Eating walnuts alters the gut microbiome, reducing risk of heart disease
Since walnuts have heart health benefits, researchers from the US conducted a study to analyze what impact they have on the gut microbiome.
The researchers were curious whether it is possible that the heart benefits derived from walnuts start in the gut.
The researchers assigned diets to three groups of people, including one group that ate whole walnuts, and then tested biological samples from each participant.
Researchers at Texas Tech University used metatranscriptomics, the study of gene expressions of gut microbes, to monitor changes that might occur when someone alters their diet.
Specifically, the scientists looked at how cardiovascular health could be affected.
Their findings indicated that eating walnuts could alter the gut microbiome by increasing the body’s production of the amino acid L-homoarginine. In turn, this might lower the risk of developing heart disease.
Walnuts have a higher alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) content, which is significant because ALA may impact neurological and cardiovascular health.