. (2019). Increased Consumption of Virgin Olive Oil, Nuts, Legumes, Whole Grains, and Fish Promotes HDL Functions in Humans. Molecular nutrition & food research, 1800847. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-may-help-improve-good-cholesterol-functionsNut Consumption Should be Increased, New French Dietary GuidelinesBesides encouraging people to move more, it provides recommendations regarding food choice, in three categories: ‘Increase’; ‘Go towards’ and ‘Reduce’. Foods that should to be increased are: fruits and vegetables (at least 5 per day), legumes and pulses (at least twice a week) and unsalted nuts (1 small handful every day).   More information (in French). https://www.santepubliquefrance.fr/Accueil-Presse/Tous-les-communiques/Sante-publique-France-presente-les-nouvelles-recommandations-sur-l-alimentation-l-activite-physique-et-la-sedentarite https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-should-be-increased-new-french-dietary-guidelines2019 Call for Open Access Studies Now Open!This call will be open the whole year, until the total budget (€18,000) has been expended.    For more information, please visit www.nutfruit.org/health-professionals/funding-opportunities.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/2019-call-for-open-access-studies-now-openEating Hazelnuts May Help Improve Vitamin E Status in Older AdultsThe objective of this study, recently published to The Journal of Nutrition, was to determine the effect of daily hazelnut intake on vitamin E and magnesium status. A total of 32 participants were recruited and included in the study. They consumed approximately 57 g/day of hazelnuts for 16 weeks.   The study results observed that hazelnut consumption increased concentrations of the urinary α-tocopherol metabolite α-CEHC (a vitamin E biomarker) and serum concentrations of magnesium. They also decreased concentrations of fasting blood sugar levels and LDL “bad” cholesterol. In conclusion, consuming hazelnuts may help improve a biomarker of vitamin E status in older adults.   Michels, A. J., Leonard, S. W., Uesugi, S. L., Bobe, G., Frei, B., & Traber, M. G. (2018). Daily Consumption of Oregon Hazelnuts Affects α-Tocopherol Status in Healthy Older Adults: A Pre-Post Intervention Study. The Journal of nutrition, 148(12), 1924-1930. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eating-hazelnuts-may-help-improve-vitamin-e-status-in-older-adultsNew Study Reveals Cashews Have Fewer Calories Than Previously ThoughtThe study, published in the journal Nutrients, was conducted with eighteen healthy adults who followed two treatments during four weeks each, with a break of 26 days in between. The treatments were: 1) to follow a controlled base diet supplemented with 42 grams per day of cashews for 4 weeks, and 2) to follow the same controlled base diet with no-cashew supplementation for 4 weeks. During this period, blood, urine and fecal samples were collected for chemical analyses.   The results showed that the available energy (calorie) content of cashews is 16% lower than what is typically stated on current food labels and databases in the United States, so, the correction of these values is needed in order to provide consumers with accurate energy values.   This research was funded by the Global Cashew Council, International Nut and Dried Fruit Council.   Baer, D., & Novotny, J. (2019). Metabolizable Energy from Cashew Nuts is Less than that Predicted by Atwater Factors. Nutrients, 11(1), 33. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-study-reveals-cashews-have-fewer-calories-than-previously-thoughtThe INC and Save The Children Join Forces to Empower the Nuts For A Healthier World ProjectOver the last few months, the INC has been asking people all over the world to share the #NutsForAHealthierWorld video to raise awareness of the cause. So far, the publication has reached over 40,000 shares and now, Save The Children will turn those shares into physical aid. Both partners established that every share of the video would be equal to one euro, which is the cost of a nutritional treatment of one child for one day. In this regard, the aim of the cooperation is to raise the same amount of money as shares and so, having now reached 40,000 shares, that would mean €40,000 of nutritional treatment that the NGO could send 40,000 days&#39; worth of treatment to children in Mauritania, South Sudan and Bangladesh. Besides the cooperation with the global NGO, Nuts For a Healthier World is embracing its members to sum up and help spread the word. If you would like to learn more and get involved, visit the campaign&#39;s site.    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-inc-and-save-the-children-join-forces-empower-the-nuts-for-a-healthier-world-projectNew Scientific Evidence Suggests Nuts May Help Improve Sperm QualityNuts have an interesting nutrient profile, which has been found to be involved in the modulation of several mechanisms that could also be linked to male fertility. For this reason, this study, recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, evaluated the effect of consumption of a 60 g/day mixture of tree nuts (30 g of walnuts, 15 g of almonds and 15 g of hazelnuts) on several sperm quality parameters.   The 119 healthy males, aged 18-35, included in the randomized, controlled study were assigned to either a group that followed their usual Western-style diet supplemented with 60 g/day of tree nuts (nut group), or to a group that followed their usual Western-style diet, avoiding the consumption of nuts (control group). Samples and dietary information were collected in four visits throughout the 14 weeks of intervention.   The study concluded that the supplementation of a Western-style diet with nuts improved sperm quality parameters among healthy reproductive-aged people.   “Regular consumption of nuts seems to improve sperm quality by decreasing DNA fragmentation,” said Dr. Mònica Bulló, researcher at Rovira i Virgili University and principal investigator of this research.   The study was funded by the INC through the Annual Call for Research Projects (2015). Salas-Huetos, A., Moraleda, R., Giardina, S., Anton, E., Blanco, J., Salas-Salvadó, J., & Bulló, M. (2018). Effect of nut consumption on semen quality and functionality in healthy men consuming a Western-style diet: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 108(5), 953-962. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-scientific-evidence-suggests-nuts-may-help-improve-sperm-qualityPeanut Protein Powder May Help Protect Individuals with Peanut AllergyA total of 551 participants with peanut allergy, from 4 to 55 years old, took part in the study. One third of the participants were given a placebo, while the other two-thirds were given peanut protein powder (AR101) in increasing amounts until reaching the “maintenance dose”, which was the equivalent of one peanut daily.   Results showed that the treatment with the peanut protein powder resulted in desensitization in children and adolescents who were highly allergic to peanut.   PALISADE Group of Clinical Investigators. (2018). AR101 oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy. New England Journal of Medicine. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/peanut-protein-powder-may-help-protect-individuals-with-peanut-allergyNuts Prebiotic Properties May Help in the Prevention of ObesityOverweight and obesity are a public health priority -they affect about 30% of the world population. Calorie intake control and following a healthy diet are recognized as the primary strategies for addressing excess body weight. In addition, some clinical trials have shown that nut consumption may also help in the prevention and management of overweight and obesity due to their content of fiber and polyphenols (antioxidants). The potential effect of nuts on the prevention and management of obesity seems to be associated with their prebiotic properties.   Sugizaki, C., & Naves, M. (2018). Potential Prebiotic Properties of Nuts and Edible Seeds and Their Relationship to Obesity. Nutrients, 10(11), 1645. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-prebiotic-properties-may-help-in-the-prevention-of-obesityDried Fruit May Help Lower Blood Sugar ResponseA recently study published in Nutrition & Diabetes, investigated the effect on blood glucose responses of four dried fruits (dates, apricots, raisins and sultanas) when eaten alone or when consumed with white bread. Ten participants were included in the trial. Each participant underwent a total of 15 study meals consisting of three white bread meals (control meal) and 12 dried fruit meals (test meal). Blood samples were taken from each participant before and after the 15 study meals to assess glycaemic response (changes in blood glucose) to the meals.   The results showed that all four dried fruits when fed alone had a low to medium glycemic index (GI), below that of white bread, a high GI food.  In addition, when a half portion of the dried fruits were fed with white bread, displacing half of its carbohydrate, the blood glucose response was reduced with all meals having a medium GI. The study concluded that dried fruits may lower the GI of white bread through displacement of high GI carbohydrate. Long-term randomized trials are needed to confirm whether dried fruit can contribute to sustainable improvements in glucose control.   “Dried fruits have a low to medium GI and lower post-meal glucose levels when displacing higher GI carbohydrates.” said Dr. Cyril WC Kendall, Researcher at University of Toronto and Principal Investigator of this research.   This study was supported by the INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council and the UK National Dried Fruit Trade Association (NDFTA).   Viguiliouk, E., Jenkins, A.L., Blanco Mejia, S., Sievenpiper, J.L., Kendall, C.W.C. (2018). Effect of dried fruit on postprandial glycemia: A randomized acute-feeding trial. Nutrition & Diabetes, 8, 59. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/dried-fruit-may-help-lower-blood-sugar-responseFunding Opportunities for Research and DisseminationThe objective of the Annual Call for Research Projects is to fund clinical, epidemiological, basic and/or strategic research that may contribute to enhance the understanding of the health effects of nuts and dried fruits. Running simultaneously, the Annual Call for Promotion and Dissemination Projects is to fund projects aimed at increasing the use and consumption of nuts and dried fruits, especially in developing countries. Both calls are open to public and private institutions, as well as not-for-profit organizations, with due date for submission by January 31, 2019. More information may be found on our website.             Besides the grants program, INC carries out “Nuts for a Healthier World” Global Dissemination Project, a solidarity campaign that aims to promote the health benefits of each nut and dried fruit. This project includes one main video and 16 videos with interviews featuring people from different parts of the world showcasing the health benefits of each nut and dried fruit. All videos can be seen over on nutsforgifts.org.   2018 Grant Awardees   In the previous call, 3 projects were selected for funding, totalling 363,700 euros. The INC awarded funding to a clinical study on the relationship between dried fruit consumption and gut health as well as 2 promotion and dissemination projects. The projects were:   Research Grant Recipient:   Project: “Optimising gut health: physiological, microbiological and metabolomic effects of dried fruit”. Principal Investigator: Prof. Kevin Whelan, King’s College London, UK. Dissemination Grant Recipients:   Nucis Italia. Project: “Nuts and the new dietary styles”. Australian Nut Industry Council. Project: “Dissemination of results from the secondary analysis of nut consumption in the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey”.   By year end, the INC will have provided nearly 2.8 million euros of funding for research and dissemination projects over the last six years. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/funding-opportunities-for-research-and-dissemination-2Almonds and Peanuts May Help Improve Blood Glucose in Patients with Type 2 DiabetesThis study published in the journal Nutrients compared the effect of peanuts and almonds incorporated into a low carbohydrate diet (LCD) on cardio-metabolic and inflammatory markers in T2DM patients. In total, 32 participants were included in the study, 17 were allocated in the Peanut group and 15 to the Almond group. Participants consumed an LCD supplemented by peanuts (60 g/day for men and 50 g/day for women) or almonds (55 g/day for men and 45 g/day for women). The follow-ups were conducted once a week during the first month of the intervention, and once every two weeks in the second and third months. Results showed that peanut and almond intake did not increase the body mass index (BMI) and had no effect on the blood lipid profile, even though, incorporated into an LCD, they may help improve the fasting blood glucose and postprandial blood glucose in patients with T2DM.   Hou, Y. Y., Ojo, O., Wang, L. L., Wang, Q., Jiang, Q., Shao, X. Y., & Wang, X. H. (2018). A Randomized Controlled Trial to Compare the Effect of Peanuts and Almonds on the Cardio-Metabolic and Inflammatory Parameters in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Nutrients, 10(11), 1565. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almonds-and-peanuts-may-help-improve-blood-glucose-in-patients-with-type-2-diabetesModerate Nut Consumption May Be Associated with Lower Risk of Colorectal TumorThe study pooled data from three case-control studies (n = 785 cases, 2107 controls) in which dietary intakes were assessed using food frequency questionnaires. Participants dietary habits were analyzed and results observed that those men and women who consumed more than 6 servings per week of nuts (include all nuts and peanut butter combined) may have a lower risk for colorectal (bowel, colon and rectal) adenoma.   Yin, X., Bostick, R.M. (2018). Associations of Nut Intakes with Incident Sporadic Colorectal Adenoma: A Pooled Case-Control Study. Nutrition and Cancer, DOI: 10.1080/01635581.2018.1521440. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/moderate-nut-consumption-may-be-associated-with-lower-risk-of-colorectal-tumorWant to Have a Better Brain Health? Diet is Key! (And Nuts Too)Diet Quality is Linked to Better Brain Health   However, not all is bad news as diet has proved to be a key factor that could potentially help to prevent brain diseases. And several solid studies point in that direction.   A ten-year research, for instance – the so-called Rotterdam study – which concluded in 2015, established a clear link between a healthy diet and a proper brain health. More than 4,000 people were under investigation for a decade and the conclusions were revealing.   A quality diet - based on vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grains, dairy, fish and limited consumption of sugary drinks - proved to be associated with larger brain volume. Brain health, that is. The results clearly highlighted the critical role of nutrition in brain health.    Nuts May Be the Key   As for the specific role of nuts, there is something to be said here.  A recent scientific review also showed that almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts may also help to prevent Alzheimer&#39;s disease. The reason why is that they help to lower cholesterol levels, prevent oxidative stress and have relevant anti-inflammatory properties.  A Healthy Diet May Help Diet is therefore an important factor for the prevention of aging-associated brain diseases and prevention is better than cure. Interesting, right? Why not follow healthy eating patterns and add nuts to your diet that could help to prevent brain diseases? It’d definitely be a worthy and tasty investment!         https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/want-to-have-a-better-brain-health-diet-is-key-and-nuts-tooWalnut and Almond Enriched Diets May Help Improve Endothelial FunctionA recent study, published in the Indian Heart Journal, evaluated two different diets: one supplemented with almonds and the other with walnuts, on endothelial function. A total of 27 participants were included in the study. During the two study days, they consumed either 77 g of almonds or 60 g of walnuts (these amounts were chosen to match the fat content, 76 g of fat in each group).   Results observed that both walnut and almond diets improved flow-mediated dilation and sVCAM (soluble vascular cell adhesion molecules), measurements of endothelial function. Bhardwaj, R., Dod, H., Sandhu, M. S., Bedi, R., Dod, S., Konat, G., ... & Nanda, N. (2018). Acute effects of diets rich in almonds and walnuts on endothelial function. Indian Heart Journal.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/walnut-and-almond-enriched-diets-may-help-improve-endothelial-function-1Walnut Consumption on Body Weight in Elderly The participants of the study were randomly assigned to a walnut group (n = 183) or control group (n = 173). Volunteers in the walnut group received packaged walnuts (between 28-56 g/day), providing ~15% of their estimated daily energy needs, to incorporate into their habitual diet, while those in the control group abstained from walnuts. After two years of follow-up, results showed that body weight decreased significantly. Participants in the walnut group lost an average of 0.4 kg.   In conclusion, findings showed that walnuts could be incorporated into the daily diet of healthy older adults without concern for adverse effects on body weight.   Bitok, E., Rajaram, S., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Oda, K., Sala-Vila, A., Serra-Mir, M., ... & Sabaté, J. (2018). Effects of Long-Term Walnut Supplementation on Body Weight in Free-Living Elderly: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 10(9), 1317.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/walnut-consumption-on-body-weight-in-elderly-1Almond Snacking May Help Decrease Glucose and “Bad” Cholesterol LevelsThe study results observed that almond consumption (56.7 g/2 oz.) ameliorated the decline in HDL “good” cholesterol and resulted in greater postprandial glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity than a cracker snack. In general, incorporating a morning snack in the dietary regimen of first-year college students reduced fasting blood sugar and cholesterol levels.   Dhillon, J., Thorwald, M., De, N. L. C., Vu, E., Asghar, S. A., Kuse, Q., ... & Ortiz, R. M. (2018). Glucoregulatory and Cardiometabolic Profiles of Almond vs. Cracker Snacking for 8 Weeks in Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 10(8).   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almond-snacking-may-help-decrease-glucose-and-bad-cholesterol-levelsNut Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Physical Function ImpairmentA total of 3,289 participants from the ENRICA cohort were followed by two home visits to perform a physical examination and to obtain information on habitual diet. As a result, nut consumption was associated with lower risk of impaired agility and mobility in older men, and lower risk of impaired physical function in older women.   Arias-Fernández, L., Machado-Fragua, M. D., Graciani, A., Guallar-Castillón, P., Banegas, J. R., Rodríguez-Artalejo, F., ... & Lopez-Garcia, E. (2018). Prospective Association Between Nut Consumption and Physical Function in Older Men and Women. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-associated-with-lower-risk-of-physical-function-impairmentFrequent Nut Consumption May Improve Cardioprotective ProfileA total of 16,784 overweight adults from the American National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were included in the study. Dietary habits were collected in order to evaluate the association between nut intake and markers of glucose/insulin metabolism and inflammation. And results observed that nut intake was inversely associated with inflammatory and glucose/insulin metabolism markers.   This study has been published in the journal Oncotarget.   Mazidi, M., Vatanparast, H., Katsiki, N., & Banach, M. (2018). The impact of nuts consumption on glucose/insulin homeostasis and inflammation markers mediated by adiposity factors among American adults. Oncotarget, 9(58), 31173. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/frequent-nut-consumption-may-improve-cardioprotective-profileWorld-First Scientific Research Project Commences for Global Macadamia IndustryKey macadamia-producing countries Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Brazil and Malawi have made a substantial financial investment into the research, and the project has been supported by the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC) and INC World Forum. The global macadamia health research project will be a large scale, randomized cross-over intervention study directed by acclaimed researcher Professor Joan Sabaté from Loma Linda University Medical Centre (USA). It is the first of its kind in the macadamia industry, and the first time that multiple origins have contributed to such a project. It is considered critical to the industry’s ability to continue to market macadamias as a premium product. The Australian macadamia industry’s market development manager Lynne Ziehlke said there is considerable research that shows eating tree nuts regularly can protect against coronary heart disease, decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes and help with weight management, as well as more than 200 research papers on the nutritional benefits of almonds and walnuts. “Macadamias, like other tree nuts, have a potential cardio-protective role to play in a healthy, balanced diet and are a significant source of nutrients,” said Ms. Ziehlke. “To date, the macadamia industry has not undertaken any clinical research of this magnitude, so today’s announcement represents a significant milestone. “As well as providing strong evidence to support the role of macadamias in a healthy diet, the research is expected to provide many new opportunities for the product and drive further new investment in research,” said Ms. Ziehlke. The Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association’s Barry Christie said that consumers are increasingly aware of the healthiness of nuts, which has helped to drive tree nut consumption by more than 75 per cent over the last ten years. “We anticipate the outcomes of this research will help the global macadamia industry to capitalise even further on this trend, by guiding the development of more powerful messaging about the health benefits of macadamias to consumers, health professionals and regulators,” said Mr. Christie. “It’s a very exciting development for our global industry, and we are delighted to be working together on a project that will benefit all macadamia producing regions.” The study will compare the effect of a diet enriched in macadamias versus a control diet on insulin resistance and insulin secretion in individuals with insulin resistance. It will assess the effect of macadamia nut consumption on lipid profile (total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides) and other emergent risk factors of cardiovascular disease as well as on central obesity and body composition. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/world-first-scientific-research-project-commences-for-global-macadamia-industryIncorporating Walnuts into the Diet May Improve the Blood Lipid ProfileThe study was published recently in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.   Researchers conducted a search of PubMed and EMBASE databases of clinical trials comparing walnut-enriched diets with control diets. In total, 26 clinical trials with a total of 1,059 participants were included in the study.   Results showed that walnut-enriched diets may help reduce total blood cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol and also triglyceride concentrations when compared with control diets. More pronounced reductions in blood lipids were observed when walnut interventions were compared with American and Western diets. The study concluded that the inclusion of walnuts into the diet may help improve blood lipid profile without adversely affecting body weight or blood pressure.   Guasch-Ferré, M., Li, J., Hu, F. B., Salas-Salvadó, J., & Tobias, D. K. (2018). Effects of walnut consumption on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors: an updated meta-analysis and systematic review of controlled trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/incorporating-walnuts-into-the-diet-may-improve-the-blood-lipid-profileResearchers Found an Inverse Association between Nut Consumption and the Risk of Esophageal Cancer...the British Journal of Cancer evaluated the association between nut consumption and the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in a high-risk population. A total of 50,045 participants from The Golestan Cohort Study took part in the study.   The intake of peanuts, walnuts and mixed nuts and seeds was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Non-consumers of nuts were compared with participants who consumed nuts and results showed a statistically significant 29% decrease in ESCC risk for each 5 g of total nuts consumed per day.   In conclusion, researchers found an inverse association between total nut consumption and the risk of ESCC in this large Iranian cohort.   Hashemian, M., Murphy, G., Etemadi, A., Poustchi, H., Sharafkhah, M., Kamangar, F., ... & Hekmatdoost, A. (2018). Nut consumption and the risk of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma in the Golestan Cohort Study. British journal of cancer, 1. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/researchers-found-an-inverse-association-between-nut-consumption-and-the-risk-of-esophageal-cancerINC at Nutrition 2018 with Nuts for a Healthier World CampaignThe event gathered around 2,500 attendees, mainly scientists, food scientists, and clinicians, as well as leaders from international nutrition societies, industry professionals, community health educators and nutrition journalists.   INC’s participation served a double purpose. It was the first time for the “Nuts for a Healthier World” project to be displayed. The campaign’s main video offers a description of the solidarity campaign&#39;s objective which is to share nuts and dried fruits with the people who need them most. The first edition of this congress was also a great platform for INC to gain visibility among health professionals and nutritionists. The organization made the most of the event in Boston to promote its funding opportunities.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-at-nutrition-2018-with-nuts-for-a-healthier-world-campaignNuts as Part of Cancer Recurrence PreventionPhD Students Indira Paz-Graniel and Nuria Rosique-Esteban, and Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó (Rovira i Virgili University, Reus, Spain).    Cancer has been known to be the second leading cause of mortality worldwide, since in 2012 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported around 14 million new cancer cases and approximately 8,201,600 cancer deaths (1). As a result, interest in developing effective preventive strategies has increased dramatically.   Cancer refers to a group of diseases affecting various organs, the development of which is determined by different factors. Therefore, their prognoses may vary across different cancer subtypes. Cancer is characterized by a loss of genetic control over cell growth and proliferation (2). For years this loss was attributed to genetic and hereditary factors, whereas nowadays environmental and, in particular, lifestyle factors, such as diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and obesity are known to play an important role in the development of the disease (3). In the context of diet, a large number of dietary and nutritional components, including vegetable protein, monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, phenolic compounds, selenium, vegetable fiber, folic acid and phytoestrogens, can modulate specific cancer-related processes e.g. regulation of cell differentiation and proliferation, reduction of tumor initiation and promotion, DNA protection, and regulation of immunologic and inflammatory responses (4). Nuts are particularly rich in these and other interesting nutrients with the ability to provide beneficial effects on health. In fact, the regular consumption of nuts in the context of a healthy diet has been observed to reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, as well as to improve  insulin resistance, both of which are factors associated with an increased risk of cancer and cancer recurrence (5). Therefore, nut consumption could play an important role in primary cancer prevention.   However, current evidence about nutrition in cancer survivors is rather limited compared to that of primary cancer prevention. Studies among these patients have mostly shown that adherence to healthy dietary patterns seem to be beneficial for cancer survival rates, all-cause and cancer-specific mortality (6-8). Such healthy dietary patterns, like the Mediterranean or prudent diet, are characterized by frequent consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, lean meat and pulses. They do not include high-fat, high sugar foods, red and processed meat, while alcohol and certain nutrients (i.e., fiber and fat) are consumed in moderation. These observations have been found particularly in certain subtypes of cancer, such as breast, prostate and bowel/colon cancer8. Although this evidence is included in the American Cancer Society dietary recommendations for cancer survivors (9), released in 2012, specific information about nut intake and the prevention of cancer recurrence is currently lacking in these guidelines. In fact, very few studies have evaluated the association between cancer recurrence and mortality, with the frequency of nut intake in cancer patients (10-12). In 2016, Wang and coworkers examined 4,346 healthcare professionals from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who were diagnosed with prostate cancer and the associations between frequency of nut intake and cancer recurrence and mortality. The authors observed that those prostate cancer patients who, after the diagnosis, consumed 5 or more servings a week (28g/serving) of nuts had a 34% lower overall risk of death, compared with those consuming less than once per month. Importantly, these benefits were observed for both peanuts and other nut types, and regardless of the initial nut intake before the prostate cancer diagnosis. This evidence is consistent with that from another study in the same cohort of patients, where the consumption of 1 serving a day of nuts after a prostate cancer diagnosis showed a suggestive 18% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer (10). Likewise, another study recently published in 2018 (12), which included 826 colon-cancer patients in advanced stage following coadjutant chemotherapy, has reported beneficial effects between nut intake (in tree nuts, but not in peanuts) and cancer survival and recurrence. After controlling for many other factors, the authors showed that participants consuming 2 or more nut servings a week after a cancer diagnosis vs. non-consumers had 42% lower risk of cancer recurrence or death, as well as a 57% lower risk of dying from any cause.   Overall, current scientific evidence associating nut consumption and cancer survival or mortality is limited and mostly focused on very few cancer types. However, the beneficial effects of frequent consumption of nuts are plausible among cancer patients for a better prognosis of the disease. Future studies into this topic should focus on evaluating the potential role of nut intake after diagnosis in patients with other cancer subtypes, who may benefit from this nutritious and complete food. Moreover, it is necessary to investigate the potential beneficial effects of the different types of nuts in cancer patients across different countries in order to be able to translate this scientific information into clinical guidelines for oncology patients. References 1. Ferlay, J. et al. Cancer incidence and mortality worldwide: Sources, methods and major patterns in GLOBOCAN 2012. Int. J. Cancer 136, E359-E386 (2015). 2. World Health Organization. World Health Organization, Fact Sheet February 2018. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/. (Accessed: 16th April 2018) 3. Anand, P. et al. Cancer is a preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes. Pharm. Res. 25, 2097-2116 (2008). 4. González, C. A. & Salas-Salvadó, J. The potential of nuts in the prevention of cancer. Br. J. Nutr. 96, 87-94 (2006). 5. Ros, E. Health benefits of nut consumption. Nutrients 2, 652-682 (2010). 6. Meyerhardt, J. A. et al. Association of dietary patterns with cancer recurrence and survival in patients with stage III colon cancer. Jama 298, 754-764 (2007). 7. Meyerhardt, J. A. et al. Dietary glycemic load and cancer recurrence and survival in patients with stage III colon cancer: Findings from CALGB 89803. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 104, 1702-1711 (2012). 8. Jochems, S. H. J. et al. Impact of dietary patterns and the main food groups on mortality and recurrence in cancer survivors: a systematic review of current epidemiological literature. BMJ Open 8, e014530 (2018). 9. Rock, C. L. et al. Nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors. CA A Cancer J. Cinicians 62, 242-274 (2012). 10. Richman, E. et al. Fat intake after diagnosis and risk of lethal prostate cancer and all-cause mortality. JAMA Intern. Med 173, 1318-1326 (2013). 11. Wang, W. et al. Nut consumption and prostate cancer risk and mortality. Br. J. Cancer 115, 371-374 (2016). 12. Fadelu, T. et al. Nut Consumption and Survival in Patients With Stage III Colon Cancer: Reults From CALGB 89803 (Alliance). J. Clin. Oncol. 36, 1112-1120 (2018). https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-as-part-of-cancer-recurrence-preventionWant to Improve Your Intestinal Health? Eat Nuts and Dried Fruits!Results showed that walnut intake may have an effect on the intestinal tract by increasing beneficial bacteria while reducing bile acids and “bad” cholesterol. Is there a more delicious way to get healthy? We don´t think so! Human gastrointestinal tract might not be an easy-to-remember term but it should not be undermined. It has one of the body’s most densely populated microbial communities. A wide variety of microorganisms, mainly bacteria, reside there. Microbial communities are indeed important because they contribute much to our health. Almonds Beneficial to Gut Health Walnuts are not the only nut that proved to have potential good effects. Tasty almonds, for instance, may also be beneficial to gut health as well. The reason is that they are high in unsaturated fatty acids, in other words, “good” fats. The good news is that these have antimicrobial properties and provoke changes on the intestinal tract. Digestive Health But that’s not all. If prunes are your thing, you might also want to read this. Exquisite for many, prunes contain nutrients and fiber that may help to improve bifidobacteria, which actually are useful to maintain digestive health. With all this in mind, let’s add nuts and dried fruits to our diet to help us stay in good shape! https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/want-to-improve-your-intestinal-health-eat-nuts-and-dried-fruits2018 Annual Call for Promotion and Dissemination ProjectsINC received 5 applications from 5 countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy and Zambia), which were shortlisted and peer-reviewed by the Evaluating Committee of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination.   On May 20, 2018, the Executive Committee approved to award the following two projects.   Nuts and the new dietary styles. Nucis Italia, Italy. Dissemination of results from the secondary analysis of nut consumption in the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey. Australian Nut Industry Council (ANIC), on behalf of the Nuts for Life Program, Australia. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/2018-annual-call-for-promotion-and-dissemination-projects2018 Annual Call for Research ProjectsOn May 20, 2018, the INC Executive Committee approved to award the clinical study “Optimizing gut health: physiological, microbiological and metabolomic effects of dried fruit”, Principal Investigator: Prof. Kevin Whelan, Head of Department of Nutritional Sciences, King’s College London, UK.   This study aims to investigate the effect of a mixture of dried fruits (prunes, apricots and cranberries) on physiological, microbiological and metabolomic outcomes related to gut health, compared to their corresponding fruit juices, and a placebo control. A range of state of the art technologies will be used to assess study outcomes.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/2018-annual-call-for-research-projectsThe Rotterdam Study: A Better Diet Quality is Associated with a Better Brain HealthThe main objective of this study was to investigate the relation of diet quality with structural brain tissue volumes and focal vascular lesions in dementia-free individuals.   In total, 4,447 participants were included in the study, which lasted since 2005 until 2015. Participants dietary habits were followed during these 10 years and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were performed to obtain information on brain tissue volumes, white matter lesion volume, lacunes, and cerebral microbleeds.   Results observed that high intake of nuts, among other foods, and low intake of sugar-containing beverages were associated with larger brain volumes. These results suggest that the effect of nutrition on neurodegeneration may act via brain structure.   Croll, P. H., Voortman, T., Ikram, M. A., Franco, O. H., Schoufour, J. D., Bos, D., & Vernooij, M. W. (2018). Better diet quality relates to larger brain tissue volumes: The Rotterdam Study. Neurology, 10-1212.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-rotterdam-study-a-better-diet-quality-is-associated-with-a-better-brain-healthNut Consumption May Help Improve Blood Sugar Control in Adults with DiabetesThis study, one of the largest to date on nuts and diabetes, has been published recently in the journal Diabetologia.   The research team investigated the effect of replacing carbohydrate consumption with mixed nut intake on cardiovascular risk factors and HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) in type 2 diabetes. A total of 117 men and postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes were randomised to one of the three following diets for 3 months: (1) &#39;full-dose nut diet&#39; (75 g/day); (2) &#39;full-dose whole-wheat muffin diet&#39; (188 g/day); or (3) &#39;half-dose nut diet&#39; (38 g/day).   Results showed that the full-dose nut group had a significant reduction in HbA1c (a test to determine long-term high blood glucose levels) and LDL “bad” cholesterol compared to the other two groups. So the study concluded that nut consumption as a replacement for carbohydrate intake may help improve glycaemic control and lipid risk factors in individuals with type 2 diabetes.   This study was funded by the INC NREF.   Jenkins, D. J., Kendall, C. W., Lamarche, B., Banach, M. S., Srichaikul, K., Vidgen, E., ... & de Souza, R. J. (2018). Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet: a reanalysis of a randomised controlled trial. Diabetologia, 1-14.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-may-help-improve-blood-sugar-control-in-adults-with-diabetesAlmond Consumption May Help Reduce LDL “Bad” CholesterolThis review, comprised of epidemiological studies, clinical trials, meta-analyses and systematic reviews, was conducted from published literature from across the world. Results showed that almond intake may help reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol levels, which is a known risk factor for coronary heart disease. Addition of almonds in the diet has been shown to not only reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol levels, but also to maintain HDL “good” cholesterol.   In conclusion, daily consumption of around 45 g of almonds may help reduce one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Researchers also found strong clinical evidence that associates almonds with beneficial effects in dyslipidemia (disorder of lipoprotein metabolism) management.   Kalita, S., Khandelwal, S., Madan, J., Pandya, H., Sesikeran, B., & Krishnaswamy, K. (2018). Almonds and Cardiovascular Health: A Review. Nutrients, 10(4), 468.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almond-consumption-may-help-reduce-ldl-bad-cholesterolNuts May Play a Key Role in the Prevention of Cardiovascular DiseasesA recently published study in the Heart journal examined the association between nut consumption and the incidence of seven cardiovascular diseases. In total, 61,364 Swedish adults who had completed a Food Frequency Questionnaire and were followed up for 17 years were included in the study.   Results showed that nut consumption was inversely associated with risk of myocardial infarction, heart failure, atrial fibrillation and abdominal aortic aneurysm. The study concluded that nut consumption may play a role in reducing the risk of atrial fibrillation and possibly heart failure.   Larsson, S.C., Drca, N., Björck, M., Bäck, M., Wolk, A. (2018). Nut consumption and incidence of seven cardiovascular diseases. Heart, doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2017-312819.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-may-play-a-key-role-in-the-prevention-of-cardiovascular-diseasesINC Launches a New Call for Open Access StudiesThe objective of this grant is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and to promote the dissemination of the health benefits of nut and dried fruit consumption as widely as possible, through the payment of the Open Access charges of articles in scientific journals.   This Call will be open the whole year, until the total budget (18,000 Euros) is expended.   For more information, please visit: https://www.nutfruit.org/what-we-do/health-nutrition/funding-opportunities  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-launches-a-new-call-for-open-access-studies-1Nut Consumption Has Been Associated with a Lower Risk of Colorectal CancerParticipants dietary intake was collected using food frequency questionnaires with 106 items (peanuts, pine nuts and almonds were included as 1 item) during the course of one year.   Results observed that high nut consumption was strongly associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer among women.   This study was published in Nutrition journal.   Lee, J., Shin, A., Oh, J. H., & Kim, J. (2018). The relationship between nut intake and risk of colorectal cancer: a case control study. Nutrition journal, 17(1), 37.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-has-been-associated-with-a-lower-risk-of-colorectal-cancerPecan-Rich Diet May Help Decrease the Risk of Heart Disease and Type 2 DiabetesThe study compared the effects of a pecan-rich diet (42.5 g/day) with a control diet, with the same calories but absent of nuts, on biomarkers related to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) risk in healthy adults, who were overweight or obese with central adiposity. In total, 26 volunteers were included in the study. During the first period (4 weeks), participants ate either a control diet with no nuts or the same diet with pecans. In the second period, and after two weeks of wash-out period, participants ate the opposite diet. Blood and urine samples were collected at baseline and at the end of each period.   Results observed that displacing a portion of the saturated fat in a typical American diet and enhancing phytochemical intake with a daily handful of pecans may help protect adults at risk of developing CVD and T2DM.   McKay, D. L., Eliasziw, M., Chen, C. Y., & Blumberg, J. B. (2018). A Pecan-Rich Diet Improves Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 10(3), 339.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/pecan-rich-diet-may-help-decrease-the-risk-of-heart-disease-and-type-2-diabetesAlmonds and Chocolate, the perfect combination for cardiometabolic health?PhD Student Indira Paz Graniel and Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó Human Nutrition Unit from the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, IISPV (Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus (Spain). CIBER (Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición), Institute of Health Carlos III, Madrid (Spain). Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in developed countries. Metabolic alterations such as elevated plasma levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) and triglycerides (TG), hypertension (HTA), type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), overweight (OW) or obesity (OB) and some lifestyle factors are considered risk factors for developing CVD. Moreover, an unhealthy diet has been recognized as an important modifiable cardiovascular risk factor(1) and therefore a key issue for cardiovascular disease prevention(2).   Since the publication of the main results from the PREDIMED study, which showed that a Mediterranean diet, typically low in saturated fatty acids (SFA’s) and high in monounsaturated (MUFA’s) or polyunsaturated (PUFA’s) fatty acids, and rich in phytochemicals supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or with mixed nuts, reduced the incidence of cardiovascular events by 30% compared to a lower-fat control diet(3). The quality of dietary fat has been recognized as being even more important than the total amount in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.   In addition, several epidemiological studies(4) have demonstrated that, compared to those rarely consuming nuts, individuals that frequently consume nuts had a reduced risk of CVD. These benefits have been attributed to their lipid composition profile (high in unsaturated fatty acids and low in saturated fatty acids), and the presence of high amounts of bioactive compounds such as antioxidant vitamins, polyphenols, some minerals, phytosterols, plant protein, and fiber. It is not only dietary fats that have been studied in relation to CVD prevention. Flavonoids, a subclass of polyphenolic compounds known for their antioxidant capacity, have been proposed as cardioprotective molecules due to the insulin resistance reduction, and the improvement of endothelial function and blood pressure in adults(5). Given that cocoa and dark chocolate have been recognized for their high flavonoid content (in even higher amounts per weight than red wine, black tea, cranberry juice and apples(6)) several studies have been conducted in order to understand their possible effects on cardiovascular risk factors(7). Considering the health benefits of these nutrients, in recent years health professionals and investigators have invested time looking for alternative options to increase their intake through diet. Recently, a group of researchers from The Pennsylvania State University developed a randomized, 4 period, crossover, controlled-feeding trial to investigate the single and combined effects of dark chocolate, cocoa, and/or almond on peripheral lipid, lipoprotein, and apo-lipoprotein concentrations(8). Participants were randomly assigned to receive one of four diets: (1) No treatment food (an average American diet), (2) an almond enriched diet (42.5 g/d of almonds), (3) a chocolate enriched diet (18 g/d cocoa powder and 43 g/d of dark chocolate), or (4) a chocolate and almond enriched diet. It was observed that compared with an average American diet, an almond enriched diet reduced total cholesterol, non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-c) and LDL-c by 4%, 5% and 7%, respectively (P-value<0.05). Even when the consumption of almond and chocolate decreased LDL-c by a comparable degree, different treatment effects on LDL subclasses were observed. It has been shown that the combination of dark chocolate with almond consumption lowered apo-lipoprotein B (ApoB) by 5% and therefore the ApoB/Apo-liprotein A1 (ApoA1) ratio compared with the average American diet (0.7 ± 0.0 compared with 0.8 ± 0.0 P-value=0.02). These findings are of clinical significance since ApoB is an important atherogenic component of lipoprotein particles (especially VLDL and LDL). Unlike apo B, ApoA1, as the major apo-lipoprotein of the HDL particles, has been associated with a lower risk of developing inflammatory response and atherosclerotic plaque growth. Therefore the ApoB/ApoA1 ratio has been considered a better predictive value than classical lipid parameters in cardiovascular risk assessment(9). Even when higher levels of fasting glucose were observed after a chocolate enriched diet and chocolate with almonds diet (attributed to higher amounts of sugar compared with the other tested diets), no effects on serum insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and high-sensitive C-reactive protein were reported. These promising results would support the recommendation of the incorporation of almonds, alone or in combination with dark chocolate and cocoa (as the chocolate and almond diet had shown to influence both quantity and quality of LDL-c), as an alternative snack as part of a healthy isocaloric diet, in order to reduce the risk of CVDs. Nevertheless, these recommendations should be followed with caution to avoid an excess of calories and consequently an increase in body weight.   References Grundy SM, Cleeman JI, Daniels SR, et al. Diagnosis and management of the metabolic syndrome: an American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Scientific Statement. Circulation. 2005;112(17):2735-2752. Krauss RM, Eckel RH, Howard B, et al. AHA Dietary Guidelines: revision 2000: A statement for healthcare professionals from the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association. Stroke. 2000;31(11):2751-2766. Estruch, Ramon; Ros, Emilio; Salas-Salvado J, Gómez-gracia E, Ph D, et al. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet. N Engl J Med. 2013;368:1279-1290. Zhou D, Yu H, He F, et al. Nut consumption in relation to cardiovascular disease risk and type 2 diabetes : a systematic review and meta-analysis of. 2014:270-277. Keli, SO. Hertog, Mg. Feskens E et al. Dietary Flavonoids, antioxidant, vitamins and incidence of stroke: The Zutphen study. Arch Intern Med. 1996;156:637-642. Steinberg FM, Bearden MM, Keen CL. Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: Implications for cardiovascular health. J Am Diet Assoc. 2003;103(15):215-223. Hooper L, Kay C, Abdelhamid A, et al. Effects of chocolate , cocoa , and flavan-3-ols on cardiovascular health : a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials 1 – 3. 2012:740-751. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.023457. Lee Y, Berryman CE, West SG, et al. Effects of Dark Chocolate and Almonds on Cardiovascular Risk. 2017:1-15. Tamang HK, Timilsina U, Singh KP, Shrestha S. Apo B / Apo A-I Ratio is Statistically A Better Predictor of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) than Conventional Lipid Profile : A Study from Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. J Clin Diagnostic Res. 2014;8(Cvd):34-36.    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almonds-and-chocolate-the-perfect-combination-for-cardiometabolic-healthCan Prunes Help You Improve Your Intestinal Health?The study included a total of 120 healthy adults who had a low fiber intake and a stool frequency of 3-6 times per week. Each participant took one of the three following treatments: 80 g/day of prunes (plus 300 ml/day of water); 120 g/day of prunes (plus 300 ml/day of water) or control (300 ml/day water) for 4 weeks. Stool weight was the primary outcome and determined by 7-day stool collection. Secondary outcomes as stool frequency and consistency were also measured, among others.   Results showed that both groups supplemented with prunes increased the stool weight and improved stool frequency when compared with the non-prunes consumer group (control). There was also a greater increase in Bifidobacteria across the prune-groups.   In conclusion, researchers found that prunes significantly improved gut transit in healthy individuals with infrequent stool habits and low fiber intake.   Lever, E., Scott, S. M., Louis, P., Emery, P. W., & Whelan, K. (2018). The effect of prunes on stool output, gut transit time and gastrointestinal microbiota: A randomised controlled trial. Clinical Nutrition, 30, 1e9.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/can-prunes-help-you-improve-your-intestinal-healthA High Nut Consumption May Be Associated With a Reduced Incidence of Cancer RecurrenceIn total, 826 patients with stage III colon cancer were included in the study. Patients reported dietary intake on food frequency questionnaires while enrolled onto a randomized adjuvant chemotherapy trial. After a follow-up of 6.5 years, patients who consumed two or more servings of nuts per week were compared with patients who abstained from nuts. Results showed that those who regularly consumed at least two one-ounce servings of nuts each week showed a 42% improvement in disease-free survival and a 57% improvement in overall survival.   In conclusion, diets with higher nut consumption may be associated with a significantly reduced incidence of cancer recurrence and death in patients with stage III of colon cancer.   The study was supported by the INC-NREF.   Fadelu, T., Zhang, S., Niedzwiecki, D., Ye, X., Saltz, L.B., Mayer, R.J.,… & Fuchs, C.S. (2018). Nut Consumption and Survival in Patients With Stage III Colon Cancer: Results From CALGB 89803 (Alliance). Journal of Clinical Oncology. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2017.75.5413.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/a-high-nut-consumption-may-be-associated-with-a-reduced-incidence-of-cancer-recurrenceCashews May Help Increase “Good” Cholesterol and Reduce Blood PressureThe main objective of the study was to investigate the effects of cashew nut supplementation on glycemia (blood sugar), body weight, blood pressure, and lipid profile in Asian Indians with T2DM. In total, 300 adults with T2DM were included in the study and were randomly assigned to receive a standard diabetic diet (control group) or a similar diet plus 30g of cashew nuts/day (intervention group) for 12 weeks. Results observed that participants in the intervention group had a greater decrease in systolic blood pressure and a greater increase in plasma HDL cholesterol when compared with the control group. So cashew nut supplementation may help reduce blood pressure and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol in Asian Indians with T2DM.   The main sponsor for the study was the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI).   Mohan, V., Gayathri, R., Jaacks, L. M., Lakshmipriya, N., Anjana, R. M., Spiegelman, D., ... & Gopinath, V. (2018). Cashew Nut Consumption Increases HDL Cholesterol and Reduces Systolic Blood Pressure in Asian Indians with Type 2 Diabetes: A 12-Week Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journal of Nutrition, 148(1), 63-69. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/cashews-may-help-increase-good-cholesterol-and-reduce-blood-pressureThe Potential of Nuts in the Chemoprevention of Pancreatic CancerA total of 120,852 men and women (from the Netherlands Cohort Study) completed a baseline questionnaire and also a food frequency questionnaire at the beginning of the study, and after 20.3 years of follow-up, 583 incident pancreatic cancer cases appeared. The results of the study showed that increased total nut consumption was associated with a non-significantly decreased microscopically confirmed pancreatic cancer (MCPC) risk in men who consumed more than 10g/day compared to non-consumers. Peanut butter intake was related to a significantly reduced risk of MCPC in men who consumed more 5g/day compared to non-consumers.   Nieuwenhuis, L., van den Brandt, P.A. (2018). Total nut, tree nut, peanut, and peanut butter consumption and the risk of pancreatic cancer in the Netherlands Cohort Study. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0448. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-potential-of-nuts-in-the-chemoprevention-of-pancreatic-cancerDoes Almond Consumption Affect Human Gastrointestinal Microbiota?In total, 18 healthy adults were included in the study which followed five three-week diet periods, each diet period was separated by a one-week wash-out period. Treatments included were: (1) zero servings/day of almonds (control); (2) 1.5 servings (42g/day) of whole almonds; (3) 1.5 servings/day of whole, roasted almonds; (4) 1.5 servings/day of roasted, chopped almonds; and (5) 1.5 servings/day of almond butter. During the study, fecal samples were collected for microbiota analysis. The results observed that almond consumption increased the relative abundance of some bacterias as Lachnospira, Roseburia, Clostridium, and Dialister, when compared with the control group. Chopped almonds also increased Lachnospira, Roseburia, and Oscillospira when compared to control, while whole almonds increased Dialister. In conclusion, almond consumption induced changes in the microbial composition of the human gastrointestinal microbiota. The results also revealed that processing differentially impacted the microbiota.   Holscher, H.D., Taylor, A.M., Swanson, K.S., Novotny, J.A., Baer, D.J. (2018). Almond Consumption and Processing Affects the Composition of the Gastrointestinal Microbiota of Healthy Adult Men and Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 26;10(2). doi: 10.3390/nu10020126. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/does-almond-consumption-affect-human-gastrointestinal-microbiotaThe Role of Nuts on Alzheimer’s DiseaseThe main objective of the study was a pharmacological review of the bioactive constituents of the above mentioned tree nuts, as effective supplements and natural medicinal foods in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) patients.   PubMed and ScienceDirect databases were used to search AD-related researches on these tree nuts from year 2000 to present. Results showed that almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts provide macronutrients, micronutrients, and phytochemicals which may affect several pathways in AD pathogenesis, such as oxidative stress, cholesterol lowering and anti-inflammatory properties, among others.   These nuts have been recommended for their brain-protective activity and particularly reversing brain atrophy in the case of hazelnut. The study concluded that the use of these tree nuts could be more considered in scientific researches as effective nutrients for prevention or even management of AD, thanks to their nutritional composition, specially to their phytochemicals content.   Gorji, N., Moeini, R., & Memariani, Z. (2017). Almond, hazelnut and walnut, three nuts for neuroprotection in Alzheimer’s disease: a neuropharmacological review of their bioactive constituents. Pharmacological research. DOI:10.1016/j.phrs.2017.12.003 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-role-of-nuts-on-alzheimer-s-diseaseThe Effect of Walnut Consumption on Body WeightOne hundred overweight and obese participants were randomly assigned to the standard diet or the walnut-enriched diet in the context of a behavioral weight loss intervention (walnuts provided approximately 15% of total energy intake). During the clinic visits, at the beginning and after 3 and 6 months, body measurements, blood pressure, physical activity, lipids, tocopherols (antioxidants) and fatty acids were obtained.   The study observed that both study groups reduced body weight, body mass index and waist circumference. Also systolic blood pressure decreased in both groups at 3 months, but only the walnut-enriched diet group maintained a lower systolic blood pressure at 6 months. On the other hand, the walnut-enriched diet group reduced total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol at 6 months.   The study concluded that a walnut-enriched reduced-energy diet may promote weight loss. Although weight loss was associated with improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors, the walnut-enriched diet promoted more favorable effects on LDL cholesterol and systolic blood pressure.   Rock, C. L., Flatt, S. W., Barkai, H. S., Pakiz, B., & Heath, D. D. (2017). Walnut consumption in a weight reduction intervention: effects on body weight, biological measures, blood pressure and satiety. Nutrition journal, 16(1), 76. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-effect-of-walnut-consumption-on-body-weightCan Dark Chocolate and Almonds Improve Lipid Profiles?The objective of the study was to examine the individual and combined effects of consumption of dark chocolate and cocoa and almonds on markers of coronary heart disease risk. This feeding trial was conducted in 48 overweight and obese individuals aged 30 to 70 years. Each diet period was four weeks long, followed by a two-week compliance break, and participants consumed each one of the following four diets: (1) no treatment foods (average American diet), (2) 42.5 g/day of almonds (almond diet), (3) 18 g/day of cocoa powder and 43 g/day of dark chocolate (chocolate diet), or (4) all 3 foods (dark chocolate, cocoa powder and almonds).   Results showed that total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol were lower after the almond diet and also in the chocolate + almond diet in comparison with the participants who followed the American diet. Thus, the study concluded that consumption of almonds alone or combined with dark chocolate may help improve lipid profiles. Including almonds, dark chocolate and cocoa into the diet may also help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Lee, Y., Berryman, C. E., West, S. G., Chen, C. Y. O., Blumberg, J. B., Lapsley, K. G., ... & Kris‐Etherton, P. M. (2017). Effects of Dark Chocolate and Almonds on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Individuals: A Randomized Controlled‐Feeding Trial. Journal of the American Heart Association, 6(12), e005162. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/can-dark-chocolate-and-almonds-improve-lipid-profilesFunding Opportunities for Research and DisseminationIn addition, INC offers the “Nuts for Gifts” Global Dissemination Program, which can be shared and disseminated through its ToolBox Kit. INC members and industry organizations can download it at the Members Area of the website nutsforgifts.org. For more information about this program, please contact hello@nutsforgifts.org.     2017 Grant Awardees   This year the INC selected four projects to receive 355,000 Euros, reinforcing its commitment to research that helps improve our understanding of the benefits of eating nuts and dried fruits.   INC awarded grants to two research projects on the relationship of nuts and dried fruit consumption to exercise performance, and the effect of nut intake on cognitive function and intestinal microbiota.   Research Grant Recipients:   Project: An almond, dried grape and dried cranberry (AGC) mix for improving endurance exercise performance in athletes (clinical study). Principal Investigator: Prof. Jonathan Buckley, University of South Australia, Australia.   Project: Effects of daily tree nut consumption on cognitive function, metabolomics and intestinal microbiota (clinical study). Principal Investigator: Dr. Crystal Haskell-Ramsay, Northumbria University, UK.     INC also awarded grants to two promotion and dissemination projects, the goal of which is to build consumer demand for nuts and dried fruits, and provide information about their properties and qualities.   Dissemination Grant Recipients:   Nucis Italia, Project: “Nuts and active lifestyle: a healthy habit!”.   Nucis Germany, Project: “Press publications in professional nutrition magazines”. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/funding-opportunities-for-research-and-disseminationMediterranean Diet and Pistachios May Reduce Incidence of Gestational DiabetesThe effect of a standard diet versus a Mediterranean diet, supplemented with EVOO and pistachios, on GDM incidence was compared (a total of 874 women completed the study). Results showed that an early dietary intervention in pregnant women with a Mediterranean diet supplemented with EVOO and pistachios reduced the incidence of GDM. The study concluded that this recommendation may be an important implication on the long-term health of the mother and the child.   Assaf-Balut, C., de la Torre, N. G., Durán, A., Fuentes, M., Bordiú, E., del Valle, L., ... & Izquierdo, N. (2017). A Mediterranean diet with additional extra virgin olive oil and pistachios reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM): A randomized controlled trial: The St. Carlos GDM prevention study. PloS one, 12(10), e0185873.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/mediterranean-diet-and-pistachios-may-reduce-incidence-of-gestational-diabetesAssociations between Nut Consumption and Health Vary between Omnivores, Vegetarians, and VegansResults observed that higher nut consumption was associated with lower body weight, body mass index (BMI) and also waist circumference. Higher nut consumption was also associated with a lower prevalence of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The study concluded that the beneficial effects of nut consumption may be larger amongst omnivores compared to vegetarians and vegans. Brown, R. C., Gray, A. R., Tey, S. L., Chisholm, A., Burley, V., Greenwood, D. C., & Cade, J. (2017). Associations between Nut Consumption and Health Vary between Omnivores, Vegetarians, and Vegans. Nutrients, 9(11), 1219.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/associations-between-nut-consumption-and-health-vary-between-omnivores-vegetarians-and-vegans-1Nut Consumption and Cardiovascular Health, New Study from HarvardThe study looked at over 210,000 people, including women from the Nurses’ Health Study and Nurses’ Health Study II and men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, with up to 32 years of follow-up. In total, 14,136 incident CVD cases, including 8,390 CHD and 5,910 stroke cases were documented. The results indicated that regular nut consumption was associated with a 13-19% lower risk of CVD and a 15-23% lower risk of CHD, independently from other cardiovascular risk, lifestyle and dietary factors.   “Our findings support recommendations of increasing the intake of a variety of nuts, as part of healthy dietary patterns, to reduce the risk of chronic disease in the general populations,” said Dr. Marta Guasch-Ferre, lead author of the study and research fellow at the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to the American College of Cardiology (November 6, 2017).   Guasch-Ferré, M., Liu, X., Malik V. S.,  Sun, Q., … Bhupathiraju, S.M. (2017). Nut Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol 2017;70:2519-32.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-and-cardiovascular-health-new-study-from-harvardINC-Funded Study Reinforces that Nuts May Help Improve Endothelial Function Some chronic diseases are accompanied by a state of low-grade of inflammation which influences the progression and development of the disease. Changes in this inflammatory state can be identified via inflammatory biomarkers, for example C-reactive protein. Endothelial dysfunction is associated with the development of cardiovascular disease. This recent systematic review and meta-analysis, published in BMJ Open journal, examined the effect of nut consumption on inflammatory biomarkers and endothelial function[i].   Thirty-six articles describing 32 studies were included in this review. In the studies, nuts were consumed in either prescribed doses (18 to 85g/day) or as a percentage of dietary energy, so that the amount of nuts provided to each subject was different.   The study found evidence for favorable effects on flow mediated dilation, a measure of endothelial function. These findings align with a review conducted by the European Food Safety Authority in 2011 to substantiate the health claim: “Walnuts contribute to the improvement of the elasticity of blood vessels”.  There was however a lack of consistent evidence on inflammatory biomarkers.   The study concluded that including nuts within a healthy dietary pattern may have favorable effects on endothelial dysfunction, which is associated with cardiovascular disease.   “This research helps to identify the mechanisms by which nut consumption may contribute to reduced cardiovascular disease risk in the context of a heart healthy diet. It adds to the scientific evidence which is built upon with continued research,” said Prof. Linda Tapsell and her colleague, Dr. Elizabeth Neale at University of Wollongong (Australia), both Principal Investigators of this research.   This study was supported by the INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council.   [i] Neale, E.P., Tapsell, L.C., Guan, V., Batterham, M.J. (2017). The effect of nut consumption on markers of inflammation and endothelial function: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ Open 2017;7:e016863. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-funded-study-reinforces-that-nuts-may-help-improve-endothelial-functionNew Nut Allergy GuidelineThe guideline[1] has been prepared by the Standards of Care Committee (SOCC) of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI), and brings together the latest research and evidence based advice, including better understanding of risk assessment in order to reduce accidental reactions and manage allergy reactions more effectively.   The chapter “Prevention of nut allergy” refers to the study published in 2015 “Randomized trial of peanut consumption in infants at risk for peanut allergy” (Du Toit G. et al), according to which the early introduction of peanuts significantly decreased the frequency of the development of peanut allergy among children at high risk for this allergy and modulated immune responses to peanuts[2].   More information http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cea.12957/full   1 Stiefel, G., Anagnostou, K., Boyle, R. J., Brathwaite, N., Ewan, P., Fox, A. T., ... & Clark, A. T. (2017). BSACI guideline for the diagnosis and management of peanut and tree nut allergy. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 47(6), 719-739. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cea.12957/full 2 Du Toit, G., Roberts, G., Sayre, P. H., Bahnson, H. T., Radulovic, S., Santos, A. F., ... & Turcanu, V. (2015). Randomized trial of peanut consumption in infants at risk for peanut allergy. New England Journal of Medicine, 372(9), 803-813. (https://www.nutfruit.org/what-we-do/health-nutrition/scientific-studies/randomized-trial-of-peanut-consumption-in-infants-at-risk-for-peanut-allergy).   [1] Stiefel, G., Anagnostou, K., Boyle, R. J., Brathwaite, N., Ewan, P., Fox, A. T., ... & Clark, A. T. (2017). BSACI guideline for the diagnosis and management of peanut and tree nut allergy. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 47(6), 719-739. [2] Du Toit, G., Roberts, G., Sayre, P. H., Bahnson, H. T., Radulovic, S., Santos, A. F., ... & Turcanu, V. (2015). Randomized trial of peanut consumption in infants at risk for peanut allergy. New England Journal of Medicine, 372(9), 803-813. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-nut-allergy-guidelineHighlights of the 21st International Congress of NutritionOn the other hand, the INC sponsored the symposium “Nuts and dried fruit consumption and health: New insights”, which featured leading nutrition experts Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Chairman of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination, Dr. Emilio Ros from University of Barcelona (Spain), Dr. Bahram H. Arjmandi from Florida State University (USA) and Dr. Cyril Kendall from University of Toronto (Canada). Chaired by Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, the symposium highlighted the latest findings in nut consumption and cognitive function and diabetes control, and dried fruit consumption and osteoporosis.   Guest speaker Dr. Emilio Ros spoke on the relation between nut consumption and cognitive function; Dr. Bahram H. Arjmandi gave an overview of the efficacy of dried plum for preventing and reversing bone loss in postmenopausal women; Dr. Cyril Kendall gave an update on the effects of nut consumption on diabetes and cardiometabolic health.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/highlights-of-the-21st-international-congress-of-nutritionNut Consumption is Associated with Reduced MortalityThe study included 18 prospective studies which found that peanut (5 studies) and tree nut (3 studies) intake were similarly associated with reduced mortality risks. The study suggested that nut consumption was associated with a reduced all-cause and cause-specific mortality, with the strongest reduction for coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality. Both tree nuts and peanuts may lower mortality and the benefits may be achieved with a low level of nut consumption.   Chen, G. C., Zhang, R., Martinez-Gonzalez, M. A., Zhang, Z., Bonaccio, M., van Dam, R. M., & Qin, L. (2017). Nut consumption in relation to all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a meta-analysis 18 prospective studies. Food & Function.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-is-associated-with-reduced-mortalityWalnut Consumption May Help Induce Favourable Nutrient Profile in Elderly PeopleResults showed that participants in the walnut group reported significantly higher intake of total protein, vegetable protein, total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), omega-3 and omega-6; and significantly lower intake of total carbohydrate, animal protein, saturated fatty acids (SFA), and sodium (Na), when compared with the control group. Although, daily energy intake was 228kcal higher in the walnut group, a 19% of total energy (kcal) and also a 25% of total fat from other food sources was displaced.   In conclusion, adding a daily supplement of walnuts to the habitual diet of elderly people may induce favorable modifications to the nutrient profile which may help prevent declining nutrient intake associated with aging.   Bitok, E., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Rajaram, S., Serra-Mir, M., Roth, I., Feitas-Simoes, T., ... & Sabaté, J. (2017). Favourable nutrient intake and displacement with long-term walnut supplementation among elderly: results of a randomised trial. British Journal of Nutrition, 118(3), 201-209.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/walnut-consumption-may-help-induce-favourable-nutrient-profile-in-elderly-peopleAlmond Consumption May Help Improve HDL “Good” CholesterolA diet with an intake of 43g/day of almonds (almond diet) was compared with a diet of the same caloric content, but without almonds (control diet) in participants with elevated LDL “bad” cholesterol during 6 weeks. The results showed that the almond diet increased α-1 HDL when compared with the control diet. So the study concluded that incorporating almonds in a lower-saturated fat diet may help improve HDL cholesterol in normal-weight participants. Therefore, substituting almonds for a carbohydrate-rich snack within a lower-saturated-fat diet may help to maintain favorable circulating HDL cholesterol in normal-weight individuals with elevated LDL cholesterol.   Berryman, Claire E., Jennifer A. Fleming, and Penny M. Kris-Etherton. "Inclusion of Almonds in a Cholesterol-Lowering Diet Improves Plasma HDL Subspecies and Cholesterol Efflux to Serum in Normal-Weight Individuals with Elevated LDL Cholesterol." The Journal of Nutrition (2017): jn245126.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almond-consumption-may-help-improve-hdl-good-cholesterolIUNS 21st International Congress of NutritionThe INC is organizing a symposium titled “Nuts and dried fruit consumption and health: New insights” on Tuesday, October 17, from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. The symposium will gather together prestigious international researchers, and will bring the opportunity to spread the health benefits of nuts and dried fruit to a large group of health professionals and researchers. Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó from Rovira i Virgili University (Spain) will be the chairman of the symposium and the guest speakers will give a presentation on:   Nut consumption and cognitive function. Dr. Emilio Ros (University of Barcelona, Spain). Dried fruit consumption and osteoporosis (bone health). Dr. Bahram H. Arjmandi (Florida State University, USA). Effect of nut consumption on insulin resistance/secretion and diabetes control. Dr. Cyril Kendall (University of Toronto, Canada).   Please visit this webpage for more information about the congress: http://icn2017.com/  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/iuns-21st-international-congress-of-nutrition-1Nut Consumption Linked to Higher Survival Rates in Colon CancerThe study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, investigated the effect of nut intake on colon cancer recurrence and survival. The study included 826 patients who had undergone treatment for stage III of colon cancer. Participants reported dietary intake with food frequency questionnaires and results found a 42% improvement in disease-free survival, and a 57% improvement in overall survival among patients who ate at least 2 servings of nuts per week compared to non-nut consumers.   Fadelu, T., Niedzwiecki, D., Zhang, S., Ye, X., Saltz, L., Mayer, R. J., ... & Atienza, D. M. (2017). Nut consumption and survival in stage III colon cancer patients: Results from CALGB 89803 (Alliance).https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-linked-to-higher-survival-rates-in-colon-cancerINC Announces New Scientific Evidence Suggesting Nuts May Help Improve Endothelial FunctionEndothelial dysfunction is considered a precursor for atherosclerosis and an independent predictor of CVD[2]. The endothelium, a monolayer of cells in arterial vessels, contributes to maintaining normal vascular tone and blood fluidity.   Some cardiovascular risk factors including smoking, hypertension, and high LDL-cholesterol levels can directly induce endothelial dysfunction, and a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts improves endothelial markers involved in blood pressure control in hypertensive women[3].   A recent study has evaluated the effects of peanut consumption on postprandial endothelial function and observed that the intake of 85g/day of peanuts may improve postprandial triglyceride levels and preserve endothelial function[4]. Moreover, walnuts (30g/day) contribute to the improvement of the elasticity of blood vessels, according to the health claim approved by the European Commission in 2012. In addition, it has been reported that daily pistachio consumption may have a positive impact on improving some cardiometabolic risk factors related with alteration in endothelial function[5]. Collectively, these findings suggest that nut consumption may favorably affect endothelial function.    [1] Ros, E., 2010. Health benefits of nut consumption. Nutrients, 2(7), 652-682.   [2] Xiao Y., et al., 2017. Effect of nut consumption on vascular endothelial function: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clinical Nutrition.   [3]Storniolo CE, et al., 2017. A Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts improves endothelial markers involved in blood pressure control in hypertensive women. European Journal of Nutrition, 56(1), 89-97.  [4] Liu X., et al., 2017. Acute Peanut Consumption Alters Postprandial Lipids and Vascular Responses in Healthy Overweight or Obese Men. The Journal of Nutrition, 147(5), 835-840   [5] Sauder KA, et al., 2015. Effects of pistachios on the lipid/lipoprotein profile, glycemic control, inflammation, and endothelial function in type 2 diabetes: A randomized trial. Metabolism, 64(11), 1521-1529. Photo: Copyright Australian Nut Industry Council - Nuts for Life  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-may-help-improve-endothelial-function-new-scientific-evidenceNew study co-funded by INC reveals nut consumption is associated with reduced weight gain Nuts are energy-dense foods; they can provide 160-200kcal per serving (30g-a handful), so the concern that high nut consumption may lead to weight gain persists. For that reason, the present study aimed at analyzing if a frequent nut intake incorporated into a normocaloric, standard diet leads to weight gain.   373,293 participants were recruited between 1992 and 2000 from 10 European countries in the frame of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Body weight was measured at the beginning of the study and after a median follow-up of 5 years, and food consumption was assessed by country-specific validated food-frequency questionnaires. Results observed that those participants who consumed more nuts (more than one serving per week) gained less weight when compared to non-consumers. On the other hand, the frequency of nut consumption was associated with a 5% lower risk of becoming overweight or obese. Participants with a normal weight who consumed more nuts (6g/day) had a 5% lower risk of becoming overweight or obese compared with non-nut consumers. At the same time, overweight individuals at baseline also had a 5% lower risk of becoming obese.   The study concluded that a higher nut consumption was associated with less weight gain after 5 years and also a lower risk of overweight or obesity. Thus, these findings support dietary recommendations to increase nut intake and include them in our diet.   “This is the largest study ever conducted, showing that nuts are a non-fattening healthy food” said Dr. Joan Sabate, Professor of Nutrition at Loma Linda University and Senior Investigator of this research.   This study was supported by the INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council.   [i] Freisling H, et al., 2017. Nut intake and 5-year changes in body weight and obesity risk in adults: results from the EPIC-PANACEA study. Eur J Nutr. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-017-1513-0 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-study-co-funded-by-inc-reveals-nut-consumption-is-associated-with-reduced-weight-gainNuts and Dried Fruits on Type 2 Diabetes: An UpdateThis recently published review in Nutrients journal examined the role of nuts and dried fruits in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The results showed that nut consumption seems to have beneficial postprandial glycaemic effects when consumed alone or in combination with a carbohydrate meal, and may help decrease the glycaemic response. Dried fruits may also have a positive impact on postprandial glucose regulation and glycaemic control in T2D individuals. The unique profile of macronutrients, micronutrients and other bioactive compounds of nuts and dried fruits may explain the beneficial effects observed in clinical and epidemiological studies included in this review.  Hernández-Alonso, P., Camacho-Barcia, L., Bulló, M., & Salas-Salvadó, J. (2017). Nuts and Dried Fruits: An Update of Their Beneficial Effects on Type 2 Diabetes. Nutrients, 9(7), 673. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-and-dried-fruits-on-type-2-diabetes-an-updateAlmond Consumption on Cardiovascular Risk Factors A scientific article, recently published in the European Journal of Nutrition, investigated the impact of almonds consumed as a snack on cardiovascular risk factors in a typical Korean diet. Eighty four overweight/obese participants were included in the study. They consumed either 56g of almonds or cookies (with the same caloric value) daily for 4 weeks. Results showed that almond consumption increased the intake of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E and dietary fiber, and decreased % energy from carbohydrate. Caloric intake was increased by the almonds, but body weight, waist circumference and body composition were not modified. The study came to the conclusion that almonds (56g/day) enhanced plasma α-tocopherol status and serum total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol in overweight and obese participants. Thus, including almonds as a snack may help improve nutritional status and may reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease in overweight/obese adults.   Jung H, Chen CO, Blumberg JB, Kwak HK. (2017). The effect of almonds on vitamin E status and cardiovascular risk factors in Korean adults: a randomized clinical trial. Eur J Nutr.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almond-consumption-on-cardiovascular-risk-factorsNut Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease The aim of this study was to evaluate the existing scientific evidence on nut consumption and biomarkers of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular events. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses were searched in Pubmed. 14 meta-analyses were included in the review. Results reported significant reductions for total cholesterol. In addition, higher intakes of nuts were associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. In conclusion, the review showed that nut consumption was associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension, and lower levels of total cholesterol.   Schwingshackl, L., Hoffmann, G., Missbach, B., Stelmach-Mardas, M., & Boeing, H. (2017). An umbrella review of nuts intake and risk of cardiovascular disease. Current pharmaceutical design, 23(7), 1016-1027. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-and-risk-of-cardiovascular-diseaseDried Plums and Bone HealthA comprehensive review was conducted to summarize the potential mechanisms and effects of dried plums on bone health. The review was published on April in the journal Nutrients. PubMed database was used to search all cell, animal and clinical studies that examined the effects of dried plums and/or extracts of the former on markers of bone health. A total of 24 studies were included in the review.   Animal and cell studies suggested that dried plums and/or their extracts enhance bone formation and inhibit bone resorption, and clinical studies showed that dried plums may exert beneficial effects on bone mineral density (BMD).   The study concluded that postmenopausal women who consume dried plums as part of their fruit intake recommendations may have protective effects on bone loss.   Wallace, T. C. (2017). Dried Plums, Prunes and Bone Health: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients, 9(4), 401.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/dried-plums-and-bone-healthDaily Walnut Consumption May Improve Metabolic Syndrome Status89 participants (44 men and 45 women) were included in this study, the main objective of which was to assess the gender differences on the lipid profiles and body composition among subjects with metabolic syndrome after a daily walnut intake of 45g during 16 weeks. In males, body protein and basal metabolic rate were significantly higher at week 16 compared to the baseline measurement, even though LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol levels decreased significantly. In women, waist circumference and triglyceride level were significantly decreased in comparison with the baseline measurements.   The study concluded that daily walnut consumption for 16 weeks may increase body protein and decrease the levels of LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol and apoprotein B among male subjects with metabolic syndrome. Also, daily walnut intake may decrease waist circumstance and triglyceride level among females with metabolic syndrome.   Eun-Kyung Song, Hyunjin Park, Yanan Liu and Hyun-Sook Kim. (2017). Daily walnut consumption effects lipid profile and body protein in Korean subjects with metabolic syndrome. The Faseb Journal, 31 no. 1 Supplement 797.15.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/daily-walnut-consumption-may-improve-metabolic-syndrome-statusINC Grants for Research and Dissemination ProjectsIn December 2016, INC launched the annual Call for Research Projects as well as the annual Call for Promotion and Dissemination Projects, both with due dates for submission February 28, 2017. The objective of the Call for Research Projects is to fund clinical, epidemiological, basic and/or strategic research that may contribute to enhance the understanding of the health effects of nuts and dried fruits. INC received a total of 27 applications from 15 countries (Australia, Brazil, Chile, Ethiopia, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, México, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, UK and USA) whereas for the Call for Promotion and Dissemination Projects, which the main objective is to fund projects aimed at increasing the use and consumption of nuts and dried fruits, INC received 3 project proposals from 3 countries (Germany, Italy and South Africa). The Evaluating Committee of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination will develop an academic prioritization of the projects. However, the final funding decision will be made by the INC Executive Committee, expected at the XXXVI World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, in Chennai, India, May 19-21, 2017.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-grants-for-research-and-dissemination-projectsMacadamia Health Research GrantOn January 3, 2017, INC launched the Macadamia Health Research Grant on behalf of the macadamia industry with due date for submission February 28, 2017. The macadamia community called for research projects that may contribute to enhance the understanding of the health effects of macadamia nuts consumption by comparing the effect of a macadamias enriched diet vs. a control diet on insulin resistance/secretion, lipid profile (total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides), and other emergent cardiovascular risk factors, e.g. inflammation, oxidative stress markers, etc. including the evaluation of the effects of macadamia nut consumption on adiposity. INC is coordinating this Call on behalf of the contributors. The INC received 16 applications from 5 countries (Australia, Brazil, Italy, Spain and USA). The INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination develop an academic prioritization of the projects. The Contributors will make the final decision on the successful Research Provider and Hort Innovation will appoint the successful grant recipient on their behalf by the end of May 2017.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/macadamia-health-research-grantCashew Consumption May Help Reduce Total and LDL CholesterolThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has recently published the study titled “Cashew consumption reduces total and LDL cholesterol: a randomized, crossover, controlled-feeding trial”. The main objective of the study was to investigate the effect of cashew intake on serum lipids in adults with or at risk of high LDL cholesterol. In total, 51 men and women with a median LDL-cholesterol concentration were included in the trial. They consumed a typical American diet with cashews (28-64g of cashews per day) for 28 days or potato chips in the control group. The results supported that the daily consumption of cashews, when substituted for a high-carbohydrate snack, may be a simple dietary strategy to help manage total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. In conclusion, adding cashews into a typical American diet may help decrease total cholesterol and LDL colesterol. Mah, E., A Schulz, J., N Kaden, V., L Lawless, L., Rotor, J., B Mantilla, L., J Lisk. D. (2017). Cashew consumption reduces total and LDL cholesterol: a randomized, crossover, controlled-feeding trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/cashew-consumption-may-help-reduce-total-and-ldl-cholesterolPeanut Consumption May Help Improve Serum Triglyceride and Endothelial FunctionA recently study published in The Journal of Nutrition titled “Acute Peanut Consumption Alters Postprandial Lipids and Vascular Responses in Healthy Overweight or Obese Men” found a positive association between acute peanut consumption and endothelial function. In a randomized controlled trial, 15 healthy overweight or obese men consumed a shake containing 85g of peanuts and another shake as a control meal matched for energy and macronutrient content. Lipids, lipoproteins, glucose, and insulin were measured at different time points. And the results concluded that acute peanut consumption blunted the serum triglyceride after consumption compared with the control meal. The study concluded that the inclusion of 85g of peanuts as part of a high-fat meal improved the postprandial triglyceride response and preserved endothelial function in the participants. Liu, X., Hill, A., West, S., Gabauer R., McCrea, C., Fleming, J., Kris-Etherton, P. (2017). Acute Peanut Consumption Alters Postprandial Lipids and Vascular Responses in Healthy Overweight or Obese Men. The Journal of Nutrition https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/peanut-consumption-may-help-improve-serum-triglyceride-and-endothelial-functionNut consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and all-cause mortalityIn a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies published in BMC Medicine1, researchers looked at the association of nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), total cancer, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in adults. Higher nut intake (15-20 g/day or 5-6 servings/week) was associated with reduced risk of CVD, total cancer and all-cause mortality. Both tree nut and peanut consumption resulted in similar findings. An international team from Norway, UK and USA analyzed twenty studies through a meta-analysis, providing the most up-to-date summary estimates of the association between nut intake and CVD, cancer, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality. The findings were consistent with previous published reviews and meta-analyses. The results provide further evidence that higher nut intake may help reduce the risk of CVD, total cancer and all-cause mortality. More recently, in a clinical trial published in Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders2, a team of researchers from India examined the effects of daily consumption of almonds for 24 weeks among type-2 diabetes patients. The incorporation of almonds in a well-balanced diet was associated with multiple beneficial effects on glycemic and CVD risk factors. The study found significant improvement in mean values of waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, serum triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, among other parameters. According to the World Health Organization, CVD was the leading cause of noncommunicable disease (NCD) deaths in 2012 and was responsible for 17.5 million deaths, or 46% of NCD deaths3. About the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council INC members include more than 700 nut and dried fruit sector companies from over 70 countries. INC is the leading international organization regarding nuts and dried fruits health, nutrition, statistics, food safety, international standards and regulations.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-is-associated-with-a-lower-risk-of-cardiovascular-disease-cancer-and-all-cause-mortalityEffect of Almond Consumption on Glycemia and Cardiovascular Risk FactorsIn a clinical trial published in Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, a team of researchers from India examined the effects of daily consumption of almonds for 24 weeks among type 2 diabetes patients. The incorporation of almonds in a well-balanced diet was associated with multiple beneficial effects on glycemic and cardiovascular risk factors. The study found significant improvement in mean values of waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, serum triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, among others parameters. Gulati, S., Misra, A., & Pandey, R. M. (2017). Effect of Almond Supplementation on Glycemia and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Asian Indians in North India with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A 24-Week Study. Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/effect-of-almond-consumption-on-glycemia-and-cardiovascular-risk-factorsMediterranean Diet May Help to Delay Natural Progression of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver DiseaseA recent study published in Medicina Clínica has observed the effect that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts has on the fatty liver index (FLI). A total of 276 participants with an average age of 67 years old and free from cardiovascular disease at baseline took part in the study. Three intervention groups were created (MedDiet+Extra Virgin Olive Oil; MedDiet+Nuts and the control group). The time trend of the change in the FLI and participants’ BMI was significantly lower in the MedDiet+Nuts group when compared with the control group. The study concluded that a dietary intervention following a Mediterranean diet could delay the natural progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Cueto-Galán, R., Barón, F. J., Valdivielso, P., Pintó, X., Corbella, E., Gómez-Gracia, E., & Wärnberg, J. (2017). Changes in fatty liver index after consuming a Mediterranean diet: 6-year follow-up of the PREDIMED-Malaga trial. Medicina Clínica.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/mediterranean-diet-may-help-to-delay-natural-progression-of-non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-diseaseThe Role of Prunes in Bone HealthIn addition to existing drug therapies, certain lifestyle and nutritional factors are known to reduce the risk of osteoporosis[i].   The benefits of prune consumption for osteoporosis and their role in total body bone mineral density (BMD) loss have been supported by scientific research in both animal studies and clinical trials.   Prunes are high in fiber, vitamin K, which contributes to the maintenance of normal bones, and potassium, which contributes to normal muscle function. Prunes are also a source of copper, which contributes to maintenance of normal connective tissues[ii],[iii],[iv].   Research in prunes has increased beginning with studies of their potential in restoring bone and preventing bone loss in animal models of osteoporosis[v]. Some animal studies suggest that fruit consumption with antioxidant content may have a pronounced effect on bone health, as shown by higher bone mass, trabecular bone (a.k.a. spongy bone) volume, number and thickness, and lower trabecular separation (which puts the person at risk of osteoporosis) by enhancing bone formation, suppressing bone resorption and increasing bone strength. The bone protection effects seem to be mediated via antioxidant or anti-inflammatory pathways leading to osteoblast mineralization and osteoclast inactivation[vi].   According to a randomized controlled trial published last year, prune (dried plum) consumption may prevent the loss of total body BMD in older osteopenic postmenopausal women. Forty-eight osteopenic (bone mineral density is lower than normal but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis) women (65-79 years old) were randomly assigned into one of three treatment groups for six months: 50 g of prunes, 100 g of prunes or a control group. All groups were supplemented with calcium and vitamin D. Total body, hip, and lumbar bone mineral density were evaluated at baseline and six months after using DEXA. In addition, several markers of bone metabolism were determined during the trial. Data revealed that both prune groups were able to prevent the loss of total body bone mineral density when compared to the control group[vii]. This effect has been explained in part to the ability of prunes to inhibit bone reabsorption. The study’s results support previous data on the role that prunes may play in bone health, especially in older postmenopausal women[viii],[ix].   [i] Zhu K, Prince RL. Lifestyle and osteoporosis. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2015 Feb;13(1):52-9. [ii] USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (Release 28, released September 2015, slightly revised May 2016). [iii] Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods:  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32006R1924&from=en [iv] Commission Regulation (EC) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health: [v] Franklin M, Bu SY, Lerner MR, Lancaster EA et al. Dried plum prevents bone loss in a male osteoporosis model via IGF-I and the RANK pathway. Bone. 2006 ;39(6):1331-42. [vi] Shen CL, von Bergen V, Chyu MC. Fruits and dietary phytochemicals in bone protection. Nutr Res. 2012;32(12):897-910. [vii] Hooshmand, S, Kern, M, Metti, D et al. The effect of two doses of dried plum on bone density and bone biomarkers in osteopenic postmenopausal women: a randomized, controlled trial. Osteoporosis International. 2016;1-9. [viii] Hooshmand, S., Brisco, J. R., & Arjmandi, B. H. (2014). The effect of dried plum on serum levels of receptor activator of NF-κB ligand, osteoprotegerin and sclerostin in osteopenic postmenopausal women: a randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Nutrition, 112(01), 55-60. [ix] Rendina E, Hembree KD, Davis MR et al. Dried plum’s unique capacity to reverse bone loss and alter bone metabolism in postmenopausal osteoporosis model. PloS one. 2013;8(3):e60569. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-role-of-prunes-in-bone-healthCanada Updates Nutrition Fact TablesThe Government of Canada has updated the nutrition facts tables and list of ingredients on pre-packaged foods. Changes are being made after two years of consultations with consumers and stakeholders. The next step is to review Canada’s Food Guide in order to fulfill the Health Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy, which focuses in reducing sodium from processed foods, eliminate industrially produced trans-fat, provide consumers with more information about sugars and food colors, and introduce restrictions on the commercial marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children. In Health Canada’s words “making science-based nutrition information easier to understand is one way to empower Canadians to make healthier food choices”. More informationhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-updates-nutrition-fact-tablesBrazil Nuts May Help Regulate Colorectal Cancer Biomarkers, New Study SuggestsA recent study has examined the effects of supplementation of selenium (Se) using Brazil nuts and green tea extract (GTE) capsules, alone and in combination, on targeted biomarkers. Thirty-two volunteers (>50 years of age) were randomised to one of three treatment groups: nine to Se (approximately 48 µg/d) as six Brazil nuts, eleven to four GTE capsules and twelve to a combination of Brazil nuts and GTE. Blood and rectal biopsies were obtained before and after each intervention. The effects of the combination of Brazil nuts and GTE did not differ from what would be expected from either agent alone. The study concluded that supplementation of Brazil nuts and/or GTE capsules regulates targeted biomarkers related to colorectal cancer oncogenesis.   Hu, Y., McIntosh, G. H., Le Leu, R. K., Somashekar, R., Meng, X. Q., Gopalsamy, G., ... & Young, G. P. (2016). Supplementation with Brazil nuts and green tea extract regulates targeted biomarkers related to colorectal cancer risk in humans. British Journal of Nutrition, 116(11), 1901-1911.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-nuts-may-help-regulate-colorectal-cancer-biomarkersINC to Grant €350,000 in 2017 to Nuts and Dried Fruits Research and DisseminationINC has launched its 2017 Annual Research Grant and Annual Grant for Promotion and Dissemination Projects to better understand the health benefits of nuts and dried fruits and spread the message around the globe. INC funds these projects through two different requests for proposals for a total of €300,000 allocated to research recipients and €50,000 to dissemination. Since INC began offering these grants, it has awarded more than one million euros to the dissemination of and research on the health effects of nuts and dried fruits. More information about INC Grants can be found here. 2016 Grant Awardees This year the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) selected six projects to receive 187,000 euros, reinforcing its commitment to research that helps improve our understanding of the benefits of eating nuts and dried fruits, as well as dissemination projects. INC awarded grants to three research projects on the relationship of dried fruit to glycemic response, the effects of nut consumption and endothelial function, and the relationship between nuts and fat cells. Grant recipients: Project: Dried fruit as a means for lowering the glycemic response to high glycemic index-carbohydrate foods (clinical study). Lead researcher: Dr. Cyril Kendall, Glycemia Consulting Inc., Canada. Project: Exploration of the effects of nut consumption on markers of inflammation and endothelial function (systematic review and meta-analysis). LR: Prof. Linda Tapsell, University of Wollongong, Australia. Project: Effects of nut-derived miRNAs on inflammatory and metabolic profile of fat cells (animal and cell study). LR: Dr. Daniele Lettieri-Barbato, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy. INC also issued a total of 50,000 euros in grant money to three promotion and dissemination projects. The goal is to build consumer demand for nuts and dried fruits and provide information about their properties and qualities. Additionally, INC prioritizes projects aimed at disseminating the outcomes of the scientific findings that come from INC-funded research on health and nutrition. These projects were the beneficiaries of the INC’s grants: Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM), Czech Republic. Project: Nuts, Obesity and Diabetes Symposium, 34th International Symposium on Diabetes and Nutrition. Nucis Italia. Project: “Nuts & Fit, Frutta Secca & Sport, il mix ideale per tenersi in forma”. Nucis Germany. Project: “Update Ernährungsmedizin” (Nutritional Medicine Congress Update). Moreover, INC is allocating nearly 200,000 euros to a Global Dissemination Program to encourage the use of nuts and dried fruits as a top of mind product.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-to-grant-e350000-in-2017-to-nuts-and-dried-fruits-research-and-disseminationNut Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer and MortalityAn international team of researchers has conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies of nut consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality to provide a current and comprehensive assessment of the available evidence. Pubmed and EMBASE databases were used to search published prospective studies of nut intake among adult populations and incidence or mortality of the diseases mentioned above. Twenty studies were included in the meta-analysis and results concluded that a higher nut consumption is associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality, and possibly mortality from diabetes, respiratory disease and infectious disease. They estimated that approximately 4.4 million deaths in North and South America, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific may be attributable to a nut intake below 20 grams per day. The study was recently published in BMC Medicine journal. Aune, D., Keum, N., Giovannucci, E., Fadnes, L. T., Boffetta, P., Greenwood, D. C., ... & Norat, T. (2016). Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMC Medicine.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-and-risk-of-cardiovascular-disease-cancer-and-mortalityWalnut Inclusion in the Diet of Adults at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes and Dietary Pattern ChangesA recent scientific study has observed the food groups displaced during walnut inclusion in the diets of adults with prediabetes. The participants in the study (31 men and 81 women) were randomly assigned to a diet with or without dietary counseling to regulate calorie intake. Within each treatment they were further randomized to receive a walnut-included diet with 56 g of walnuts per day or a walnut-excluded diet. According to the results of the study, the ingestion of healthful fatty acids, seafood and plant protein foods significantly increased with walnut inclusion, compared with their exclusion. Their data suggest that adding walnuts to the diets of adults at risk for type 2 diabetes may led to an increase in intake of more healthful foods. Njike, V. Y., Yarandi, N., Petraro, P., Ayettey, R. G., Treu, J. A., & Katz, D. L. (2016). Inclusion of walnut in the diets of adults at risk for type 2 diabetes and their dietary pattern changes: a randomized, controlled, cross-over trial. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, 4(1), e000293.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/walnut-inclusion-in-the-diet-of-adults-at-risk-for-type-2-diabetes-and-dietary-pattern-changesAlmond Consumption during Energy Restriction May Help Lower Truncal Fat and Blood PressureThis study recently published in The Journal of Nutrition has evaluated the effects of consuming almonds as part of an energy-restricted diet on body composition and blood pressure, compared to a nut-free energy-restricted diet. 86 participants were randomized in a 12 weeks controlled clinical trial and were assigned to one of two energy-restricted (500-kcal deficit/d) diets: an almond-enriched diet (15% energy from almonds) or a nut-free diet. Results concluded that a moderate almond consumption in overweight and obese individuals during energy restriction diet may help to lower truncal and total body fat as well as diastolic blood pressure, and therefore may help to reduce metabolic disease risk in obesity. Dhillon, J., Tan, S. Y., & Mattes, R. D. (2016). Almond Consumption during Energy Restriction Lowers Truncal Fat and Blood Pressure in Compliant Overweight or Obese Adults. The Journal of Nutrition, jn238444.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/almond-consumption-during-energy-restriction-may-help-lower-truncal-fat-and-blood-pressureEffects of Walnut Consumption on MoodA recent study published in Nutrients investigated the effect of walnuts on mood in a population of healthy young volunteers. Sixty-four subjects were randomly assigned to one of the two study groups: walnuts-placebo and placebo-walnuts. Participants were asked to consume three slices of banana bread every day for sixteen weeks (eight weeks banana bread with walnuts and eight weeks banana bread without walnuts). The mood of the students was tested at baseline and at the end of each of the two eight-week treatment periods. The Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire was used to estimate the intensity of mood disturbance in the participants. In non-depressed healthy young males, regular walnut consumption seems to have the ability to improve mood. In conclusion, in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled feeding trial, supplementation with walnuts was able to improve mood in healthy, non-depressed males. No effect on mood was observed in females.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/effects-walnut-consumption-moodEffects of Cranberries on Gut Microbiota and Cardiometabolic HealthEmerging evidence of the effects of cranberries on health could expand their role in modulating gut microbiota and cardiometabolic functions, according to a new study published in the Advances in Nutrition. The paper, prepared from the proceedings of the Cranberry Health Research Conference (Madison, USA, 12-15 October 2015) reviews the advances in the fields of gut microbiota and cardiometabolic health in the last 5 years. Gut microbiota is now considered as a key factor in nutrition and health, affecting the bioavailability and metabolism of foods and influencing body systems, such as brain and immune functions. Cranberry constituents (proanthocyanidins, flavonols and hydroxycinnamic acids in particular) have been associated with potential benefits on gastrointestinal pathogens and inflammation. As for cardiometabolic health, there is a limited but growing body of evidence that associates cranberries to favorable effects, including serum lipid profiles, blood pressure, endothelial function, glucoregulation, and a variety of biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress. Blumberg JB, Basu A, Krueger CG, Lila MA, Neto CC, Novotny JA, Reed JD, Rodriguez-Mateos A, Toner CD. Impact of Cranberries on Gut Microbiota and Cardiometabolic Health: Proceedings of the Cranberry Health Research Conference 2015. Adv Nutr. 2016 Jul 15;7(4):759S-70S.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/effects-of-cranberries-on-gut-microbiota-and-cardiometabolic-healthNuts, Obesity and Diabetes at the 34th International Symposium on Diabetes and NutritionNut research was highlighted recently at the 34th International Symposium on Diabetes and Nutrition, which was held in Prague, Czech Republic, June 29 - July 1, 2016. Nuts and health were discussed at the INC-sponsored session “Nuts, Obesity and Diabetes”, which consisted of five plenary lectures, an oral abstract presentation and a panel discussion, and brought together 150 scientists, physicians and dietitians to learn and debate about the health benefits of nut consumption. The first lecture, “Nuts, pulses and insulin resistance, evidence of modulation by several mechanisms” was presented by Dr Mònica Bulló from Rovira i Virgili University, Spain. Dr Bulló outlined that regular consumption of nuts could have an important glucose and insulin-lowering effect. The second lecture “Nuts consumption in diabetes prevention and treatment” was presented by Dr Cyril Kendall from the University of Toronto, Canada. He described the mechanisms through which nuts can positively affect postprandial plasma glucose excursions and glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. He added that epidemiological and clinical data indicate that tree nuts pose little risk for weight gain. The third lecture, presented by Dr Marialaura Bonaccio from the Mediterranean Neurological Institute in Italy, was “Nut consumption and total and specific cause of mortality”. She talked about the beneficial effects of nut consumption on all-cause and cause-specific mortality grounded on consistent evidence, as well as the need to confirm the dose-response relationship. Dr Emilio Ros from the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, Spain, gave the lecture “Nut consumption and cognitive function”, in which he summarized the studies that have associated frequent nut consumption with better cognitive function. He also informed about a running randomized controlled study on the effect of daily consumption of walnuts on age-related cognitive decline in healthy elderly subjects. The fifth lecture, “Nut consumption and metabolic syndrome prevention and treatment” was given by Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó from Rovira i Virgili University, Spain. He talked about the research that has been conducted over the past years on the effect of nut consumption on diabetes incidence, postprandial plasma glucose, glucose metabolism, insulin resistance, inflammation and related metabolic risk markers. The video of the presentations is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJSUPERGNbA. More informationhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-obesity-and-diabetes-at-the-34th-international-symposium-on-diabetes-and-nutritionNew INC Research GrantWe are pleased to announce a new INC Call for Research Projects. The objective of this grant is to fund clinical and/or epidemiological research that may contribute to enhance the understanding of the health effects of the less studied tree nuts, specifically Amazonia (Brazil) nuts, cashews, macadamias, pecans and pine nuts. The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council Foundation (INC) calls for research projects from researchers from public and private institutions, as well as not-for-profit organizations, and encourages multi-institutional, cooperative projects that bridge different research areas, as the interaction of disciplines and research groups often leads to new knowledge and understanding of correlations. Research topic: The effect of tree nut consumption on lipid profile and other classic or emergent cardiovascular risk factors. Research proposals can include one or more of the above mentioned tree nuts. However, projects that compare tree nuts will not be accepted. Up to 150,000 EUR is available for this grant. This call is for both co-funded and non co-funded projects. Co-funded projects will be scored more favorably. Applications due by: 30 November 2016. Both the Guidelines and the Application Form ara available at http://www.nutfruit.org/what-we-do/health-nutrition/funding-opportunities/. For further information, please contact Ms Irene Gironès, Scientific and Technical Projects Manager, at irene.girones@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-inc-research-grantPerception of Food Allergen Thresholds, First International SurveyThe attitudes of consumers about food allergy thresholds and food purchasing habits have been explored for the first time in a study published in Allergy, the official journal of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Findings suggest that the understanding of food allergen thresholds and precautionary allergen labelling is limited. Researchers conducted a population-based online survey completed by 9,689 respondents (subjects with food allergy, with a family/household that had a food allergy or caregivers of someone with a food allergy) from 16 countries. The online survey asked questions about the influence of food labeling on purchasing habits, knowledge about thresholds and opinions about thresholds and food choices. The results of the study found that 19% of participants reported that they would be willing to purchase foods containing their allergen if the amount would be incapable of causing an allergic reaction. If the amount of allergen would cause a mild allergic reaction, only 3% would purchase it. Regarding the Precautionary Advisory Labeling, less than half of respondents would purchase food with a “may contain” (16%), “may contain traces of allergen” (25%), and “manufactured in a facility that also processes allergen” (41%) statement. Marchisotto MJ, Harada L, Blumenstock JA, Bilaver LA, Waserman S, Sicherer S, Boloh Y, Regent L, Said M, Schnadt S, Allen KJ, Muraro A, Taylor SL, Gupta RS. Global perceptions of food allergy thresholds in 16 countries. Allergy. 2016 Aug;71(8):1081-5.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/perception-of-food-allergen-thresholds-first-international-surveyNew Study Reviews the Phenolics, Bioavailability and Health Benfits of NutsA team of researchers from Canada, USA, Turkey and Malaysia have reviewed the various phenolic compounds that have been reported in nuts and their co-products in terms of their processing (roasting) effect, antioxidant activity, bioavailability and health benefits. Nuts and their co-products (skin, hard shell, green leafy cover, hull, leaf…) have been found to be rich sources of phenolics that are associated with various health benefits, including antioxidant, antiinflammatory, prebiotic, anti-microbial, chemopreventive and hypocholesterolaemic. Among others, the review concludes that the inclusion of nuts and their co-products into the human diet is highly recommended as their phenolic compounds may provide valuable sources of natural antioxidants. The study “Nuts and their co-products: The impact of processing (roasting) on phenolics, bioavailability, and health benefits - A comprehensive review” has been published in the Journal of Functional Foods (2016; 26: 88-122).https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-study-reviews-the-phenolics-bioavailability-and-health-benfits-of-nutsTree Nut Consumption and Inflammatory BiomarkersPRESS RELEASE Davis, CA, July 27, 2016 - In a cross-sectional analysis published online today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition(i), researchers looked at the association between habitual nut consumption and inflammatory biomarkers among 5,013 men and women participating in two ongoing prospective cohort studies: the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study.  Higher nut intake (5 or more times per week) was associated with lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and Interleukin 6 (IL6). Both of these compounds increase in the body when there is inflammation, which can lead to chronic disease. According to Ying Bao, MD, ScD, from the Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and the senior author of the paper, “Substituting three servings per week of tree nuts for three servings per week of red meat, processed meat, or eggs was associated with significantly lower CRP (all P<0.0001) and IL6 (P ranges from 0.01 to 0.04); lower CRP concentrations were also observed when substituting three servings per week of tree nuts for refined grains (P=0.0008).” Elevated CRP levels have been shown to predict the development of both cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and IL6 has been associated with cardio-metabolic risk. Previous research has shown that consuming tree nuts can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Nuts contain a number of important components such as magnesium, fiber, antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids-all of which may aid in protecting against inflammation. Interestingly, research has also shown that nut consumption may be inversely related to body mass index (BMI), which is a strong determinant of inflammatory biomarkers. In fact, weight loss has been repeatedly shown to be associated with a decrease in levels of inflammatory biomarkers. Therefore, the researchers suggest, the associations between nut intake and inflammatory markers may be mediated in part through BMI. “This is yet another piece of evidence showing that people should include more nuts in their diet,” states Maureen Ternus, M.S., R.D., Executive Director of the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (INC NREF). “Just a handful of tree nuts (1.5 ounces or 1/3 cup) every day can result in numerous health benefits.” # # # The International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (INC NREF) represents the research and education arm of the International Tree Nut Council (INC).  INC is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to supporting nutrition research and education for consumers and health professionals throughout the world and promoting new product development for tree nut products.  Members include those associations and organizations that represent the nine tree nuts (almonds, Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts) in more than 40 producing countries. For more information, please visit our website at www.nuthealth.org. You can also find us on social media at https://www.facebook.com/NutHealthOrg and https://twitter.com/NutHealthOrg. (i)Yu, Z., V.S. Malik, N, Keum, F.B. Hu, E.L. Giovannucci, M.J. Stampfer, W.C. Willett, C.S. Fuchs, Y. Bao, 2016. Associations between nut consumption and inflammatory Biomarkers. AJCN, First published ahead of print July 27, 2016 as doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.134205.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/tree-nut-consumption-and-inflammatory-biomarkersTree Nuts Consumption Associated to Better Nutrient AdequacyA new study, recently published in Nutrients, suggests that tree nut consumers have better nutrient adequacy than non-tree nuts consumers. Researches used the data of the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey 2005-2010 to assess the relation of tree nut consumption by adults (14,386 participants) with nutrient adequacy and diet quality. They found that consumers of tree nuts had a higher percentage of the population above the Adequate Intake for fiber and potassium as well as a higher Healthy Eating Index-2005 total score. This study suggests that health professionals should encourage the use of tree nuts as part of a dietary approach to healthy eating. O'Neil CE, Nicklas TA, Fulgoni VL 3rd. Tree Nut Consumption Is Associated with Better Nutrient Adequacy and Diet Quality in Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005–2010. Nutrients 2015, 7, 595-607.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/tree-nuts-consumption-associated-to-better-nutrient-adequacyTree Nut Consumption May be Linked to Reduced Prostate Cancer MortalityA recent study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, has found an association between tree nut consumption and a reduced risk of overall mortality in men who had prostate cancer. During the study, the research team led by Dr Yin Bao, from the Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, conducted an incidence analysis and case-only survival analysis in more than 47,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The objective of the study was to analyse the association between nut consumption and prostate cancer risk and mortality. Results showed that while tree nut consumption was not statistically associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, men who had prostate cancer and consumed tree nuts five or more times per week had a 34% lower risk of overall mortality compared to those who barely consumed any tree nuts. This study was supported by a grant from the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (INC-NREF). Wang W, Yang M, Kenfield SA, Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Fuchs CS, Giovannucci EL and Bao Y. Nut consumption and prostate cancer risk and mortality. British Journal of Cancer. June. 2016https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/tree-nut-consumption-may-be-linked-to-reduced-prostate-cancer-mortalityMediterranean Diet Enriched in Nuts Does Not Lead to Weight Gain, According to New ResearchA Mediterranean diet rich in plant-based fats, from sources such as nuts or extra virgin olive oil, and without calorie restriction, has been linked to weight loss and less gain in waist circumference compared to a low fat diet, according to a large randomized trial published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. With this new finding, the PREDIMED (PREvención con DIeta MEDiterranea) study suggests that current dietary guidelines which recommend a low-fat, low-calorie diet may create unnecessary fear of healthy fats which are abundant in a Mediterranean diet. “Previous recommendations should change since the Mediterranean Diet, with plant-based fats, does not imply weight gain”, adds Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, member of the research team. The study took place in 11 hospitals in Spain from 2003-2010 and included 7,447 participants who were assigned to one of three intervention groups: an unrestricted- calorie Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil; an unrestricted- calorie Mediterranean Diet supplemented with walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts; or a low-fat diet with advice to reduce dietary fat. All participants were at high cardiovascular risk and more than 90% were overweight or obese. All subjects lost weight during the follow-up, although those in the olive oil group lost more weight (0.88 kg weight reduction in the olive oil group compared to 0.60 kg in the low-fat diet group, and 0.40 kg in the nuts group). There was an increase in waist circumference in all three groups with the greatest increase seen in the low-fat diet group (1.2 cm increase for the low-fat diet group compared to 0.85 cm for the olive oil group and 0.37 cm for the nuts group). The authors concluded that “these results lend support to advice not restricting intake of healthy fats for bodyweight maintenance”.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/mediterranean-diet-enriched-in-nuts-does-not-lead-to-weight-gain-according-to-new-researchStudy Finds Association of Nut Intake with Reduced Colorectal Cancer RiskA new study presented in the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in New Orleans, USA, April 16-20, 2016, has found a significant association between higher nuts intake and reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Researches from South Korea examined the relationship between nuts consumption and colorectal cancer risk in a case-control study. Information on dietary intake was collected from 923 colorectal cancer patients and 1,846 controls. The results of the study found a statistically significant association between higher nuts consumption and reduced risk of colorectal cancer in both men and women. The relationship between nut consumption and risk of colorectal cancer. J. Lee, A. Shin, J. Lee, J. W. Park, J. H. Oh, J. Kim.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/study-finds-association-of-nut-intake-with-reduced-colorectal-cancer-riskAflatoxin Update by IUFoSTOn 18 April 2016, the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) released a summary of the most recent information on Aflatoxins for the global food science and technology community. The purpose of the summary is to highlight reports from two expert sources on health impact: the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). WHO’s report estimates the global incidence of the foodborne disease, mortality and disease burden, while the IARC report focuses on the overall health impact of aflatoxin and fumonisin in developing countries. The sorting technology has been identified by the IARC as one of the few measures that can effectively reduce aflatoxin exposure. The IUFoST Food Safety Committee in collaboration with young food scientists from Africa have developed a project proposal that is intended to promote the introduction of peanut sorting technology in Africa. Pilot visual/manual sorting facilities will be established at departments of food science and technology at universities in several African countries with the aim of training students as well as staff of small- and medium-size peanut processing facilities in the method. More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/aflatoxin-update-by-iufostEating Nuts Can Help Decrease Between 30-50% the Risk of Coronary Heart DiseaseIn the context of the No Diet Day, celebrated on May 6th, the INC (International Nut and Dried Fruit Council) would like to highlight the importance of eating in a healthy and balanced way on a daily basis, controlling our weight and maintaining a good health. In 2010, it was estimated that 3-4 million adult deaths worldwide were attributable to obesity and overweight. Since obesity has become a major public health problem and is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, researchers have been studying to determine if nut consumption decreases the risk of obesity and Metabolic Syndrome, a cluster of multiple metabolic risk factors, shown to be associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In 1998, a continuing survey of food intake by individuals conducted by the US Department of Agriculture compared body mass index from nut eaters and non-nut eaters. This survey showed that young and adult eaters had a lower body mass index. Also, a study conducted in 1999 by the School of Public Health in Loma Linda University concluded that there is a substantial and similar reduction in cardiovascular disease risk for individuals consuming nuts more than 5 times a week. Specifically, this study showed that people with either low or high body mass index who had consumed nuts by 4-5 times a week compared with the ones who did it 1 or less times per week had a reduction of 30-50% risk of coronary heart disease. Nuts and Metabolic Syndrome Moreover, nut consumption has been associated with a lower incidence of Metabolic Syndrome, a cluster of multiple metabolic risk factors, such as obesity, shown to be associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In fact, the SUN (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra) cohort concluded in 2012 that two or more servings of nuts per week (tree nuts and peanuts) were associated with lower incidence of Metabolic Syndrome. Furthermore, in the PREDIMED trial a reversal of this syndrome was observed with Mediterranean diet enhanced with mixed tree nuts. In 2014, a study of the Loma Linda California concluded that high consumers of tree nuts (16g/day) had lowest prevalence of obesity and also lower odds of Metabolic Syndrome. Specifically, the study showed that one serving of tree nuts per week (28g/week) was significantly associated with 7% less Metabolic Syndrome.  In 2013 the PREDIMED intervention study (Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea) randomized trial with subjects at high cardiovascular risk provided evidence that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed tree nuts was associated with a 18% relative risk reduction of diabetes and a relative risk reduction of 30% of major cardiovascular events.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eating-nuts-can-help-decrease-risk-of-coronary-heart-diseasePlant Protein, Including Peanuts, Linked to Lower Risk of DiabetesA new study from the Harvard School of Public Health indicates that plant protein, including peanuts and peanut butter, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health examined long-term intake of total, animal, and vegetable protein in relation to risk of T2D in more than 205,000 men and women. The study surveyed 72,992 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1984-2008), 92,088 women from Nurses’ Health Study II (1991-2009) and 40,722 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2008). The study concluded that higher intake of animal protein was associated with an increased risk of T2D, while higher intake of vegetable protein was associated with a modestly reduced risk. Peanuts and peanut butter were among the top sources of plant protein consumed in the study. The study was released by the American Journal of Epidemiology on 28 March 2016. Malik VS, Li Y, Tobias DK, Pan A, Hu FB. Dietary Protein Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women. Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Mar 28.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/plant-protein-including-peanuts-linked-to-lower-risk-of-diabetesWalnuts Most Sensitive to Climate ChangeAccording to a new study published in California Agriculture, walnuts were the most vulnerable tree crop to climate change. Researchers at UC Davis examined the impact of climate change in 12 important crops in Yolo County, California. To do so, they used a century of climate data and six decades of acreage data, in order to establish a quantitative economic relationships between the evolution of local climate and acreage of the crops. The results of the study found that current trend of chill hours reduction does not represent major concerns for grapes or almonds, but it could become binding for walnuts -these three crops account for more than 90% of tree and vine acreage in Yolo County. Lee, H., & Sumner, D. Modeling the effects of local climate change on crop acreage. California Agriculture. 2016. 70(1), 9-14.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/walnuts-most-sensitive-to-climate-changeExperimental Biology MeetingNew research has been recently highlighted at the Experimental Biology (EB) Meeting in San Diego, California, April 2-6, 2016. More than 20 abstracts on nut research and 6 abstracts on dried fruit research have been presented, either orally or as posters. This new research presented at EB expands on the current body of scientific evidence supporting the link between nuts and dried fruits and overall health. The majority of abstracts represented walnuts, almonds, prunes and pistachios. There are also studies with pecans, pine nuts, peanuts, dates and raisins. EB is an annual meeting comprised of more than 14,000 scientists and exhibitors. This multidisciplinary, scientific annual meeting of professional research scientists features fields of study such as anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, investigative pathology, nutrition, pharmacology, and physiology. Below are some of the research projects EB has featured. Tree nuts: Nut Intake and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in the Adventist Health Study-2. S.S. El-Amari, S. Dehom, J. Sabate. Sch. of Publ. Hlth., Loma Linda Univ. Effects of Polyphenolic-Rich Dark Chocolate and Almonds on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Adults. Y. Lee, C. Berryman, S. West, C-Y.O. Chen, J. Blumberg, A. Preston, K. Lapsley, J. Fleming, P. KrisEtherton. Penn State, USDA at Tufts Univ., Hershey Co., PA and Almond Bd. of California, Modesto. Daily Almond Consumption Reduces Fasting Total, LDL and non-HDL Cholesterol and Body Fat Mass in Healthy Young Korean Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Trial. H. Park, Y. Liu, Y. Song, H-S. Kim. ICAN Nutr. Educ. and Res., Seoul and Sookmyung Women’s Univ., South Korea. Amelioration of Cardiometabolic Risk Factors with a Pecan-Rich Diet in Overweight and Obese Adults. D.L. McKay, M. Eliasziw, C-Y.O. Chen, J.B. Blumberg. USDA, Friedman Sch. of Nutr. Sci. and Policy and Sch. of Med., Tufts Univ. In Vitro and In Vivo Antioxidant Potential of Pistachios (Pistacia vera L.). G. Mandalari, I. Paterniti, E. Esposito, A. Carughi, S. Cuzzocrea. Univ. of Messina and American Pistachio Growers, Fresno, CA. Bioactive Components from Pistachios Reduce Adipogenesis and Suppress Inflammatory Gene Expression In Vitro. M.H. Grace, D. Esposito, J. Xiong, M. Timmers, S. Komarnytsky, M.A. Lila. North Carolina State Univ., Kannapolis. Effect of a 1-Year Walnut Supplementation on Blood Lipids among Older Individuals: Findings from the Walnuts and Healthy Aging Study. Ros, S. Rajaram, A. Sala-Vila, M. Serra-Mir, C. Valls-Pedret, M. Cofán, I. Roth, M. Doménech, T. Freitas, C. Calvo, E. Haddad, J. Sabaté. Hosp. Clin., Barcelona and Loma Linda Univ. Does a Daily Walnut Supplement Given for a Year Result in Body Weight Gain? Bitok, S. Rajaram, E. Ros, N, Kazzi, L. Huey, K. Jaceldo, D. Juma, M. Cofán, C. Calvo, J. Sabaté. Loma Linda Univ. Sch. of Publ. Hlth. And Hosp. Clin., Barcelona. Peanuts: Changes in Dietary Profiles, Markers of Cardiometabolic Health and Cognitive Function following 12 Weeks of Peanut Consumption. A. Coates, J. Barbour, J. Buckley, J. Bryan, P. Howe. Univ. of South Australia and Univ. of Newcastle, Australia. Dried Fruits: California Dates Have a Low Glycemic Index as Determined by Both In Vitro and In Vivo Methods. C.J. Rainey. Date Res. Inst., San Juan Capistrano. Dried Plum Consumption Improves Antioxidant Capacity and Reduces Inflammation in Postmenopausal Women. M. Nakamichi-Lee, S. Hooshmand, Kern, A. Ahouraei, M.Y. Hong. Sch. of Exer. & Nutr. Sci., San Diego State Univ. Dried Plums Modify Fecal Short Chain Fatty Acid Concentrations and Gene Expression in a Rat Model of Colon Carcinogenesis. D.V. Seidel, K.K. Hicks, S.S. Taddeo, M.A. Azcarate-Peril, R.J. Carroll, N.D. Turner. Texas A&M Univ. and Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Raisin Consumption Is Associated with Increased Nutrient Intake, Better Diet Quality, and Lower Body Mass Index in Adult Participants (19+ Years) from the NHANES (2001-2012). V.L. Fulgoni III, C.E. O’Neil, J. Painter, A. Carughi. Nutr. Impact LLC, Battle Creek, MI, LSU AgCtr., Baton Rouge, Univ. of Texas, South Padre Island and SunMaid Growers of California, Kingsburg. More informationhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/experimental-biology-meetingWalnuts May Contribute to Healthy AgingAccording to a recent study presented at the Experimental Biology Meeting, daily consumption of walnuts during one year in elderly participants results in significant LDL-cholesterol reduction. Researchers from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona (Spain) and Loma Linda University (California) randomized 707 healthy older adults in order to assess whether adding walnuts to the daily diet for one year would result in changes in blood lipids compared to the usual diet without nuts. According to the outcomes of the study, participants who followed the walnut-diet reduced significantly the LDL-cholesterol without adverse effects on body weight, compared with participants who did not eat walnuts. Results were similar with a Mediterranean or a Western background diet. Funded by the California Walnut Commission, the Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA) study is a two-year clinical trial aimed at determining the effect of walnuts on age-related health issues. This will be the first large study to test if walnuts play a part in healthy aging, particularly with regard to cognition, eye health, inflammation, risk factors for heart disease, and nutritional status. The study has been presented at the Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego, California, April 2-6, 2016. Ros E, Rajaram S, Sala-Vila A, Serra-Mir M, Valls-Pedret C, Cofán M, Roth I, Doménech M, Freitas T, Calvo C, Haddad E, Sabaté J. Effect of a 1-Year Walnut Supplementation on Blood Lipids among Older Individuals: Findings from the Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA) study. The FASEB Journal, April 2016, Vol. 30, No. 1 Supplement 293.4.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/walnuts-may-contribute-to-healthy-agingFrequent Nut Consumption Can Help to Prevent Diabetes and Improve Blood Glucose ControlThe World Health Organization celebrates the World Health Day on April 7th. This year, WHO is focusing on diabetes in order to increase awareness about its rise and staggering burden and consequences, in particular in low-and middle-income countries. The International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC) wants to raise awareness about the importance of nuts in the treatment and prevention of this disease. The number of people with diabetes has increased dramatically in the last 30 years and current studies predict an increase of 50% prevalence of type 2 diabetes worldwide in 2030. Cyril Kendall, PhD at the department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, explains that this increase of prevalence is linked to our changing lifestyle. “We are becoming less active and our diet is becoming overly processed. This unhealthy diet not only increases blood glucose levels but it also leads to an increase in body weight which further increases the risk of developing diabetes”. Kendall, who has been studying the relation of nut consumption and diabetes, says that “based on the current scientific evidence, nuts may play an important role in improving the risk factors for this disease. Population studies have shown that frequent nut consumption is inversely associated to diabetes development and clinical studies indicate that nuts can help to improve blood glucose control in diabetes”. In fact, nut consumption has been associated with beneficial effects on glucose and insulin levels, according to the latest studies about the relationship between nut intake and type 2 diabetes (T2D). The PREDIMED study concluded that the results of two Mediterranean Diet groups which added extra virgin olive oil and nuts reduced the risk to suffer diabetes by 52%. In addition, researchers at the Human Nutrition Unit, from Rovira i Virgili University, have proven that the intake of two ounces (57 g) of pistachios per day has a significant effect: it decreases fasting glucose, and favors insulin and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. Also, researchers at the Shih-Chien University and the Chang Gung University of Science and Tech (Taiwan), have shown that 60 g/day almond consumption improved glycemic control in patients with T2D. In addition, researchers from the University of Toronto have performed a meta-analysis of 12 studies into the effects of nuts on health. They have found that consuming about two ounces (56 g) of tree nuts per day significantly decreases triglycerides and fasting blood glucose and helps glycemic control in those patients with type 2 diabetes. Currently, about 400 million people (more than 5% of the world’s population) have T2D. It is estimated that by 2035 there will be almost 600 million people living with T2D and almost 900 million people with pre-diabetes, a silent state associated with a high risk of several deadly conditions including T2D, heart disease, hypertension, strokes and early death.  In 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes, and more than 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/frequent-nut-consumption-can-help-to-prevent-diabetes-and-improve-blood-glucose-controlAnnual Call for Research and Dissemination ProjectsOn 16 December 2015, INC launched its annual Call for Research Projects and Call for Promotion and Dissemination Projects, both with due date for submission February 29, 2016. The Call for Research Projects accepted clinic, epidemiological, basic and strategic research that may contribute to enhance the understanding of the health effects of nuts and dried fruits. This call was open for public and private institutions, as well as not-for-profit organizations, and encouraged cooperative research. Up to 200,000 € are available for the research grant. The Call for Promotion and Dissemination Projects was launched for projects aimed at building consumer demand for nuts and dried fruits worldwide. INC will fund projects aimed at increasing the use and consumption of nuts and dried fruits, whenever such projects are beyond the scope of the INC, e.g. projects that cannot fit within its regular activity. This call was also open for projects from public and private institutions, as well as not-for-profit organizations, and encouraged cooperative projects implying INC associate members and industry-related partners. Up to 50,000 € are available for this grant. On 29 February 2016, INC had received 11 applications from 6 countries for the Research Grant, and 3 applications from 3 countries for the Dissemination Grant. The projects will be peer-reviewed by the Evaluating Committee of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination, however the final decision will be made by the INC Executive Committee at the XXXV World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, in San Diego, California, 30 May - 1 June 2016.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/annual-call-for-research-and-dissemination-projects-2Dried Plums May prevent Bone Loss after Radiation ExposureA new study recently published in Scientific Report, has shown that dietary supplementation with dried plums may prevent the skeletal effects of radiation exposures either in space or on Earth. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and Veterans Affairs, Irvine and Texas A&M University evaluated the effect of various antioxidant or anti-inflammatory interventions (antioxidant cocktail, dihydrolipoic acid, ibuprofen, dried plum) on mice that received radiation. According to the results, dried plum was most effective in reducing bone loss due to unavoidable exposure to space radiation or radiation therapy. Schreurs AS, Shirazi-Fard Y, Shahnazari M, Alwood JS, Truong TA, Tahimic CG, Limoli CL, Turner ND, Halloran B, Globus RK. Dried plum diet protects from bone loss caused by ionizing radiation. Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 11;6:21343.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/dried-plums-may-prevent-bone-loss-after-radiation-exposureAncestors of Cultivated Peanut DNA SequencedThe journal Nature Genetics has recently published the study “The genome sequences of Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis, the diploid ancestors of cultivated peanut”. In this study, for the first time, the genome sequences of the peanut diploid ancestors (Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis) are reported. These findings set the first step to characterizing the genome of cultivated peanut. The breakthrough was made by researchers of The International Peanut Genome Initiative, and has been regarded as a committed step by the world-wide peanut research community to meet the needs of the peanut industry through genomics and biotechnology. Bertioli DJ, Cannon SB, Froenicke L, Huang G, Farmer AD, Cannon EK, et al. The genome sequences of Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis, the diploid ancestors of cultivated peanut. Nat Genet. 2016 Feb 22.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/ancestors-of-cultivated-peanut-dna-sequencedPistachios Can Help Lose Weight and Decrease the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and DiabetesA varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle is key to good health and pistachios contribute to both. They have many nutrients such as fiber, potassium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins (B6, E, K…) that make pistachios a healthy and satisfying snack. In the context of the World Pistachio Day, celebrated on February 26th, the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council summarizes the scientific review “Nutrition attributes and health effects of pistachio nuts”  which analyzed more than 100 research studies and clinical trials regarding the effects of nuts with a special focus on pistachios in human health, specifically in cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, insulin resistance and body weight. Pistachios and obesity Studies have shown the inclusion of pistachios on a healthy diet does not increase body weight. Fiber is important for weight management and to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease as several studies have consistently demonstrated. Pistachios are rich in fiber (containing 10% by weight of insoluble form). Many studies have provided strong evidence that nut consumption is associated with neither weight gain nor increased risk of obesity. Specially, the study of Dr Li and her team at the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Human Nutrition (USA), showed strong evidence that the intake of pistachios as a snack may lead to a higher reduction of body mass index compared with a refined carbohydrate snack. Pistachios and cardiovascular disease Pistachios are a good source of L-arginine, an amino acid is involved in the cardiovascular system as a key regulator of vascular tone. L-arginine is also involved in numerous pathological conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disorders.  Pistachios deliver a broad range of nutrients and bioactive compounds that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease such as fiber, healthy fats, phytosterols and antioxidant compounds including polyphenols. Also, pistachios are high in fiber and have potassium to help maintain normal blood pressure and muscle function; chromium to help maintain normal blood glucose levels, and copper to help support normal function of the immune system. Pistachios are also high in unsaturated fats. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet can help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels. Pistachios and type 2 diabetes Studies have shown the frequency nut intake is inversely related to the risk of type 2 diabetes (or the higher the consumption of nuts the lower the risk of diabetes), mainly attributed to anti-inflammatory compounds. Pistachios have a low glycemic index which contributes to lower post-prandial blood glucose levels and maintaining satiety longer. It also may be a factor in maintaining glycemic control. Another benefits Among all this benefits, pistachios also provide energy to help muscle maintenance. Pistachios have magnesium to support normal functioning of the nervous system; iron for normal oxygen transport in the body; folate to help reduce tiredness and fatigue; zinc which supports the maintenance of normal vision; thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B6 which contribute to normal energy metabolism; vitamin E, selenium and zinc which contribute to protection of cells from oxidative stress.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/pistachios-can-help-lose-weight-and-decrease-the-tisk-of-cardiovascular-disease-and-diabetesNutrient Charts UpdateINC nutrient charts of nuts and dried fruits have been updated according to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28 (2015). The charts are available for 100 gr and 1 oz. Few modifications have been observed compared to the previous year. The only changes in this version were in pistachios and sweetened dried cranberries due to the addition of new references. Some minor changes have been observed in the lipid composition and vitamin content of pistachios. As for sweetened dried cranberries, significant changes were made in proteins, lipids, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. For instance, vitamin K increased from 3.8 to 7.6 mcg/100 g and Lutein + zeaxanthin increased up to 138 mcg/100 g, up 318% compared to the previous year. Brief charts: Nutrients in 100 grams of Nuts and Dried Fruits Nutrients in 1 Ounce of Nuts and Dried Fruits The complete charts can be found here. The US Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference is developed by the USDA's Nutrient Data Laboratory, the mission of which is to develop authoritative food composition databases and state of the art methods to acquire, evaluate, compile and disseminate composition data on foods and dietary supplements.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nutrient-charts-update-2New 2015-2020 American Dietary Guidelines Confirm Nuts are Part of a Healthy DietFor the first time, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasize healthy eating through overall diet patterns. Previous editions focused primarily on individual dietary components such as food groups and nutrients. However, people do not eat food groups and nutrients in isolation but rather in combination, and the totality of the diet forms an overall eating pattern. Among the Key Recommendations, the Guidelines state that a healthy eating pattern includes a variety of protein foods, including nuts. Recommended servings for US-style, Mediterranean-style and vegetarian eating patterns for 2,000 calories/day: Fruits: US: 2 cups/day Mediterranean: 2 ½ cups/day Vegetarian: 2 cups/day Nuts, seeds, soy products: US: 4 ounces/week Mediterranean: 5 ounces/wee Vegetarian: 14 ounces/week More informationhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-2015-2020-american-dietary-guidelines-confirm-nuts-are-part-of-a-healthy-dietNut Consumption May Reduce Incidence of Breast and Colon CancerAdding nuts to your diet is associated to a reduction in the risk of cancer. This is the main conclusion of multiple studies that have shown that eating 2 or 3 servings per week (57-84 g) of nuts, such as peanuts, walnuts or almonds, is associated to a reduction in the risk of some types of cancer (breast, colon, pancreatic and lung cancer). A study by Dr Soriano-Hernandez and his team at the University of Colima (México) has concluded that frequent consumption of peanuts, walnuts or almonds is associated to a reduced risk of breast cancer by a factor of 2 or 3. Researchers analysed 97 patients with breast cancer and 104 control subjects who did not have the pathology. Another study from Brigham and Women&#39;s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (USA) showed that eating 2 servings of nuts per week during adolescence is associated to a 36% lower risk of breast cancer compared to women consuming less than 1 serving per month. Different studies have shown that nut consumption can reduce the incidence of colon cancer as well. In 2004, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition showed a reduced incidence of colon cancer in women who ate an average of 16 g of nuts and seeds daily. This study revealed that women who consumed more than 6.2 g per day of nuts and seeds was associated to a 31% lower risk of colon cancer. Earlier this year, a team of researchers from Brigham and Women&#39;s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (USA) found that women who consumed nuts twice or more per week (approx. 56 g per week) had a 13% lower risk of colorectal cancer compared with women who rarely consumed nuts. Furthermore, eating just 2 servings (56 g) is associated with a 32% lower risk of pancreatic cancer among women and researchers from the DCCPS National Cancer Institute (Maryland, United States) have reported that nut consumption was statistically associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer. The conclusion is that eating nuts is not only associated with a lower risk of cancer but also a reduced risk of death from cancer. These are the results of the PREDIMED study (PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea), which indicated last year that participants who habitually had 3 servings (57 g) per week of nuts enjoyed a 40% reduction in deaths from cancer.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-consumption-may-reduce-incidence-of-breast-and-colon-cancerFunding Opportunities: INC Research GrantWe are glad to announce that the INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council just launched its annual Research Grant and is inviting researchers to submit proposals. The aim of this grant is to promote clinic, epidemiological, basic and strategic research that may contribute to enhance the understanding of the health effects of nuts and dried fruits. This call is open for public and private institutions, as well as not-for-profit organizations, and encourages cooperative research. INC has a specific wish for cooperative projects that bridge different research areas, as the interaction of disciplines and research groups often leads to new knowledge and understanding of correlations. Applications due by: 29 February 2016. All projects must be submitted using the Application Form. Guidelines 200,000 EUR is available for the 2016 Research Grant. It will be standard practice to grant co-funded projects (up to 50 percent of the total cost of the project). Subsidizers may include public or private sector research organisations, as well as business and other partner organizations whenever these bring distinctive contributions to the research project. Salaries paid by the institution of origin are not considered co-funding. Exceptionally, the INC will finance all the expenses of a non co-funded project whenever the total expenditure does not exceed 50,000 EUR. 2016 Research Priorities: Nuts and/or dried fruits and cognitive function. Nuts and/or dried fruits and body weight and adipose tissue distribution. Combination of nuts and dried fruits and blood pressure, clotting factors and inflammatory markers. Combination of nuts and dried fruits and glycemic load and/or diabetes. Nuts and/or dried fruits in exercise performance. Nuts and/or dried fruits and intestinal microbiota. Nuts and/or dried fruits and metabolomics. Nuts and/or dried fruits as part of a healthy diet. Intervention trials on relevant clinical end points. Meta-analysis of clinical trials. For further information, please contact Ms Irene Gironès, Scientific and Technical Projects Manager, at irene.girones@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/funding-opportunities-inc-research-grantTree Nut Consumption May Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk FactorsA new study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that tree nut intake lowers total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, apolipoprotein B (ApoB), and triglycerides. Researchers from Tufts University in Boston conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials to examine the effects of tree nuts (walnuts, pistachios, macadamias, pecans, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts) on blood lipids [total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides], lipoproteins, blood pressure, and inflammation in adults, aged 18 or older, without prevalent cardiovascular disease (CVD). According to the results, tree nut consumption lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, ApoB, and triglycerides. The study also pointed out that the major determinant of cholesterol lowering appeared to be nut dose rather than nut type. The study was supported by the Nutrition Research and Education Foundation (NREF). Likewise, INC supports the research program of the NREF. Del Gobbo LC, Falk MC, Feldman R, Lewis K, Mozaffarian D. Effects of tree nuts on blood lipids, apolipoproteins, and blood pressure: systematic review, meta-analysis, and dose-response of 61 controlled intervention trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Nov 11.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/tree-nut-consumption-may-lower-cardiovascular-disease-risk-factorsWalnuts May Provide Less Calories than ThoughtA new study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that one 28-g serving of walnuts provide 146 calories (5.22 kcal/g), that is 39 calories less than the 185 calories (6.61 kcl/g) listed in the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. The team, led by Dr David J. Baer at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) studied 18 healthy adults, who participated in a fully controlled dietary feeding intervention. Each participant was assigned randomly to a sequence of two diets: a controlled diet without walnuts for a 3-week period, and a controlled diet with 42 grams of walnuts/day for another 3-week period. Administered diets, walnuts, and fecal and urine samples were subjected to bomb calorimetry, and the resulting data were used to calculate the metabolizable energy of the walnuts. Previous studies have shown that the metabolizable energy content of certain nuts is less than predicted by the Atwater factors. However, very few nuts have been investigated to date. The study was funded by the the United States Department of Agriculture and the California Walnut Commission. Baer DJ, Gebauer SK, Novotny JA. Walnuts Consumed by Healthy Adults Provide Less Available Energy than Predicted by the Atwater Factors. J Nutr. 2015 Nov 18.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/walnuts-may-provide-less-calories-than-thoughtTwo Ounces of Nuts per Day May Help pre-Diabetic and Diabetic Patients to Decrease their Fasting Glucose and Insulin ResistanceNut consumption has beneficial effects on glucose and insulin levels, according to the latest researches studying the relationship between the consumption of nuts and Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). The PREDIMED study has proven that following a Mediterranean diet, with 30 g of nuts a day, reduced the incidence of diabetes by 52% in people with high cardiovascular risk aged between 55 and 80 years, who were non-diabetic when the study began. Two other researchers following this line have shown that two ounces (57 g) of nuts per day can improve insulin resistance. Researchers from the University of Toronto have performed a meta-analysis of 12 studies into the effects of nuts on health. They have found that consuming about two ounces of tree nuts per day significantly decreases triglycerides and fasting blood glucose and helps glycemic control in those patients with type 2 diabetes. Indeed, participants showed a mean decrease of glucose of 0.15 mmol/L after eight-weeks of tree nuts’ diets compared with control diets. This analysis also applies to patients with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors shown to be associated with an increased risk for T2D, cardiovascular disease and mortality. In addition, researchers at the Human Nutrition Unit, from Rovira i Virgili University, have proven that the intake of two ounces (57 g) of pistachios per day has a significant effect: it decreases fasting glucose, and favors insulin and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. This line of study has been followed by Dr S. Gulati, from the Diabetes Foundation in India, who has shown that a diet containing pistachios may improve the cardiometabolic profile of those subjects suffering from metabolic syndrome. In fact, it has been shown to significantly reduce fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Currently, about 400 million people (more than 5% of the population) have T2D. It is estimated that by 2035 there will be almost 600 million people living with T2D and almost 900 million people with pre-diabetes, a silent state associated with a high risk of several deadly conditions including T2D, heart disease, hypertension, strokes and early death.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/two-ounces-of-nuts-per-day-may-help-pre-diabetic-and-diabetic-patients-to-decrease-their-fasting-glucose-and-insulin-resistanceThe Consumption of Nuts Can Help Cardiometabolic Health and Older People’s Memory, Attention and ReasoningThe International Nut and Dried Fruit Council has organized a symposium to present to the media the new findings of the benefits of nuts on health, which has taken place at the European Nutrition Conference in Berlin. Four international experts have explained new findings on nuts and health. Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, from Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain); Dr Fran Grodstein, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (USA); Dr Giuseppina Mandalari, from University of Messina (Italy), and Dr Volker Mai, from University of Florida (USA), shared the latest scientific studies on the beneficial effects of nuts, such as cardiometabolic health or the relationship between the consumption of nuts and better cognitive function in older men. Prof. Salas-Salvadó, from Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain), explained in the lecture “Nuts and Cardiometabolic Health” that nut consumption can help patients with metabolic syndrome, which is a clustering of medical conditions such as abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. Also, they have proven that participants with metabolic syndrome are more likely to reverse the syndrome when they consumed nuts in the context of a healthy diet. In this symposium, Dr Fran Grodstein (Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School, USA) explained that there is a relation between increased consumption of nuts and better cognitive function in older men, which encompasses processing speed, memory, attention, and learning. Specifically, the researchers have shown that men age 67 and older eating more than 2 servings of nuts per week have better results on neuropsychologic tests. Dr Giusseppina Mandalari presented the lecture “Nuts and digestion”. Her team study has demonstrated that pistachios release important nutrients and antioxidants during digestion. Researchers also assessed the lipid bioaccessibility of almonds thanks to an in vitro model of digestion consisting of a dynamic gastric model, which provided a convincing explanation for why almonds have a low metabolizable energy content and an attenuated impact on postprandial lipemia. In the same symposium, Dr Volker Mai, from the University of Florida, presented the lecture “Tree Nuts and the Gut; Supporting Healthy Microbiota”. Researchers studied whether the consumption of 1.5 ounces of almonds in adults and 0.5 ounces in children changes gastrointestinal function. The study found that almonds consumption resulted in detectable changes in bacterial taxa particularly in children, some with potential beneficial characteristics. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-consumption-of-nuts-can-help-cardiometabolic-health-and-older-peoples-memory-attention-and-reasoningNew Study Reinforces Cashew Nutritional QualityFor the first time, a team of researchers has analyzed the nutritional composition of raw cashew nuts from the largest growing regions around the world, providing a much better approximation of the real nutrient content of cashews. Researchers studied the composition of raw cashew kernels from India, Ivory Coast, Vietnam, Brazil, Mozambique, and Kenya. The composition analyses were conducted within three months after harvest, and included dietary fiber, sugar, protein, lipid profile, salt, energy content, sterol content and profile, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Researchers concluded that cashews are a good source of nutrients as they are rich in healthy unsaturated fats, high in dietary fiber and have an excellent profile of plant-based proteins. They also contain a wide variety of important micro- and macronutrients including vitamins and amino acids. No significant differences were found among samples from different origins. The results also showed that cashews are relatively high in fat, but most of that fat (80%) is unsaturated. It is important to look at not only the amount of fat, but also the type. Saturated fat can raise blood cholesterol levels, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. On the contrary, unsaturated fats, such as mono- and polyunsaturated fat, can actually decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad" cholesterol) levels. Modern human nutrition research has linked nut consumption with several health benefits due to their particular nutrient composition. Including nuts in a healthy diet is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality, especially stroke, and to a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Furthermore, epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that frequent nut intake is not generally associated with weight gain. The study was undertaken by a group of researchers from Pere Virgili Health Research Institute (IISPV) and Rovira i Virgili University, in Spain. It was supported by the Global Cashew Council and the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council. Clich here to get the study (.pdf). Rico, R., Bulló, M. and Salas-Salvadó, J. (2015), Nutritional composition of raw fresh cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) kernels from different origin. Food Science & Nutrition. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.294 About Cashews The cashew nut is native of northeast Brazil. During the 16th century, the Portuguese introduced it into India and Portuguese colonies in Africa such as Mozambique. From India, cashew trees spread all over South East Asia. The tree grows in tropical areas and is cultivated primarily in India, Vietnam, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Tanzania, Benin, Brazil, and other countries in East and West Central Africa and South East Asia. Plantings have also been established in South Africa and Australia. Among tree nuts, cashews rank third in world production, behind almonds and walnuts, with a world average production of 550,000 metric tons (kernel basis). In 2015, global production is estimated at 651,100 MT (kernel basis), led by India and Cote d'Ivoire with about 143,000 MT both, and followed by Vietnam (113,000 MT).https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-study-reinforces-cashew-nutritional-qualityNut-Symposium at the 12th European Nutrition ConferenceThe 12th European Nutrition Conference, the main event of the Federation of European Nutrition Societies will be held on October 20-23, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. INC has organized a nut-symposium at the last two conferences. FENS attracts more than 2,000 global nutritionists and food-related professionals. The theme of this year's conference is "Nutrition and health throughout life-cycle - Science for the European consumer". Many sessions will focus on issues and new developments in the areas of food and nutrient intake, advances in dietary studies, public health, chronic diseases, food quality and safety. The INC-sponsored symposium "New Findings on Nuts and Health" is taking place on Wednesday, 21 October 2015, from 4:30 - 6:00 pm, and will inform nutritionists and health experts about the latest developments in nuts consumption and cardiometabolic health, cognitive function, digestion, and microbiota. The symposium will bring together leading researchers from US and Europe, and will provide the opportunity to spread the benefits of nuts to a large group of health and nutrition experts. Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Chairman of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination, will speak about the latest scientific studies supporting that nut consumption is inversely associated with metabolic syndrome -a group of metabolic abnormalities that includes abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, elevated blood pressure, and hyperglycemia. Dr Francine Grodstein, from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the USA, will talk about the strong relation between nut consumption and better cognitive function in older men. In particular, she will speak about the study "Long-term Nut Consumption and Cognitive Function with Aging" which examined the relation of nut intake to cognitive function (processing speed, attention, learning, and memory) in 1,587 men age 67 years and older. Dr Giuseppina Mandalari, from the University of Messina in Italy and the Institute of Food Research in the UK, will talk about nuts and digestion, and the bioaccessibility of nutrients and phytochemicals, which has important implications in the areas of disease prevention and management. Dr Volker Mai, from the University of Florida, will present "Tree Nuts and the Gut: Supporting a Healthy Microbiota", highlighting that the natural fibers and phytochemicals that reach the proximal colon, such as those present in tree nuts, provide substrates for the maintenance of healthy and diverse microbiota. www.fensberlin2015.orghttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-symposium-at-the-12th-european-nutrition-conferenceStudies Show that Regular Consumption of Nuts is Inversely Related to Death Due to CancerOn the occasion of the celebration of the World Day Against Cancer on the 4th of February, the INC (International Nut and Dried Fruit Council) reports that the regular consumption of nuts is associated with a reduced mortality risk, according to a recent study run by Harvard University. Today, cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths per year. Nut consumption has a lot more to do in preventing cancer than we normally think. Today, cancer causes about 8.2 million deaths per year, and is expected to raise this number to 13 million per year by 2034. Also, the current figure of 14 million of annual cancer cases detected in 2012 is expected to grow into 22 million within the next two decades. Given the forecast and coinciding with the World Day against Cancer, celebrated every year on February 4th, the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC) wants to share some facts that can help us live a healthier life and may help prevent this disease. According to a recent study run by Harvard University, which analyzed over 100.000 people along 30 years, nut consumption was inversely associated with total mortality by over 20% with disregard of the cause, and had an inverse relation with some of the most common causes of death, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. This study, the largest ever conducted investigating the effect of nuts intake in mortality, concluded that participants who ate a daily handful of nuts reduced the mortality due to cancer by 11%, compared to those who didn't consume any nuts. Dr Ying Bao concluded that "nut consumption was inversely associated with mortality, independently of other risk factors". In another study also ran by Dr Bao and her colleagues, called "Nut consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer in women", it was revealed that frequent nut consumption is inversely associated with risk of pancreatic cancer in women, independent of other potential risk factors for pancreatic cancer including age, obesity, physical activity, smoking or diabetes. Besides nuts, dried fruits are also indicated for cancer prevention, as they are as healthy as their fresh equivalent and high in polyphenols, which are strong antioxidants that may protect DNA against damage, decrease inflammation and prevent cancer. Properties and Benefits A number of scientific studies have demonstrated the health benefits of nuts and dried fruits. All these benefits are attributed to the multiple components that these products have, such as vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, arginine, plant sterols and phytochemical compounds. Furthermore, they have a low content of saturated fatty acids, among others.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/studies-show-that-regular-consumption-of-nuts-is-inversely-related-to-death-due-to-cancerNuts Included in AHA/ASA Guidelines for the Primary Prevention of StrokeThe American Heart Association and American Stroke Association have incorporated the statement "A Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts may be considered in lowering the risk of stroke" into the Recommendations for Diet and Nutrition of the Guidelines for the Primary Prevention of Stroke.   The study "Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with Mediterranean diets: the PREDIMED trial" has been included in the Guidelines. PREDIMED is the acronym of a long-term nutritional intervention study that assessed the efficacy of a Mediterranean Diet supplemented with nuts or extra-virgin olive oil in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the AHA/ASA Guidelines is to provide comprehensive and timely evidence-based recommendations on the prevention of stroke among individuals who have not previously experienced a stroke or transient ischemic attack. The online version of this article, along with updated information and services, is located on the World Wide Web at: http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/45/12/3754https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-included-in-ahaasa-guidelines-for-the-primary-prevention-of-strokeThe incidence rate of type 2 diabetes can be reduced by 52% with a regular consumption of nutsNut consumption as part of a Mediterranean diet can help reduce the incidence rate of type 2 diabetes by 52%, according to the PREDIMED study (Primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases through a Mediterranean diet). This data reinforce the earlier findings from the study Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet, this one carried out by the Toronto University in Canada.   The study Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet, carried out on more than a hundred volunteers – type 2-diabetes patients over 60 –, highlights that the consumption of nuts increases body energy, which makes achieving a healthy weight easier and makes it easier for diabetes patients to control the disease. In addition, consuming nuts has been associated to a lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases and reduces the blood cholesterol levels . Likewise, the conclusions from the PREDIMED study stress that following a Mediterranean diet, with 30grs of nuts a day, reduced the diabetes incidence by 52% among the people between 55 and 80 –non-diabetic when the study began- who followed this type of diet for at least four years . These data have been presented during the III World Congress of Public Health Nutrition, which took place in Las Palmas of Gran Canaria between the 9th and the 12th of November. Some of the most relevant scientists of the nutrition sector have presented there the conclusions of their latest studies. Several of these scientists study the effect of nut consumption in the prevalence and manifestation of type 2 diabetes. Coinciding with the World Diabetes Day, celebrated every year on November 14, the INC wants to recall these data. Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce the amount of insulin the body needs, or it is of an inferior quality. Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for between 90 and 95% of all cases of diabetes, occurs in adulthood (after age 40), and it is usually associated with overweight and a lack of physical activity, among other risk factors such as hypertension. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes affects over 347 million people today and it will be the seventh cause of death worldwide by 2030. Only in 2012, one and a half million people died due to their excess of fasting blood sugar . "During the World Diabetes Day, it's important to inform the population about the newest data that is important for them, such as the benefits that nut consumption can have on their health. Due to their properties, nuts reduce the risk of suffering from chronic diseases. Furthermore, their regular consumption helps limit, among other things, "bad cholesterol" levels (LDL); reducing them by between 7 and 10%", claims Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Professor of Nutrition on the Rovira i Virgili University and Chairman of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination. Properties and benefits Several scientific studies have demonstrated that, in addition to having multiple beneficial properties, nuts also reduce the glycemic index (GI), increasing insulin resistance. Furthermore, nuts enable the blood to flow better and improve the endothelial function of the blood vessels. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect. These benefits are attributed to the multiple components that these products have, such as vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, arginine, plant sterols and phytochemical compounds. Furthermore, they have a low content of saturated fatty acids, among others.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-incidence-rate-of-type-2-diabetes-can-be-reduced-by-52-with-a-regular-consumption-of-nutsRegular consumption of nuts reduces by 29% the chances of death by cardiac diseaseConsuming nuts regularly reduces by 29% the chances of death by cardiovascular disease. This is one of the main conclusions presented in the III World Congress of Public Health Nutrition, which is being held in Las Palmas until the 14th of November.   Within the symposium organized by the INC (International Nut & Dried Fruit Council), the conference entitled Nuts in Health and Disease will analyze the latest studies carried out by some of the most prestigious international scientists in the nutrition sector. The four experts who will take part in the press conference previous to the talk have presented new conclusions about the effect of nut consumption in diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cognitive degeneration and mortality rates. Nuts and cardiovascular health Professor Jordi Salas from the University Rovira i Virgili of Tarragona (Spain) has talked about how "nut-consumption has a positive effect on cardiovascular health. This is due to nuts' unique nutritional composition: high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, fibre, minerals and vitamines". This nutrient concentration could explain why "nuts protect the cardiovascular system and have a positive effect against this type of diseases with high mortality rates", explained the professor. Nut-consumption also has a positive effect on the metabolic syndrome control, which is the combination of at least three interlinked cardiovascular risk factors (central obesity, high blood pressure, high triglyceride concentration, low levels of good cholesterol and hyperglycaemia or diabetes, among others). The metabolic syndrome increases the risk of suffering from diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular diseases, being the latter the main mortality cause in the whole world, with 17 million deaths each year. Cognitive functions In the conference entitled "The potential role of nuts in cognitive functions", Dr Joan Sabaté, from the Loma Linda University of California (USA) will examine the potential role of nuts in the prevention of cognitive degeneration. He will present the study he is currently carrying out which "aims to assess if regular walnut consumption prevents the age-related cognitive decline in elderly people". He will then focus on walnuts' nutritional factors and their effects. Mortality reduction Another guest speaker was Dr Ying Bao from the Harvard University of Boston (USA), who has spoken about the relation between nut-consumption and mortality. The conclusions from the study "Relationship between nut-consumption and general and specific mortality" state that an increase in the nut-consumption is directly related to the decrease of the total mortality and of the mortality caused by a specific cause, excluding other indicators. One of the most relevant figures, in Dr Ying Bao words, is that "the cardiovascular-disease induced mortality was reduced by 29% in people who ate nuts four or five times a week". Protection against diabetes Lastly, Dr Cyril Kendall from the University of Toronto (Canada) will present in his conference the latest data that prove that nut-consumption has a protective effect on insuline-resistance and type 2 diabetes. The information comes from the study "Nuts as a carbohydrate alternative in the diabetic diet". Among other conclusions, the study results show that "the daily consumption of nuts improves the glycemic control and the lipid levels in blood in patients with type 2 diabetes", as Dr Kendall explained. The INC, which organized this symposium, "has as a main goal the research of nuts' and dried fruit's properties in the nutrition field in order to inform the consumers about the real benefits of including these foods in their diets", as the INC Executive Director, Goretti Guasch, explains.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/regular-consumption-of-nuts-reduces-by-29-the-chances-of-death-by-cardiac-diseaseDaily consumption of nuts may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 30%Regular consumption of nuts may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases up to 30%, according to the INC (International Nut and Dried Fruit Council). These data, taken from the research PREDIMED ("Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with Mediterranean diet"), also indicate the reduction in the incidence of diabetes by means of a daily portion of nuts, which is equal to about 30 grams of product.   The INC shows these data coinciding with World Heart Day, since cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death worldwide. In particular, according to the World Health Organization, in 2008 over 17.3 million deaths were caused worldwide for this reason that, according to this source, will cause about 23.3 million deaths worldwide in 2030. "Due to its many beneficial properties, nuts are food that not only provide nutrients, but also improve health significantly and reduce the risk of chronic diseases," claims Jordi Salas-Salvadó, chairman of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination. Also, the INC recommends regular consumption of nuts in order to reduce "bad cholesterol" (LDL) between 7 and 10%. Properties and benefits Among its many beneficial properties, several scientific studies show that nuts also reduce the glycemic index (GI), prevent blood clots and provide more fluid blood, improve endothelial function of blood vessels and have an anti-inflammatory effect. These benefits are given to multiple components of these products, such as Vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, arginine, plant sterols, phytochemical compounds and low levels of saturated fatty acid substances, among others.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/daily-consumption-of-nuts-may-reduce-the-risk-of-cardiovascular-diseases-by-30Spanish Study Concludes Pistachios May Help Reduce The Risk Of DiabetesA study conducted by investigators from the Human Nutrition Unit at Rovira i Virgili University, Reus, Spain, has recently demonstrated that the inclusion of pistachios into a balanced diet can be a safe nutritional strategy to reverse the risks associated with prediabetes.     More specifically, the study determines that a pistachio-rich diet has a beneficial effect on glucose metabolism, insulin resistance, inflammation and other related markers. Moreover, there were no significant changes in body mass index in the pistachio-supplemented diet group, which supports the fact that nuts are not fattening. Researchers from the Universitari Hospital of Sant Joan de Reus, in Reus, and the Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Madrid collaborated on the trial, which was funded by American Pistachio Growers and Paramount Farms.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/spanish-study-concludes-pistachios-may-help-reduce-the-risk-of-diabetesMediterranean Diet Supplemented with Nuts Cuts Risk of Peripheral Artery DiseasePast research had indicated that following a Mediterranean diet (Med Diet) could decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Now new research highlights that a Med Diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts may well cut the risk of peripheral artery disease, according to recent study published in the journal JAMA.   Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition in which fatty deposits increase in the arteries, restricting blood supply to the arms, legs, stomach or kidneys. According to the team of scientists led by Miguel Ruiz-Canela at the University of Navarra (Spain), the innovation of this study lies in the association between a Med Diet and PAD. Researchers examined 7,477 participants; men aged 55-80 years, and women aged 60-80 years. All participants had no symptoms of PAD or baseline cardiovascular disease, although they did have type 2 diabetes or a minimum of three other cardiovascular risk factors. Subjects were randomized to one of three diet groups: 1) a Med Diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil; 2) a Med Diet supplemented with nuts, or 3) a low-fat diet with counseling. All participants were assessed from the baseline of the study in 2003 until December 2010, and received a complete dietary instruction plan every 3 months. According to the study data, in the middle point of the study (4.8 years), 89 of the participants developed PAD. Nevertheless, investigators found that groups who followed the Med Diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts had a considerably lower risk of developing PAD, compared to the group following the low-fat diet. More informationhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/mediterranean-diet-supplemented-with-nuts-cuts-risk-of-peripheral-artery-diseaseNuts Consumption Inversely Associated with ObesityA new study published in the journal PLoS One by researchers of Loma Linda University, in California, found once more that tree nuts and peanuts appear to have a strong inverse association with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS).   The study was conducted on clinical, dietary, anthropometric and demographic data of 803 adults. MetS was defined according to the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute diagnostic criteria. The study compared the low/high ingestion of tree nuts combined with low/high ingestion of peanuts. Both ingestion of tree nuts and peanuts were inversely associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. More information herehttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-consumption-inversely-associated-with-obesityMed Diet supplemented with nuts reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 18%According to the authors, the results of this study modify global recommendations to prevent or delay diabetes through diet. The statistics of diabetes are increasing globally, predominantly in developing countries. The causes are multifaceted, but are in large part due to rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 347 million people worldwide have diabetes . (This fact reaches almost 10% of world's adult population, measured by elevated fasting blood glucose ≥126 mg/dl). Lifestyle modifications (diet, physical activity, weight loss) are the basis of treatment, although sometimes medications are used. According to WHO, Diabetes is a chronic disease, which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. This leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood (hyperglycaemia). Types of diabetes are: • Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production. • Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes) is caused by the body's ineffective use of insulin. It often results from excess body weight and physical inactivity. • Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia that is first recognized during pregnancy. Type 2 diabetes comprises 90% of people with diabetes around the world , and is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity. Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and blindness, especially in those individuals who are not controlled; extremity amputation is associated with early atherosclerosis. All these complications affect the patients, reducing quality and life expectancy. Type 2 diabetes, in adult people, can be prevented by a healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular physical activity, although sometimes medications are used. However, no scientific research until now was conducted to assess whether adherence to a healthy diet can prevent diabetes whether weight loss occurs. Epidemiological studies suggest that dietary patterns characterized by high consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish, and lower consumption of red and processed meat and sugary drinks could delay the onset of diabetes. In recent years, the traditional Mediterranean Diet has become a dietary pattern for healthy eating. The Med Diet is moderately high in fat (especially from vegetable sources such as olive oil and nuts), and relatively low in dairy products. Moderate alcohol intake, especially wine, and the frequent use of sofrito (oil, tomato, onion, garlic and spices) for food preparations are also typical. Recent research has suggested that the Mediterranean dietary pattern may also prevent diabetes, but the relationship was insufficient. As part of the PREDIMED study, researchers from Rovira i Virgili University, in partnership with the Official Catalan Health Service, have just released in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal a new research study that shows that individuals who followed a Mediterranean diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts had a 40% or 18% lower risk (respectively) to develop diabetes, compared to those who were advised to follow a low fat diet. According to the researchers, some of the benefits observed in cardiovascular disease could be explained through the reduction or delay in the development of diabetes. The study is based to 3,541 individuals who did not have diabetes at baseline and had available information during follow-up. Over an average of 4.1 years, adherence was enhanced with the Med Diet/supplemental foods compared with the low-fat diet group, as reviewed by questionnaires and biomarker measurements in a random subset. A total of 273 participants developed diabetes, including 6.9% of the Mediterranean-diet/Extra-Virgin Oil group, 7.4% of the Mediterranean-diet/mixed-nuts, group, and 8.8% of controls on the low-fat diet. When the 2 Mediterranean diet groups were combined, there was a significant overall approximate 30% risk reduction for type 2 diabetes compared with the controls. These results were consistent when examined by subgroups of sex, age, co-morbidities, smoking status, CVD family history and adiposity. Professor Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Chairman of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination, Chair of Human Nutrition at Rovira i Virgili University (Spain), study co-author and PREDIMED study collaborator, outlined the observed reduction in the incidence of new cases of diabetes not linked to the individuals' weight loss. So, during the study, no differences in weight were observed between the three intervention groups. Neither the reduction of new diabetes patients -who followed a Mediterranean Diet-, might be explained by differences in physical activity performed by individuals. Consequently, the reduction of the diabetes incidence can only be explained by the diet. According to co-author Dr Basora, researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the adoption of a healthy dietary pattern by itself is able to prevent diabetes. Both authors outlined: "The main message from this research is that people who consume healthy plant based fats from mixed nuts and extra-virgin olive oil have a lower risk of developing diabetes. Nutritional recommendations should be reviewed accordingly". The study was conducted by the team of Human Nutrition, Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus, Universitat Rovira i Virgili and CIBER Obesity and Nutrition of Institute of Health Carlos III; under the leadership of Prof. Jordi Salas- Salvadó, in partnership with the Official Catalan Health Institute lead by Dr Josep Basora. The research is part of the PREDIMED study; a long term study undertaken by 16 research groups in seven communities in Spain (2003-2011) to assess the effects of the Mediterranean Diet on the primary prevention of CVD in subjects at high risk.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/med-diet-supplemented-with-nuts-reduces-the-risk-of-type-2-diabetes-by-18