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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.

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.

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.

Energy extraction from nuts: walnuts, almonds, pistachios.

McArthur, B., R. Mattes, 2020. Energy extraction from nuts: walnuts, almonds, pistachios. Br J Nutr. 123(4):361-371.

The bioaccessibility of fat has implications for satiety and postprandial lipidemia. The prevailing view holds that the integrity of plant cell wall structure is the primary determinant of energy and nutrient extraction from plant cells as they pass through the gastrointestinal tract. However, comparisons across nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios) with varying physical properties do not support this view. In this study, masticated samples of three nuts from healthy adults were exposed to a static model of gastric digestion followed by simulated intestinal digestion. Primary outcomes were particle size and lipid release at each phase of digestion. Walnuts produced a significantly larger particle size post-mastication compared to almonds. Under gastric and intestinal conditions, the particle size was larger for walnuts compared to pistachios and almonds (P<0.05). However, the masticated and digesta particle sizes were not related to the integrity of cell walls nor lipid release. The total lipid release was comparable between nuts after the in vitro intestinal phase (P>0.05). Microstructural examination showed ruptured and fissured cell walls that would allow digestion of cellular contents and this may be governed by internal cellular properties such as oil body state. Furthermore, the cell walls of walnuts tend to rupture rather than separate and as walnut tissue passes through the gastrointestinal track, lipids tend to coalesce reducing digestion efficiency.

Association of nut intake with risk factors, cardiovascular disease, and mortality in 16 countries from 5 continents: analysis from the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study.

de Souza, R.J., M. Dehghan, A. Mente, S.I. Bangdiwala, S.H. Ahmed, K.F. Alhabib, Y. Altuntas, A. Basiak-Rasała, G-R Dagenais, R. Diaz, L.I. Amma, R. Kelishadi, R. Khatib, S.A. Lear, P. Lopez-Jaramillo, V. Mohan, P. Poirier, S. Rangarajan, A. Rosengren, R. Ismail, S. Swaminathan, E. Wentzel-Viljoen, K. Yeates, R. Yusuf, K.K. Teo, S.S. Anand, S. Yusuf, for the PURE study investigators, 2020. Association of nut intake with risk factors, cardiovascular disease, and mortality in 16 countries from 5 continents: analysis from the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, nqaa108, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa108

Background: The association of nuts with cardiovascular disease and deaths has been investigated mostly in Europe, the USA, and East Asia, with few data available from other regions of the world or from low- and middle-income countries. Objective: To assess the association of nuts with mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Methods: The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology study is a large multinational prospective cohort study of adults aged 35–70 y from 16 low-, middle-, and high-income countries on 5 continents. Nut intake (tree nuts and ground nuts) was measured at the baseline visit, using country-specific validated FFQs. The primary outcome was a composite of mortality or major cardiovascular event [nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, or heart failure]. Results: We followed 124,329 participants (age = 50.7 y, SD = 10.2; 41.5% male) for a median of 9.5 y. We recorded 10,928 composite events [deaths (n = 8,662) or major cardiovascular events (n = 5,979)]. Higher nut intake (>120 g per wk compared with <30 g per mo) was associated with a lower risk of the primary composite outcome of mortality or major cardiovascular event [multivariate HR (mvHR): 0.88; 95% CI: 0.80, 0.96; P-trend = 0.0048]. Significant reductions in total (mvHR: 0.77; 95% CI: 0.69, 0.87; P-trend <0.0001), cardiovascular (mvHR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.56, 0.92; P-trend = 0.048), and noncardiovascular mortality (mvHR: 0.82; 95% CI: 0.70, 0.96; P-trend = 0.0046) with a trend to reduced cancer mortality (mvHR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.65, 1.00; P-trend = 0.081) were observed. No significant associations of nuts were seen with major CVD (mvHR: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.81, 1.02; P-trend = 0.14), stroke (mvHR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.84, 1.14; P-trend = 0.76), or MI (mvHR: 0.86; 95% CI: 0.72, 1.04; P-trend = 0.29). Conclusions: Higher nut intake was associated with lower mortality risk from both cardiovascular and noncardiovascular causes in low-, middle-, and high-income countries.

The beneficial effects of nutraceuticals and natural products on small dense LDL levels, LDL particle number and LDL particle size: a clinical review.

Talebi, S., M. Bagherniya, S.L. Atkin, G. Askari, H.M. Orafai, A. Sahebkar, 2020. The beneficial effects of nutraceuticals and natural products on small dense LDL levels, LDL particle number and LDL particle size: a clinical review. Lipids in Health and Disease. 19:66
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12944-020-01250-6.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are globally the major causes of morbidity and mortality. Evidence shows that smaller and denser low-dense lipoprotein (sdLDL) particles are independent atherogenic risk factors for CVD due to their greater susceptibility to oxidation, and permeability in the endothelium of arterial walls. sdLDL levels are an independent risk factor and of more predictive value than total LDL-C for the assessment of coronary artery disease and metabolic syndrome. Functional food ingredients have attracted significant attention for the management of dyslipidemia and subsequently increase cardio-metabolic health. However, to date there is no study that has investigated the effect of these bioactive natural compounds on sdLDL levels. Therefore, the aim of the present review is to summarize the evidence accrued on the effect of special dietary ingredients such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, nutraceuticals and herbal medicines on the levels of sdLDL, LDL particle number, and LDL particle size. Based on the results of the existing clinical trials this review suggests that natural products such as medicinal plants, nutraceuticals and omega-3 fatty acids can be used as adjunct or complementary therapeutic agents to reduce sdLDL levels, LDL particle numbers or increase LDL particle size and subsequently may prevent and treat CVD, with the advantage that these natural agents are generally safe, accessible, and inexpensive.

Tree nut snack consumption is associated with better diet quality and CVD risk in the UK adult population: National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) 2008-2014.

Dikariyanto, V., S.E. Berry, G.K. Pot, L. Francis, L. Smith, W.L. Hall, 2020. Tree nut snack consumption is associated with better diet quality and CVD risk in the UK adult population: National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) 2008-2014. Public Health Nutr. doi: 10.1017/S1368980019003914. [Epub ahead of print]

Objectives: To examine associations of tree nut snack (TNS) consumption with diet quality and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in UK adults from National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) 2008-2014. Design: Cross-sectional analysis using data from 4-d food diaries, blood samples and physical measurements for CVD risk markers. To estimate diet quality, modified Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) and modified Healthy Diet Score (HDS) were applied. Associations of TNS consumption with diet quality and markers of CVD risk were investigated using survey-adjusted multivariable linear regression adjusted for sex, age, ethnicity, socio-economic and smoking status, region of residency and total energy and alcohol intake. Setting: UK free-living population. Subjects: 4738 adults (≥19 years). Results: TNS consumers had higher modified MDS and HDS relative to non-consumers. TNS consumers also had lower BMI, WC, SBP and DBP and higher HDL compared to non-consumers, although a dose-related fully adjusted significant association between increasing nut intake (g per 4184 kJ/1000 kcal energy intake) and lower marker of CVD risk was only observed for SBP. TNS consumption was also associated with higher intake of total fat, mono-, n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, fibre, vitamin A, thiamin, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and iron; and lower intake of saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids, total carbohydrate, starch, free sugar, sodium and chloride. Conclusions: TNS consumers report better dietary quality and consumption was associated with lower CVD risk factors. Encouraging replacement of less healthy snacks with TNS should be encouraged as part of general dietary guidelines.