Harvard scientists have found that diets rich in walnuts can significantly reduce cholesterol levels. This new research supports a growing stack of evidence that suggests these wonderful nuts can improve healthy blood lipid ratios.
In their investigation of thirteen studies, the researchers demonstrated that walnut-rich consumption decreased total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol during short term trials. While they did recommend that larger trials were needed, their analysis joins a growing body of science that has linked nut consumption to improvements in markers of cardiovascular health.
The work was published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, where researchers Dr. Deirdre Banel and Dr. Frank Hu conducted the meta-analysis to estimate the effect of walnuts on blood lipids.
Literature databases were searched and the researchers then conducted a random-effects meta-analysis of weighted mean differences of lipid outcomes. The 13 studies selected represented some 365 participants, with diets lasting between four and 24 weeks; walnuts represented 10 - 24 per cent of their total calories.
The authors concluded, "When compared with control diets, diets supplemented with walnuts resulted in a significantly greater decrease in total cholesterol and in LDL-cholesterol concentrations."