The journal, Clinical Nutrition has published a study that examined how peanuts as a nighttime snack may be beneficial to gut health. While tree nuts influence gut microbiota composition, the effect of peanut consumption had not been investigated yet.

The aim of the study was to analyze the effect of consuming 28 g/d of peanuts for 6 weeks, compared to an isocaloric lower-fat higher-carbohydrate (LFHC) snack on the gut microbiota composition. 50 adults participated in this randomized crossover trial and were instructed to either eat 2 g/d of dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, or the LFHC snack for 6 weeks (with a 4-week washout). The researchers then measured the gut bacterial composition and found that following peanut intake, Ruminococcaceae were significantly increased compared to LFHC.

The results demonstrated that an increased abundance of Ruminococcaceae was associated with peanut consumption in adults. This suggests that peanut consumption may enrich a known butyrate producer. Butyrate is a beneficial metabolite for intestinal homeostasis (epithelial cell fuel source and important for immune function).

Sapp, P. A., Kris-Etherton, P. M., Arnesen, E. A., See, J. R. C., Lamendella, R., & Petersen, K. S. (2022). Peanuts as a nighttime snack enrich butyrate-producing bacteria compared to an isocaloric lower-fat higher-carbohydrate snack in adults with elevated fasting glucose: A randomized crossover trial. Clinical Nutrition41(10), 2169-2177.

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