Effects of California Walnuts on Vascular Function in Postmenopausal Women

2014-08-27 03:15:43 | BioPortfolio


To determine the potential acute cardiovascular benefits of California Walnuts in postmenopausal women of ages 55-70.

Primary outcome measures:

- Vascular function

- Platelet reactivity

We hypothesize that the consumption of California walnuts will improve vascular function and platelet reactivity.


Epidemiological studies have shown that consumption of high amounts of plant foods, such as nuts, fruits and vegetables, appears to be protective against chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. In recent years, numerous studies indicate that consumption of walnuts mainly containing α-linolenic acid (ALA), L-arginine and polyphenols beneficially alters vascular function and reduces inflammatory biomarkers. Recent studies have reported that consumption of walnuts is associated with beneficial effects in prevention of chronic diseases by favorably altering human serum profiles (i.e. decrease in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increase in HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein A1) which are closely involved in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In addition, recent reports by Dr. Ros and his colleagues indicate that addition of walnuts to a high-fat meal can improve endothelial function. This favorable influence on vasoactivity has been attributed to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of components of walnuts.

Due to their age and menopausal status, postmenopausal women in particular, are at a greater risk population for developing CVD. Males tend to show greater rates of CVD than pre-menopausal women, while women following menopause show an increase in the rates of CVD. This increase is associated with endothelial dysfunction and decreased vasodilation which are apparently expressed after menopause and become worse with age. In this study, we will define the effects of consuming California walnuts on vascular health.

We hypothesize that consumption of California walnuts, which are particularly rich in ALA, L-arginine and polyphenols, will improve endothelial function and platelet reactivity in an at-risk population of postmenopausal women 50-70 years of age.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Basic Science


Cardiovascular Diseases


Walnuts, Walnuts, Walnuts, Walnuts


Ragle Human Nutrition Research Center
United States




University of California, Davis

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:15:43-0400

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