Effects of diets high in walnuts and flax oil on hemodynamic responses to stress and vascular endothelial function

Sheila G. West, Andrea Likos Krick, Laura Cousino Klein, Guixiang Zhao, Todd F. Wojtowicz, Matthew McGuiness, Paul Wagner, Rachel M. Ceballos, Bruce J. Holub, Penny M. Kris-Etherton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk, although the mechanisms are incompletely understood. In a previous article, we showed significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and several markers of inflammation with increasing intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from walnuts and flax. Objective: To examine effects of ALA on cardiovascular responses to acute stress, flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, and blood concentrations of endothelin-1 and arginine-vasopressin (AVP). Design: Using a randomized, crossover study design, cardiovascular responses to acute stress were assessed in 20 hypercholesterolemic subjects, a subset of whom also underwent FMD testing (n  =  12). Participants were fed an average American diet (AAD) and 2 experimental diets that varied in the amount of ALA and linoleic acid (LA) that they contained. The AAD provided 8.7% energy from PUFA (7.7% LA, 0.8% ALA). On the LA diet, saturated fat was reduced, and PUFA from walnuts and walnut oil provided 16.4% of energy (12.6% LA, 3.6% ALA). On the ALA diet, walnuts, walnut oil, and flax oil provided 17% energy from PUFA (10.5% LA, 6.5% ALA). Results: The ALA and LA diets significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure (−2 to −3 mm Hg) and total peripheral resistance (−4%), and this effect was evident at rest and during stress (main effect of diet, p < 0.02). FMD increased (+34%) on the diet containing additional ALA. AVP also increased by 20%, and endothelin-1 was unchanged. Conclusions: These results suggest novel mechanisms for the cardioprotective effects of walnuts and flax, and further work is needed to identify the bioactives responsible for these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-603
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

Fingerprint

Juglans
Flax
alpha-Linolenic Acid
Blood Vessels
Oils
Hemodynamics
Linoleic Acid
Diet
Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Dilatation
Arginine Vasopressin
Endothelin-1
Cross-Over Studies
Blood Pressure
Brachial Artery
Vascular Resistance
LDL Cholesterol
Fats
Inflammation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

West, Sheila G. ; Krick, Andrea Likos ; Klein, Laura Cousino ; Zhao, Guixiang ; Wojtowicz, Todd F. ; McGuiness, Matthew ; Wagner, Paul ; Ceballos, Rachel M. ; Holub, Bruce J. ; Kris-Etherton, Penny M. / Effects of diets high in walnuts and flax oil on hemodynamic responses to stress and vascular endothelial function. In: Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2010 ; Vol. 29, No. 6. pp. 595-603.
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title = "Effects of diets high in walnuts and flax oil on hemodynamic responses to stress and vascular endothelial function",
abstract = "Background: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk, although the mechanisms are incompletely understood. In a previous article, we showed significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and several markers of inflammation with increasing intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from walnuts and flax. Objective: To examine effects of ALA on cardiovascular responses to acute stress, flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, and blood concentrations of endothelin-1 and arginine-vasopressin (AVP). Design: Using a randomized, crossover study design, cardiovascular responses to acute stress were assessed in 20 hypercholesterolemic subjects, a subset of whom also underwent FMD testing (n  =  12). Participants were fed an average American diet (AAD) and 2 experimental diets that varied in the amount of ALA and linoleic acid (LA) that they contained. The AAD provided 8.7{\%} energy from PUFA (7.7{\%} LA, 0.8{\%} ALA). On the LA diet, saturated fat was reduced, and PUFA from walnuts and walnut oil provided 16.4{\%} of energy (12.6{\%} LA, 3.6{\%} ALA). On the ALA diet, walnuts, walnut oil, and flax oil provided 17{\%} energy from PUFA (10.5{\%} LA, 6.5{\%} ALA). Results: The ALA and LA diets significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure (−2 to −3 mm Hg) and total peripheral resistance (−4{\%}), and this effect was evident at rest and during stress (main effect of diet, p < 0.02). FMD increased (+34{\%}) on the diet containing additional ALA. AVP also increased by 20{\%}, and endothelin-1 was unchanged. Conclusions: These results suggest novel mechanisms for the cardioprotective effects of walnuts and flax, and further work is needed to identify the bioactives responsible for these effects.",
author = "West, {Sheila G.} and Krick, {Andrea Likos} and Klein, {Laura Cousino} and Guixiang Zhao and Wojtowicz, {Todd F.} and Matthew McGuiness and Paul Wagner and Ceballos, {Rachel M.} and Holub, {Bruce J.} and Kris-Etherton, {Penny M.}",
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Effects of diets high in walnuts and flax oil on hemodynamic responses to stress and vascular endothelial function. / West, Sheila G.; Krick, Andrea Likos; Klein, Laura Cousino; Zhao, Guixiang; Wojtowicz, Todd F.; McGuiness, Matthew; Wagner, Paul; Ceballos, Rachel M.; Holub, Bruce J.; Kris-Etherton, Penny M.

In: Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 29, No. 6, 01.12.2010, p. 595-603.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effects of diets high in walnuts and flax oil on hemodynamic responses to stress and vascular endothelial function

AU - West, Sheila G.

AU - Krick, Andrea Likos

AU - Klein, Laura Cousino

AU - Zhao, Guixiang

AU - Wojtowicz, Todd F.

AU - McGuiness, Matthew

AU - Wagner, Paul

AU - Ceballos, Rachel M.

AU - Holub, Bruce J.

AU - Kris-Etherton, Penny M.

PY - 2010/12/1

Y1 - 2010/12/1

N2 - Background: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk, although the mechanisms are incompletely understood. In a previous article, we showed significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and several markers of inflammation with increasing intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from walnuts and flax. Objective: To examine effects of ALA on cardiovascular responses to acute stress, flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, and blood concentrations of endothelin-1 and arginine-vasopressin (AVP). Design: Using a randomized, crossover study design, cardiovascular responses to acute stress were assessed in 20 hypercholesterolemic subjects, a subset of whom also underwent FMD testing (n  =  12). Participants were fed an average American diet (AAD) and 2 experimental diets that varied in the amount of ALA and linoleic acid (LA) that they contained. The AAD provided 8.7% energy from PUFA (7.7% LA, 0.8% ALA). On the LA diet, saturated fat was reduced, and PUFA from walnuts and walnut oil provided 16.4% of energy (12.6% LA, 3.6% ALA). On the ALA diet, walnuts, walnut oil, and flax oil provided 17% energy from PUFA (10.5% LA, 6.5% ALA). Results: The ALA and LA diets significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure (−2 to −3 mm Hg) and total peripheral resistance (−4%), and this effect was evident at rest and during stress (main effect of diet, p < 0.02). FMD increased (+34%) on the diet containing additional ALA. AVP also increased by 20%, and endothelin-1 was unchanged. Conclusions: These results suggest novel mechanisms for the cardioprotective effects of walnuts and flax, and further work is needed to identify the bioactives responsible for these effects.

AB - Background: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk, although the mechanisms are incompletely understood. In a previous article, we showed significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and several markers of inflammation with increasing intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from walnuts and flax. Objective: To examine effects of ALA on cardiovascular responses to acute stress, flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, and blood concentrations of endothelin-1 and arginine-vasopressin (AVP). Design: Using a randomized, crossover study design, cardiovascular responses to acute stress were assessed in 20 hypercholesterolemic subjects, a subset of whom also underwent FMD testing (n  =  12). Participants were fed an average American diet (AAD) and 2 experimental diets that varied in the amount of ALA and linoleic acid (LA) that they contained. The AAD provided 8.7% energy from PUFA (7.7% LA, 0.8% ALA). On the LA diet, saturated fat was reduced, and PUFA from walnuts and walnut oil provided 16.4% of energy (12.6% LA, 3.6% ALA). On the ALA diet, walnuts, walnut oil, and flax oil provided 17% energy from PUFA (10.5% LA, 6.5% ALA). Results: The ALA and LA diets significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure (−2 to −3 mm Hg) and total peripheral resistance (−4%), and this effect was evident at rest and during stress (main effect of diet, p < 0.02). FMD increased (+34%) on the diet containing additional ALA. AVP also increased by 20%, and endothelin-1 was unchanged. Conclusions: These results suggest novel mechanisms for the cardioprotective effects of walnuts and flax, and further work is needed to identify the bioactives responsible for these effects.

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