Oxylipins play a role in cardiovascular disease and aging

A recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition investigated the long-term effects of walnut consumption on the generation and metabolism of serum oxylipins, which play a role in cardiovascular disease and aging.

Oxylipins are derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Walnuts are a source of α-linolenic acid, the primary plant-derived omega-3 PUFA.

This was a substudy of the Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA) study, a dual-center, single-blind, randomized controlled trial. A total of 115 participants aged 63 to 79 years were randomly assigned to receive either a diet enriched with walnuts at ≈15% energy (30–60 grams/day) or a control diet (abstention from walnuts) over a period of two years.

Serum concentrations of 53 oxylipins were measured in all participants at baseline and post-intervention. Two-year concentration changes were calculated and group differences were assessed for age, sex, body mass index and baseline concentration of each oxylipin.

The study found that, compared to the walnut-free diet, supplementation with walnuts at ≈15% energy increased the serum concentrations of most examined oxylipins derived from α-linolenic acid. These findings add novel mechanistic evidence on the cardioprotective effects of walnuts.

This study was supported by a grant from the California Walnut Commission.

Cofán, M., Checa, A., Serra-Mir, M., Roth, I., Valls-Pedret, C., Lopez-Illamola, A., Doménech, M., Rajaram, S., Lázaro, I., Sabaté, J., Ros, E., Wheelock, C. E., & Sala-Vila, A. (2023). A Walnut-Enriched Diet for 2 Years Changes the Serum Oxylipin Profile in Healthy Older Persons. The Journal of Nutrition, S0022-3166(23)72794-6. Advance online publication.


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