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Metabolism. 2012 Apr;61(4):577-82. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2011.09.008. Epub 2011 Nov 9.

Short-term walnut consumption increases circulating total adiponectin and apolipoprotein A concentrations, but does not affect markers of inflammation or vascular injury in obese humans with the metabolic syndrome: data from a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Long-term consumption of walnuts is associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk in epidemiological studies, possibly through improvements in lipid profile and endothelial function. It remains to be elucidated how soon after initiation of walnut consumption beneficial effects on lipid profile and biomarkers of inflammation or vascular injury can be observed. Fifteen obese subjects (9 men and 6 women; age, 58 ± 2.5 years; body mass index, 36.6 ± 1.7 kg/m(2)) with the metabolic syndrome participated as inpatients in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled crossover study involving short-term placebo or walnut-enriched diet (48 g/d for 4 days). Apolipoproteins and markers of inflammation and vascular injury were measured before and after consumption of the experimental diets. Consumption of walnuts was associated with a statistically significant increase in serum apolipoprotein A concentrations (P = .03), but did not affect circulating levels of fetuin A, resistin, C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, soluble intercellular adhesion molecules 1 and 3, soluble vascular cell adhesion protein 1, interleukins 6 and 8, tumor necrosis factor α, E-selectin, P-selectin, and thrombomodulin. Four days of walnut consumption (48 g/d) leads to mild increases in apolipoprotein A concentrations, changes that may precede and lead to the beneficial effects of walnuts on lipid profile in obese subjects with the metabolic syndrome.

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