Researchers at Texas Tech University's Department of Nutritional Sciences found that consuming walnuts can positively influence the gut microbiome and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study, which was funded by the California Walnut Commission, involved 35 participants with a high risk of cardiovascular disease who followed one of three diets for six weeks. The diets were designed to explain how walnuts affect cardiovascular health due to bioactive compounds, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) content, or whether walnut ALA could substitute for dietary saturated fats. The researchers collected fecal samples shortly before the participants completed each diet. Those on the diet that incorporated whole walnuts had higher levels of Gordonibacter bacteria in their gut and gene expressions for the increase of the body’s production of the amino acid L-homoarginine. The researchers concluded that these changes to the gut microbiome induced beneficial pathways that could reduce cardiovascular risk factors. It is important to note that further research is needed in order to confirm these observations.
Walnuts Improve Heart Health Through Gut Bacteria