Walnuts Could Be A Solution To a Healthy Heart, Study Shows

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According to a study conducted by Texas Tech University researchers, the positive impact of walnuts on heart health may be linked to their effect on gut health. The research showed that consuming this delicious snack could improve heart function by promoting a more favorable ratio of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Walnuts are essential in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol

Undergraduate researcher at Juniata College in Pennsylvania Mansi Chandra said that Walnuts might benefit heart health, such as reducing cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Chandra noted that this motivated them to investigate how walnuts can affect the gut microbiome and potentially lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Their findings suggest a new mechanism for how walnuts can benefit heart health.

Researchers utilized metatranscriptomics to examine gene expression and gut bacteria in fecal samples from a previous study of high-risk cardiovascular patients. In addition, the technology allowed them to monitor gene expression levels in response to diet changes.

Researchers enrolled subjects in a two-week standard Western diet and were later assigned to one of 3 study diets. One diet involved whole walnuts, and the other had the same fatty acid composition as walnuts without the nuts, and the last one partially substituted oleic acid with omega-3 fatty acid from walnuts. Participants followed each diet for six weeks with breaks in between.

Study investigated the effect of walnut consumption on gut microbiota

According to Chandra, this is the first study to use metatranscriptomics analysis to examine the effect of walnut consumption on gene expression in the gut microbiota. The study’s exploratory analyses could significantly impact our understanding of how gut health affects heart health. Individuals on the walnut diet showed higher Gordonibacter bacteria levels in the gut, which helps the body absorb antioxidants found in the plant. The study suggests that other supplements that boost homoarginine production may benefit those allergic to nuts. Additionally, the research team is planning to further investigate the link between walnut consumption and gut health by analyzing the final products of genes with higher expression levels.

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