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Cumulative average nut consumption in relation to lower incidence of hypertension: a prospective cohort study of 10,347 adults.

Jung, S., H.W. Woo, J. Shin, Y.-M. Kim, M.-H. Shin, S.-B. Koh, H.C. Kim, M.K. Kim, 2022. Cumulative average nut consumption in relation to lower incidence of hypertension: a prospective cohort study of 10,347 adults. Eur J Nutr. doi.org/10.1007/s00394-021-02743-5.

Purpose: Maintaining optimal blood pressure (BP) levels can be an effective preventive strategy for reducing disease burden. Nut consumption may play a preventive role against hypertension, which is a lifelong condition. We aimed to prospectively examine the association between cumulative average nut consumption and the incidence of hypertension in Korean adults aged 40 years and older. Methods: A total of 10,347 participants who were free of hypertension at baseline, were included. Hypertension was defined as having a physician diagnosis and taking antihypertensive medications or having abnormal BP (systolic ≥ 140 mmHg or diastolic ≥ 90 mmHg). As an exposure, cumulative average nut consumption was calculated using repeated food-frequency questionnaires (mean: 2.1). We used a modified Poisson regression model with a robust error estimator to estimate the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for hypertension. Results: We identified 2047 incident cases of hypertension during 44,614 person-years of follow-up. Among both men and women, an average nut consumption of ≥ 1 serving/week (15 g/week]) was inversely associated with hypertension incidence (IRR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.58–0.96, p for trend = 0.013 for men; IRR = 0.72, 95% CI = 0.59–0.88, p for trend = 0.002 for women) and these significant associations were consistently observed across the strata of potential confounders. Conclusion: An average consumption of at least one serving (15 g) per week of peanuts, almonds, and/or pine nuts may be inversely associated with the risk of hypertension among Korean adults aged 40 years and older, in a dose–response manner.

Tree nut consumption is associated with a lower risk of hyperestrogenism in men.

Wang, Y., Y. Fang, 2022. Tree nut consumption is associated with a lower risk of hyperestrogenism in men. Nutr. Res. 98:1-8.

Hyperestrogenism may affect 2% to 8% of men globally. Previous studies indicate that tree nut consumption is associated with sex hormones in women. Whether this is the case in men remains unknown. This study hypothesized that consumption of tree nuts was inversely associated with circulating estradiol and prevalence of hyperestrogenism in men. This cross-sectional study included 3340 men aged ≥20 years from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2013 to 2016. Associations of tree nut consumption with circulating estradiol and prevalence of hyperestrogenism were assessed using weighted linear regression and binary logistic regression, respectively. Among the 3340 men, 207 consumed tree nuts. The mean usual intake of tree nuts among tree nut consumers was 34.2 g/d. Amounts of usual intake of tree nuts were inversely associated with bioavailable estradiol (β = -0.032, P = .037) after adjustment for all confounders. Usual intake of tree nuts of ≥ 30 g/d (vs <30 g/d) or ≥42.52 g/d (vs <42.52 g/d) was associated with a 24% or 7% lower multivariate-adjusted risk of hyperestrogenism, respectively. Further analyses showed that usual intake of tree nuts was positively associated with circulating folate, and the latter was inversely associated with circulating estradiol. In conclusion, higher tree nut consumption was independently associated with lower circulating levels of bioavailable estradiol and a lower risk of hyperestrogenism in men. Further research is needed to verify the effectiveness of using tree nuts to treat hyperestrogenism in men.

Nut consumption in association with overall mortality and recurrence/disease-specific mortality among long-term breast cancer survivors.

Cong, W., K. Gu, F. Wang, H. Cai, W. Zheng, P. Bao, X.-O. Shu, 2022. Nut consumption in association with overall mortality and recurrence/disease-specific mortality among long-term breast cancer survivors. International Journal of Cancer.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33824.

High nut consumption is associated with reduced total and certain cause-specific mortality in general populations. However, its association with cancer outcomes among long-term breast cancer survivors remains unknown. We examined the associations of nut consumption (including peanuts and tree nuts), assessed at 5-year postdiagnosis, with overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) among 3449 long-term breast cancer survivors from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study, applying Cox regression analysis. During a median follow-up of 8.27 years post dietary assessment, there were 374 deaths, including 252 breast cancer deaths. Among 3274 survivors without previous recurrence at the dietary assessment, 209 developed breast cancer-specific events, that is, recurrence, metastasis or breast cancer mortality. At 5-year post dietary assessment (ie, 10-year postdiagnosis), regular nut consumers had higher OS (93.7% vs 89.0%) and DFS (94.1% vs 86.2%) rates. After multivariable adjustment, nut consumption was positively associated with OS (Ptrend = .022) and DFS (Ptrend = .003) following a dose-response pattern, with hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) of 0.72 (0.52-1.05) for OS and 0.48 (0.31-0.73) for DFS, for participants with greater than median nut intake compared with nonconsumers. The associations did not vary by nut type. Stratified analyses showed that the associations were more evident among participants with a higher total energy intake for OS (Pinteraction = .02) and among participants with early stage (I-II) breast cancers for DFS (Pinteraction = .04). The nut-DFS associations were not modified by estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor status or other known prognostic factors. In conclusion, nut consumption was associated with better survival, particularly DFS, among long-term breast cancer survivors.

The effects of peanuts and tree nuts on lipid profile in type 2 diabetic patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled-feeding clinical studies.

Xia, J.Y., J.H. Yu, D.F. Xu, C. Yang, H. Xia, G.J. Sun, 2021. The effects of peanuts and tree nuts on lipid profile in Type 2 diabetic patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled-feeding clinical studies. Front. Nutr. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2021.765571

Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus was found to be associated with metabolic disorders, particularly abnormal glucose and lipid metabolism. Dietary food choices may have profound effects on blood lipids. The primary objective of this study was to examine the effects of peanuts and tree nuts intake on lipid profile in patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods: According to preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis guidelines, we performed a systematic search of randomized controlled clinical trials and systematic reviews published in PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Scopus, and Cochrane library, from inception through June 2021. Studies in populations with type 2 diabetes, which compare nuts or peanuts to a controlled-diet group were included. We used the mean difference with 95% CIs to present estimates for continuous outcomes from individual studies. In addition, we used the GRADEpro tool to evaluate the overall quality of evidence. Results: Sixteen studies involving 1,041 participants were eligible for this review. The results showed that peanuts and tree nuts supplementation did not induce significant changes in low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) (mean difference = −0.11; 95%CI: −0.25 – 0.03, p = 0.117) and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) (mean difference = 0.01; 95%CI: −0.01 – 0.04, p = 0.400) in patients with type 2 diabetics. In addition, we found that peanuts and tree nuts intake may cause a significantly reduction in total cholesterol (TC) (mean difference = −0.14; 95%CI: −0.26 – −0.02, p = 0.024) and triglyceride (TG) (mean difference = −0.10; 95%CI: −0.17 – −0.02, p = 0.010). In the subgroup analysis, a significantly greater reduction in TC was observed in studies which duration was <12 weeks (mean difference = −0.22; 95%CI: −0.37 – −0.08, p = 0.002). The quality of the body of evidence was “moderate” for TC and TG, the quality of evidence for LDL-C and HDL-C were “low.” Conclusion: Our findings suggest that consuming peanuts and tree nuts might be beneficial to lower TC concentration and TG concentration in type 2 diabetics subjects. Furthermore, peanuts and tree nuts supplementation could be considered as a part of a healthy lifestyle in the management of blood lipids in patients with type 2 diabetes. Given some limits observed in the current studies, more well-designed trials are still needed.

Are fatty nuts a weighty concern? A systematic review and meta-analysis and dose–response meta-regression of prospective cohorts and randomized controlled trials.

Nishi, S.K., E. Viguiliouk, S. Blanco Mejia, C.W.C. Kendall, R.P. Bazinet,  A.J. Hanley, E.M. Comelli, J. Salas Salvado, D.J.A. Jenkins, J.L. Sievenpiper, 2021. Are fatty nuts a weighty concern? A systematic review and meta-analysis and dose–response meta-regression of prospective cohorts and randomized controlled trials. Obes Rev. doi: 10.1111/obr.13330.

Nuts are recommended for cardiovascular health, yet concerns remain that nuts may contribute to weight gain due to their high energy density. A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohorts and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted to update the evidence, provide a dose-response analysis, and assess differences in nut type, comparator and more in subgroup analyses. MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane were searched, along with manual searches. Data from eligible studies were pooled using meta-analysis methods. Interstudy heterogeneity was assessed (Cochran Q statistic) and quantified (I2 statistic). Certainty of the evidence was assessed by Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE). Six prospective cohort studies (7 unique cohorts, n = 569,910) and 86 RCTs (114 comparisons, n = 5873) met eligibility criteria. Nuts were associated with lower incidence of overweight/obesity (RR 0.93 [95% CI 0.88 to 0.98] P < 0.001, “moderate” certainty of evidence) in prospective cohorts. RCTs presented no adverse effect of nuts on body weight (MD 0.09 kg, [95% CI -0.09 to 0.27 kg] P < 0.001, “high” certainty of evidence). Meta-regression showed that higher nut intake was associated with reductions in body weight and body fat. Current evidence demonstrates the concern that nut consumption contributes to increased adiposity appears unwarranted.

Mixed tree nut snacks compared to refined carbohydrate snacks resulted in weight loss and increased satiety during both weight loss and weight maintenance: A 24-week randomized controlled trial.

Wang, J., S. Wang, S.M. Henning, T. Qin, Y. Pan, J. Yang, J. Huang, C.-H. Tseng, D. Heber,  Z. Li, 2021. Mixed tree nut snacks compared to refined carbohydrate snacks resulted in weight loss and increased satiety during both weight loss and weight maintenance: A 24-week randomized controlled trial. Nutrients. 13(5), 1512; doi.org/10.3390/nu13051512

Mixed tree nuts (MTNs) are an excellent source of protein and healthy fat contributing to satiety. However, their relatively high caloric content might not be beneficial in a weight loss diet. The present study was designed to test whether including MTNs in a weight loss and maintenance program interferes with weight management compared to a refined carbohydrate pretzel snack (PS). We performed a randomized, controlled, two-arm study in 95 overweight individuals consuming 1.5 oz of MTNs or PS daily as part of a hypocaloric weight loss diet (−500 kcal) over 12 weeks followed by an isocaloric weight maintenance program for 12 weeks. Participants in both groups experienced significant weight loss (12 weeks: −1.6 and −1.9 and 24 weeks: −1.5 and −1.4 kg) compared to baseline in the MTN and PS groups, respectively. However, there was no difference in weight loss and other outcome parameters between the MTN and PS groups. The MTN group showed a significant increase in satiety at 24 weeks. Both groups had a decrease in diastolic blood pressure at 12 weeks. Participants in the MTN group showed significant decreases in heart rate at 4, 12, and 24 weeks. Plasma oleic acid was significantly increased at 12 and 24 weeks in the MTN group but only at 12 weeks in the PS group. Plasma MCP-1 was decreased significantly in the MTN group at 4 weeks. In summary, participants in both groups lost weight, but only the MTN intervention increased satiety at 24 weeks, enhanced retention, decreased heart rate, and increased serum oleic acid at 24 weeks.

Dietary recommendations for prevention of atherosclerosis

Riccardi, G., A. Giosuè, I. Calabrese, O. Vaccaro, 2021.Dietary recommendations for prevention of atherosclerosis. Cardiovasc Res. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvab173. Online ahead of print.

This review aims at summarizing updated evidence on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk associated with consumption of specific food items to substantiate dietary strategies for atherosclerosis prevention. A systematic search on PubMed was performed to identify meta-analyses of cohort studies and RCTs with CVD outcomes. The evidence is highly concordant in showing that, for the healthy adult population, low consumption of salt and foods of animal origin, and increased intake of plant-based foods-whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts-are linked with reduced atherosclerosis risk. The same applies for the replacement of butter and other animal/tropical fats with olive oil and other unsaturated-fat-rich oil. Although the literature reviewed overall endorses scientific society dietary recommendations, some relevant novelties emerge. With regard to meat, new evidence differentiates processed and red meat-both associated with increased CVD risk-from poultry, showing a neutral relationship with CVD for moderate intakes. Moreover, the preferential use of low-fat dairies in the healthy population is not supported by recent data, since both full-fat and low-fat dairies, in moderate amounts and in the context of a balanced diet, are not associated with increased CVD risk; furthermore, small quantities of cheese and regular yogurt consumption are even linked with a protective effect. Among other animal protein sources, moderate fish consumption is also supported by the latest evidence, although there might be sustainability concerns. New data endorse the replacement of most high glycemic index (GI) foods with both whole grain and low GI cereal foods. As for beverages, low consumption not only of alcohol, but also of coffee and tea is associated with a reduced atherosclerosis risk while soft drinks show a direct relationship with CVD risk. This review provides evidence-based support for promoting appropriate food choices for atherosclerosis prevention in the general population.

Nut consumption and type 2 diabetes risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.

Becerra-Tomás, N., I. Paz-Graniel, P. Hernández-Alonso, D.J.A. Jenkins, C.W.C. Kendall, J.L. Sievenpiper, J. Salas-Salvadó, 2021. Nut consumption and type 2 diabetes risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Am J Clin Nutr 00:1–12.

Background: Previous meta-analyses, with some methodological controversies, have assessed the relation between nut consumption and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk and pointed to contradictory results, making desirable the performance of an updated meta-analysis. Objectives: We aimed to systematically review and meta-analyze all the published studies investigating the relations of total nuts and different types of nuts—i.e., walnuts, peanuts, peanut butter, and total tree nuts—with the prevalence and incidence of T2D. Methods: A systematic search was conducted in the PubMed and Cochrane databases through 12 August, 2020. The inverse variance method with fixed-effect models was used to pool data across studies, expressed as risk ratios (RRs) or ORs and 95% CIs for prospective cohort and cross-sectional studies, respectively. The Cochran Q test and I 2 statistics were used to test and quantify heterogeneity, respectively. Dose-response meta-analysis was also conducted. Results: Eight studies (5 prospective and 3 cross-sectional) were included in the quantitative synthesis. Meta-analyses of crosssectional studies and prospective cohort studies, comparing the highest with the lowest categories, revealed a nonsignificant association between total nut consumption and T2D. Meta-analyses of prospective cohort studies showed an inverse association between peanut butter consumption and T2D incidence (RR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.77, 0.98; I 2 = 50.6%; Pheterogeneity = 0.16), whereas no association was observed between peanuts or tree nuts and T2D. There was no evidence of a linear dose-response or nonlinear dose-response gradient for total nut and peanut consumption in prospective cohort studies. The certainty of the evidence using NutriGrade was very low for all the exposures. Conclusions: Current results do not demonstrate an association of total nut, peanut, or tree nut consumption with T2D. Peanut butter consumption may be inversely associated with this disease. This review protocol was registered at www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/ as CRD42020149756.

Sperm DNA methylation changes after short-term nut supplementation in healthy men consuming a Western-style diet.

Salas-Huetos, A., E.R. James, J. Salas-Salvadó, M. Bulló, K.I. Aston, D.T. Carrell, T.G. Jenkins, 2021. Sperm DNA methylation changes after short-term nut supplementation in healthy men consuming a Western-style diet. Andrology. 9(1):260-268.

Background: Many environmental and lifestyle factors have been implicated in the decline of sperm quality, with diet being one of the most plausible factors identified in recent years. Moreover, several studies have reported a close association between the alteration of specific sperm DNA methylation signatures and semen quality. Objectives: To evaluate the effect of tree nut consumption on sperm DNA methylation patterns in healthy individuals reporting eating a Western-style diet. Material and methods: This is a post hoc analysis conducted in a subset of participants (healthy, non-smoking, and young) from the FERTINUTS 14-wk randomized-controlled, parallel trial, recruited between December 2015 and February 2017. The participants included in the current study (n = 72) were randomly selected in a proportion 2:1 from the original FERTINUTS trial between the 98 participants that completed the entire dietary intervention (nut group, n = 48; control group, n = 24). Sperm DNA methylation patterns were examined at baseline and after 14 weeks in 48 individuals consuming 60 g/d of mixed nuts (nut group) and in 24 individuals following the usual Western-style diet avoiding consumption of nuts (control group). Results: Over the course of the trial, no significant changes in global methylation were observed between groups. However, in the nut group, we identified 36 genomic regions that were significantly differentially methylated between the baseline and the end of the trial and 97.2% of the regions displayed hypermethylation. We identified no such change in the control group over the same period of time. We also utilized the recently developed germ line age calculator to determine if nut consumption resulted in alterations to the epigenetic age of cells and no significant differences were found. Discussion and conclusion: Adding nuts to a regular Western-style diet subtly impacts sperm DNA methylation in specific regions, demonstrating that there are some sperm epigenome regions that could respond to diet.

Nut consumption for cognitive performance: A systematic review.

Theodore, L.E., N.J. Kellow, E.A. McNeil, E.O. Close, E.G. Coad, B.R. Cardoso, 2020. Nut consumption for cognitive performance: A systematic review. Adv Nutr. 00:1–16.

Diet is considered an important modifiable lifestyle factor capable of attenuating early cognitive changes in healthy older people. The inclusion of nuts in the diet has been investigated as a dietary strategy for maintenance of brain health across the lifespan. This review aimed to present up-to-date evidence regarding the association between nut intake and cognitive performance. Four databases (Ovid MEDLINE, Scopus, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) Plus, and Embase) were systematically searched from inception to April 2020. Eligible articles were interventional or observational studies in humans aged ≥18 y that measured the effects (or association) of nuts (almond, hazelnut, macadamia, pistachio, walnut, pecan, pine nut, Brazil nut, cashew, peanut) on cognitive outcomes. Out of the 2374 articles identified in the searches, 22 involving 43,793 participants met the criteria and were ultimately included in this review. Memory (immediate and delayed), attention, processing speed, executive function, and visual-spatial ability, as well as risk of mild cognitive impairment, were the outcomes investigated. Lack of consistency across the studies regarding study design, types of nut used, and cognitive outcomes measured resulted in inconsistent evidence that the regular consumption of mixed nuts has a protective effect on cognition in adults of different ages. Nonetheless, we observed that studies targeting populations with a higher risk of cognitive decline tended to find a more favorable outcome. Furthermore, homogeneous findings were observed in the studies that specifically addressed the association between walnut consumption and cognitive performance: out of the 6 studies, including 2 randomized controlled trials, only 1 did not find a positive association.