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Study: Walnuts May Help Improve Gut Health

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We all know that walnuts are full of a variety of health benefits. Researchers are continuously finding more benefits. Just this year we found further evidence of how walnuts can boost brain health due to the omega 3 fatty acids, which have been found to reduce inflammation.

Now a new research study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry suggests that eating a more walnut-enriched diet may improve our overall gut health.

Lauri Byerley, Research Associate Professor at Louisiana State University (LSU), had this to say about the purpose of the study:

“Walnuts have been called a ‘superfood’ because they are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid and fibre, and they contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants. Now, an additional superfood benefit of walnuts may be their beneficial changes to the gut microbiota.”

The study looked at mice, where they split them off into two groups. One group was fed a walnut-rich diet while the other was fed a diet without walnuts. The researchers measured the gut bacteria in the descending colon and compared the results between the two groups.

Researchers found that there were distinctive differences in bacteria communities between the two rodent groups. In the rodent group that had been consuming the walnut-enriched diet, there were noted beneficial developments in the bacteria. The numbers and types of bacteria changed as well as the functionality of the bacteria.

Byerley noted that researchers found an increased diversity of bacteria in the gut as well as other positive factors:

“We found that walnuts in the diet increased the diversity of bacteria in the gut, and other non-related studies have associated less bacterial diversity with obesity and other diseases like inflammatory bowel disease.”

Essential takeaways

  • New research published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found a link between consuming walnuts and an increase in healthy gut bacteria.
  • The study looked at two groups of mice – one that ate walnuts and one that didn’t.
  • After participating in a series of tests, it was determined that the mice who consumed walnuts had an increased diversity in gut bacteria and increase in the functionality of the gut bacteria.