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Scientists Confirm Heart-Healthy Benefits Of Walnuts

May 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists have known for some time that eating walnuts in a heart-healthy diet reduces cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. Now a new U.S. study explains what component of walnuts is responsible. For the study, 15 participants with high cholesterol levels were fed one serving of whole walnuts, defatted nutmeat, walnut skin or walnut oil. Biochemical and physiological tests were conducted before, during and after. The one-time consumption of walnut oil improved vascular health. Eating whole walnuts helped HDL (good cholesterol) and helped the body effectively transport and remove excess cholesterol from the body. The researchers suggested that the beneficial effects come from the alpha-linolenic acid, gamma-tocopherol and phytosterols in walnut oil.
C. E. Berryman et al., "Acute Consumption of Walnuts and Walnut Components Differentially Affect Postprandial Lipemia, Endothelial Function, Oxidative Stress, and Cholesterol Efflux in Humans with Mild Hypercholesterolemia", Journal of Nutrition, May 08, 2013, © American Society for Nutrition
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