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STUDY: A scientific review of all walnut-specific clinical research concludes that the body of research is strong that eating walnuts reduces the risk for heart disease due to their preventative properties.
JOURNAL: The Journal of Nutrition
AUTHORS: Elaine B. Feldman, M.D
ABSTRACT: A scientific review of all walnut-specific clinical research concludes that the body of research is strong that eating walnuts reduces the risk for heart disease due to their preventative properties.
COMMENTARY: The article, entitled "The Scientific Evidence for a Beneficial Health Relationship Between Walnuts and Coronary Heart Disease," is published in the May issue of The Journal of Nutrition, a publication of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences.
Key findings suggest that:
(1) Consuming walnuts did not cause a net gain in body weight
(2) Walnuts decreased serum cholesterol and reduce heart
(3) Walnuts are unique among nuts due to their polyunsaturated
fat (omega-3 and omega-6) fatty acid content.
The author, and four independent experts, evaluated the content and quality of scientific evidence for a potential beneficial health relationship between the intake of walnuts and the reduction and prevention of coronary heart disease.
Five controlled, peer-reviewed, human clinical walnut intervention trials -- involving approximately 200 subjects considered representative of the adult population in the United States at risk of coronary heart disease -- were reviewed.
"Daily intake of 1/4 - 1/2 cup of walnuts (48 to 84 grams) lowered low density lipoprotein cholesterol with little effect on high density lipoprotein cholesterol and had other beneficial effects on blood lipids, all of which have been shown in numerous other studies to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease," said article author Elaine B. Feldman, M.D., Medical College of Georgia.
Commenting on the analysis, Artemis P. Simopoulos, M.D., president of The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health and author of The Omega Diet, said, "Compared to most other nuts, which contain monounsaturated fatty acids, walnuts are unique because they have a perfect balance of n-6 (linoleate) and n-3 (linolenate) polyunsaturated fatty acids, a ratio of 4:1 which has been shown to decrease the risk of sudden death in the Lyon Heart Study*."
In addition, though walnuts are energy rich, clinical dietary intervention studies show that walnut consumption did not cause a net gain in body weight when eaten as a replacement food.
Include a handful of walnuts into your daily routine to get the wonderful health benefits.