Amen, R. I., Sirirat, R., Oda, K., Rajaram, S., Nwachukwu, I., Cofan, M., Ros, E., Sabate, J., & Haddad, E. H. (2023). Effect of walnut supplementation on dietary polyphenol intake and urinary polyphenol excretion in the walnuts and healthy aging study. Nutrients. 15(5):1253. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15051253
Among all tree nuts, walnuts contain the highest total polyphenols by weight. This secondary data analysis examined the effect of daily walnut supplementation on the total dietary polyphenols and subclasses and the urinary excretion of total polyphenols in a free-living elderly population. In this 2-year prospective, randomized intervention trial (ID NCT01634841), the dietary polyphenol intake of participants who added walnuts daily to their diets at 15% of daily energy were compared to those in the control group that consumed a walnut-free diet. Dietary polyphenols and subclasses were estimated from 24 h dietary recalls. Phenolic estimates were derived from Phenol-Explorer database version 3.6. Participants in the walnut group compared to the control group had a higher intake of total polyphenols, flavonoids, flavanols, and phenolic acids in mg/d (IQR): 2480 (1955, 3145) vs. 1897 (1369, 2496); 56 (42,84) vs. 29 (15, 54); 174 (90, 298) vs. 140 (61, 277); and 368 (246, 569) vs. 242 (89, 398), respectively. There was a significant inverse association between dietary flavonoid intake and urine polyphenol excretion; less urinary excretion may imply that some of the polyphenols were eliminated via the gut. Nuts had a significant contribution to the total polyphenols in the diet, suggesting that a single food like walnuts added to habitual diet can increase the polyphenol intake in a Western population.