Yang, J., R. Lee, Z. Schulz, A. Hsu, J. Pai, S. Yang, S.M. Henning, J. Huang, J.P. Jacobs, D. Heber, Z. Li., 2023. Mixed Nuts as Healthy Snacks: Effect on Tryptophan Metabolism and Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Nutrients. 15, 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15030569.
We recently demonstrated that the consumption of mixed tree nuts (MTNs) during caloric restriction decreased cardiovascular risk factors and increased satiety. Tryptophan (Trp) metabolism has been indicated as a factor in cardiovascular disease. Here, we investigated the effect of MTNs on Trp metabolism and the link to cardiovascular risk markers. Plasma and stool were collected from 95 overweight individuals who consumed either MTNs (or pretzels) daily as part of a hypocaloric weight loss diet for 12 weeks followed by an isocaloric weight maintenance program for an additional 12 weeks. Plasma and fecal samples were evaluated for Trp metabolites by LC–MS and for gut microbiota by 16S rRNA sequencing. Trp–kynurenine metabolism was reduced only in the MTNs group during weight loss (baseline vs. week 12). Changes in Trp–serotonin (week 24) and Trp–indole (week 12) metabolism from baseline were increased in the MTNs group compared to the pretzel group. Intergroup analysis between MTN and pretzel groups does not identify significant microbial changes as indicated by alpha diversity and beta diversity. Changes in the relative abundance of genus Paludicola during intervention are statistically different between the MTNs and pretzel group with p < 0.001 (q = 0.07). Our findings suggest that consumption of MTNs affects Trp host and microbial metabolism in overweight and obese subjects.