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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2002 Oct;72(5):341-7.

Effects of walnut consumption as part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet on serum cardiovascular risk factors.

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Department of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa 19107, USA.


Serum components, such as lipoproteins, coagulation factors (factor VII, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), fibrinogen), and homocysteine have been associated with cardiovascular disease. Dietary intervention with a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet has favorably influenced cardiovascular disease and certain food, specifically the consumption of nuts, has been associated with reduced cardiovascular risks. The effects of walnuts, as part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, on serum cardiovascular risk factors were determined. Sixty-seven (67) outpatients with borderline high total cholesterol following a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet for six weeks before being randomly assigned to continue the diet or have 64 grams/day of walnuts in conjunction with the diet. After six weeks, the patients' diets were switched. Therefore, all patients consumed 64 grams/day of walnuts for six weeks during part of the trial as part of a low-fat, low cholesterol diet. Serum lipids demonstrated a significant reduction in triacyglycerols and favorable trend with decreases in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and a slight increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. No statistical effects on homocysteine or the coagulation factors were observed. However, there was a slight favorable trend for tPA and PAI-1. This study demonstrated that walnuts, when consumed as part of a low fat, low-cholesterol diet, have a beneficial effect on serum cardiovascular risk factors. However, these changes may not explain all of the beneficial effects that walnut consumption has on cardiovascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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