Reference Number: 162
Epidemiologic data suggest that diets rich in nuts have beneficial health effects, including reducing total and cause-specific mortality from cancer and heart disease. Although there is accumulating preclinical evidence that walnuts beneficially affect the gastrointestinal microbiota and gut and metabolic health, these relations have not been investigated in humans. This study aimed to assess the impact of walnut consumption on the human gastrointestinal microbiota and metabolic markers of health. The results indicate that walnut consumption affected the composition and function of the human gastrointestinal microbiota, increasing the relative abundances of Firmicutes species in butyrate-producing Clostridium clusters XIVa and IV, including Faecalibacterium and Roseburia, and reducing microbially derived, proinflammatory secondary bile acids and LDL cholesterol. These results suggest that the gastrointestinal microbiota may contribute to the underlying mechanisms of the beneficial health effects of walnut consumption.
Significance of this study
Walnuts can have beneficial health effects. This study suggests there may be a link between including walnuts in the diet and changes in the gut microbiota. It is these changes which may be linked to the health benefits. These findings are based on eating 42g of walnuts each day.