JN Din, SM Aftab, AW Jubb, FH Carnegy, K Lyall, J Sarma, DE Newby, AD Flapan
Eur J Clin Nutr
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: A large intake of walnuts may improve lipid profile and endothelial function. The effect of moderate walnut consumption is not known. We investigated whether a moderate intake of walnuts would affect lipid profile, arterial stiffness and platelet activation in healthy volunteers. SUBJECTS/METHODS: A total of 30 healthy males were recruited into a single-blind randomized controlled crossover trial of 4 weeks of dietary walnut supplementation (15 g/day) and 4 weeks of control (no walnuts). Arterial stiffness was assessed using pulse waveform analysis to determine the augmentation index and augmented pressure. Platelet activation was determined using flow cytometry to measure circulating platelet-monocyte aggregates. RESULTS: There were no differences in lipid profile after 4 weeks of walnut supplementation compared with control. Dietary intake of α-linolenic acid was increased during the walnut diet (2.1±0.4 g/day versus 0.7±0.4 g/day, P<0.0001). There were no differences in augmentation index or augmented pressure during walnut supplementation. Walnut supplementation did not affect platelet-monocyte aggregation. CONCLUSIONS: Dietary intervention with a moderate intake of walnuts does not affect lipid profile, arterial stiffness or platelet activation in man. Our results suggest that the potentially beneficial cardiac effects of walnuts may not be apparent at lower and more practical levels of consumption.