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Walnuts Can Cut Cholesterol,
Report Harvard Researchers

A Meta-Analysis of Walnuts by Harvard Scientists Has
Found Diets Rich in Walnuts Can Significantly Reduce
Cholesterol Levels, Supporting Growing Evidence to
Suggest These Popular Nuts Can Improve Healthy
Blood Lipid Ratios.

However the scientists suggested that larger and longer-term trials are
needed to observe the effects of eating walnuts, rich in polyunsaturated
fatty acids, on cardiovascular risk and weight management.

Their analysis joins an ever- expanding body of science that has linked
nut consumption - including almonds and macadamias - to improvements
in cardiovascular health.

Coronary heart disease places a significant financial burden throughout
the world, more and more each year. Governments, scientists and the food
industry continue to invest time and money in pinpointing potential dietary
solutions that could improve cardiovascular health.

Published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
Harvard researchers conducted the meta-analysis to estimate the effect of
walnuts on blood lipids. Literature databases were searched for published
trials that compared a specifically walnut-enhanced diet with a control diet.

"We conducted a random-effects meta-analysis of weighted mean differences
of lipid outcomes," said the scientists.

The 13 studies selected represented some 365 participants, with diets lasting
between four and 24 weeks and walnuts providing between 10 and 24 per cent
of total calories.

When compared with control diets, diets supplemented with walnuts resulted
in a significantly greater decrease in total cholesterol and in LDL-cholesterol
concentrations, the Harvard researchers reported.

Further, the meta-analysis results suggested a wide range of potential health
benefits contained in walnuts.

"Other results reported in the trials indicated that walnuts provided significant
benefits for certain antioxidant capacity and inflammatory markers and had
no adverse effects on body weight," stated the researchers.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

May 2009, Volume 90, Pages 56-63,
"Effects of walnut consumption on blood lipids and other cardiovascular
risk factors: a meta-analysis and systematic review"