Nuts are constantly in the news and are a hot topic as far as their nutritional benefits are concerned. Yet another study has just been released singing their praises showing that a greater intake of nuts is associated with lower levels of inflammatory makers in the body.
The study, conducted at Brigham and Women's and which included over 5000 participants, was a cross sectional analysis of data from the Nurse's Health study and the Health Professionals Follow Up Study. Diet intake was assessed using questionnaires and the researchers looked at 3 inflammatory marker levels measured in the blood- C reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2).
The researchers found that participants who had consumed five or more servings of nuts per week had lower levels of CRP and IL6 than those who never or almost never ate nuts. And, people who substituted three servings per week of nuts in place of red meat, processed meat, eggs or refined grains had significantly lower levels of CRP and IL6. These results persisted after adjusting for age, medical history, lifestyle and other factors. The researchers can not isolate what healthful components (such as magnesium, fiber, L-arginine, antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids such as α-linolenic acid) of nuts are responsible for these beneficial effects, and note that further research needs to be conducted in this exciting and promising area. Check out a synopsis of the study HERE.