Freitas-Simoes, T.M., M. Cofán, M.A. Blasco, N. Soberón, M. Foronda, M. Serra-Mir, I. Roth, C. Valls-Pedret, M. Doménech, E. Ponferrada-Ariza, C. Calvo, S. Rajaram, J. Sabaté, E. Ros, A. Sala-Vila, 2018. Walnut consumption for two years and leukocyte telomere attrition in Mediterranean elders: results of a randomized controlled trial. Nutrients. 10(12). pii: E1907. doi: 10.3390/nu10121907.
Randomized controlled trials on diet and shortening of leukocyte telomere length (LTL) mostly focus on marine-derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Walnuts are a sustainable source of n-3 PUFA. We investigated whether inclusion of walnuts (15% of energy) in the diet for 2 years would maintain LTL in cognitively healthy elders (63–79 years old) compared to a control group (habitual diet, abstaining from walnuts). This opportunistic sub-study was conducted within the Walnuts and Healthy Aging study, a dual-centre (Barcelona, Spain and Loma Linda University, California) parallel trial. A sub-set of the Barcelona site participants were randomly assigned to the walnut (n = 80) or control group (n = 69). We assessed LTL at baseline and at 2 years and we conducted repeated-measures ANCOVA with 2 factors: time (baseline, 2 years) and group (control, walnut) and their interaction. Adjusted means (95% confidence interval) of LTL (in kb) in controls were 7.360 (7.084,7.636) at baseline and 7.061 (6.835,7.288) after 2 years; corresponding values in the walnut group were 7.064 (6.807,7.320) and 7.074 (6.864,7.284). The time × intervention interaction was nearly significant (p = 0.079), suggestive of a trend of walnut consumption in preserving LTL. This exploratory research finding should be confirmed in trials with adequate statistical power.
previous abstractWalnut consumption increases activation of the insula to highly desirable food cues: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over fMRI study.