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Walnuts May Improve Endothelial Function

Walnuts are known to be good. Now, they’ve gotten better. A study presented at Preventive Medicine: The Annual Meeting of the American College of Preventive Medicine held in Crystal City, Virginia, found that daily consumption of walnuts may improve endothelial function and plasma lipids in patients with type 2 diabetes.

According to David L. Katz, MD, coauthor of the study and director of the Yale University Prevention Research center, walnuts are rich in fiber, a variety of micronutrients, minerals, B vitamins, magnesium, and a number of properties that make them a likely candidate for benefits in people with cardiovascular risk. “We asked if this could prove a vascular benefit in an at-risk population—adults with type 2 diabetes.”

In this study, the investigators noted a significant improvement in flow-mediated dilatation—a measure used to assess endothelial function—among type 2 diabetes patients who received walnut-enriched diet for 8 weeks. The authors also explained that subjects who received walnut-enriched diet did not experience significant weight gain.

“If you’re adding a nutritious food to the diet, the benefits of the food might sometimes be offset if weight gain occurs, and obviously, with diabetics, the last thing you want to do is cause weight gain,” Dr. Katz explained. “But our study suggests you can make room for a highly nutritious food in your diet, particularly if it tends to fill you up, as nuts do.”

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