Walnut Consumption and outcomes with Public Health Relevance

A new systematic review has been published in the journal Nutrition Reviews that analyses studies investigating associations between walnut consumption and outcomes with public health relevance (specifically all-cause mortality, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, cancer, neurological and mental health, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, and maternal disorders) and the effect on associated disease risk markers.

The authors, British Nutrition Foundation scientists, reviewed current research, published from 2017 to present.

The review identified consistent evidence from randomised controlled trials that walnut consumption improves blood lipid profiles. These results were in line with associations between walnut consumption and reduced heart disease risk found in long-term observational studies. The authors also noted that evidence is accumulating in other areas of walnut research, such as cognitive health, markers of aging and impacts to the gut microbiota, although more research is needed to draw firm conclusions.

The authors concluded that “combined with the evidence of improvements to blood lipids after consumption, as a healthier plant-based snack or component of main meals, walnuts can be incorporated as part of a more plant-based healthy, balanced diet.”

Further details of the review can be found in the British Nutrition Foundation’s latest webinarNuts in a healthy, balanced diet’, which includes a focus on the benefits of walnuts. The project was supported by a grant awarded by the California Walnut Commission.