Acute consumption of walnuts and walnut components differentially affect postprandial lipemia, endothelial function, oxidative stress, and cholesterol efflux in humans with mild hypercholesterolemia

Claire E. Berryman, Jessica A. Grieger, Sheila G. West, Chung Yen O. Chen, Jeffrey B. Blumberg, George H. Rothblat, Sandhya Sankaranarayanan, Penny M. Kris-Etherton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

Walnut consumption improves cardiovascular disease risk; however, to our knowledge, the contribution of individual walnut components has not been assessed. This study evaluated the acute consumption of whole walnuts (85 g), separated nut skins (5.6 g), de-fatted nutmeat (34 g), and nut oil (51 g) on postprandial lipemia, endothelial function, and oxidative stress. Cholesterol efflux (ex vivo) was assessed in the whole walnut treatment only. A randomized, 4-period, crossover trial was conducted in healthy overweight and obese adults (n = 15) with moderate hypercholesterolemia. There was a treatment × time point interaction for triglycerides (P < 0.01) and increased postprandial concentrations were observed for the oil and whole walnut treatments (P < 0.01). Walnut skins decreased the reactive hyperemia index (RHI) compared with baseline (P = 0.02) such that a difference persisted between the skin and oil treatments (P = 0.01). The Framingham RHI was maintained with the oil treatment compared with the skins and whole nut (P < 0.05). There was a treatment effect for the ferric reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP) (P < 0.01), and mean FRAP was greater with the oil and skin treatments compared with the nutmeat (P < 0.01). Cholesterol efflux increased by 3.3% following whole walnut consumption in J774 cells cultured with postprandial serum compared with fasting baseline (P = 0.02). Walnut oil favorably affected endothelial function and whole walnuts increased cholesterol efflux. These 2 novel mechanisms may explain in part the cardiovascular benefits of walnuts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)788-794
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume143
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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