Study reveals walnuts helpful in cardiovascular disease – health

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Studies from a randomised controlled trial reveals the capability of walnuts from preventing major risk factors for heart disease, claims,’ people who continuously consume walnuts may have a lower risk of heart disease, compared to people who do not eat’.

In the study, conducted by Dr Emilio Ros from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, in partnership with Loma Linda University, more than 600 healthy older adults consumed 30 to 60 grams of walnuts per day as a part of their typical diet or followed their standard diet (without walnuts) for two years.

Those who consumed walnuts had a remarkable discount in inflammation, measured by the concentration of known inflammatory markers in the blood, which have been reduced by up to 11.5 per cent.

Of the 10 well-known inflammatory markers that were measured in the study, six were significantly reduced on the walnut diet, including interleukin-1b, a potent pro-inflammatory cytokine which pharmacologic inactivation has been strongly associated with reduced rates of coronary heart disease.

The research used to be a part of the Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA) study – the largest and longest trial to date exploring some great benefits of day by day walnut consumption. The study has been published in the Publication of the American College of Cardiology.

The study’s conclusion is that the anti-inflammatory effects of walnuts supply a mechanistic explanation for cardiovascular disease discount beyond cholesterol lowering.

“Acute inflammation is a physiological process because of activation of the immune system by injuries such as trauma or infection, and is a very powerful defence of the body”, said Dr Emilio Ros, a lead researcher in the study.

“Short-term inflammation helps us heal wounds and fight infections, but inflammation that persists over the years (chronic), caused by factors such as naughty diet, obesity, stress, and hypertension, is damaging instead of curative, especially in relation to cardiovascular health. The findings of this study propose walnuts are one food that may lessen chronic inflammation, which could help to minimize the risk for heart disease” – a condition we transform more susceptible to as we age,” added Ros.

Chronic inflammation is a critical factor in the development and progression of atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque or “hardening” of the arteries, the principal cause of heart attacks and stroke. Subsequently, the severity of atherosclerosis depends greatly on chronic inflammation, and dietary and way of life changes are key to mitigating this process.

While existing scientific evidence establishes walnuts as a heart-healthy1 food, researchers continue to enquire the “how” and “why” at the back of walnuts’ cardiovascular benefits.According to Dr. Ros, “Walnuts have an optimal mix of fundamental nutrients like the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA (2.5g/oz), and other highly bioactive components like polyphenols2, that likely play a role in their anti-inflammatory effect and other health benefits.”

The study findings were also reinforced by an article in the same journal entitled “Ideal Dietary Patterns and Foods to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease: Beware of Their Anti-Inflammatory Potential”, which concludes that a better knowledge of the mechanisms of health protection by the different foods and diets, chiefly their anti-inflammatory properties, must notify healthier food choices.

While these results are promising, the research does have limitations. Study participants were older adults who were healthy and free living with the option to eat a number of other foods along with walnuts. Additionally, further investigation is needed in more diverse and deprived populations.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

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