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Title: Effects of Walnuts on Endothelial Function in Overweight Adults with at Least One Factor of Metabolic Syndrome
Status: Completed
Topic: Cardiovascular Health / Endothelial Function*
Funding Source: California Walnut Commission
Funding Period: 2010-2011
Study Design: Randomized, Controlled, Cross–Over Trial
Purpose: To determine if consumption of walnuts improves endothelial function, cholesterol, and triglycerides in overweight adults with at least one risk factor for metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that occur together and raise the risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes)
Further Study Details:

Walnuts are a nutrient-dense whole food source of antioxidants and an essential omega-3 fatty acid, and are thought to be beneficial to cardiovascular health. Our prior study followed 24 adults with diabetes, and found that consuming 2 ounces of walnuts per day for 8 weeks (in addition to their usual diets) significantly improved endothelial function compared to their usual diets without walnuts. The new study will examine the effects of daily walnut consumption (2 ounces per day for 8 weeks) among 46 overweight non-diabetic men and women who have at least one risk factor for metabolic syndrome, but who have not been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Specifically, it will examine whether consuming walnuts has an effect on endothelial function, blood pressure, fasting glucose, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, body weight, or waist circumference.

*Cardiovascular health is a research priority at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. We have a vascular lab where we conduct studies of endothelial function – a measure of blood vessel behavior. Blood flow and blood vessel reactivity are indicators of heart health. When blood vessels dilate (expand) or constrict (shrink) properly, endothelial function is considered to be normal. If they constrict when they should dilate, endothelial function is abnormal. Impaired (or abnormal) endothelial function is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. We measure endothelial functioning with the use of ultrasound imaging of the brachial artery in the arm (called Brachial Artery Reactivity Scan or BARS) – a simple and painless procedure which provides a picture of the blood vessels.

Findings: Results will be available in late 2011.
Eligibility: Overweight men and women age 25-75 years who have at least one risk factor for metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high fasting glucose, high triglycerides, and/or low HDL cholesterol).

Changed at: 2/24/2015 2:54 PM Changed by: Janet Maurice
Created at: 8/30/2010 10:06 AM Created by: Griffin Hospital