The impact of walnuts on gut and heart health

A randomised controlled trial, as reported by Science Daily, found that eating walnuts every day could positively affect gut and heart health.

The trial looked at the results from 42 participants, between the ages of 30 and 65, on three study diets; one that incorporated whole walnuts, one that included the same amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and polyunsaturated fats without walnuts, and one that partially substituted oleic acid (another fatty acid) for the same amount of ALA found in walnuts without walnuts. The participants followed the diets for six weeks each with a break in between diets, where the walnuts or vegetable oils replaced saturated fats.

The study found that those who followed the walnut diet had an enriched number of gut bacteria, one of which being Roseburia, which is associated with the protection of the gut lining. The researchers also found that, in addition to the increase in gut bacteria, the diet seemed to reduce risk factors for heart disease, suggesting that it also had a positive impact on heart health.

The study authors are looking into developing this research but it does give clues to the positive effects walnuts may have on health.

The role of prebiotics in modulating the microbiome-gut-brain-axis

A professor of food microbiology has called for greater recognition of prebiotics as modulators of the gut microbiome in a new article published by NutraIngredients.

Glenn Gibson, professor of food microbiology and head of food microbial sciences at Reading University spoke to NutraIngredients ahead of his presentation that he will be giving at the Probiota 2020 summit. Gibson argued against those critical of prebiotics and their role in supporting gut health, stating his surprise at how reproducible human studies have been with prebiotics.

Recent studies have suggested that supplementation in the diet of microorganism genera, such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, Streptococcus and Enterococcus may play a role in the prevention or management of obesity through their effects on the microbiome-gut-brain-axis. Speaking of the studies, Gibson said “the studies are showing a lot of promise with the advantage that prebiotics are straightforward to take.”

Metabolics Combocillus contains a blend of bacteria cultures if you are looking to take more than one form.

tea for living longer

Could you live longer by drinking tea?

A recent study by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, suggests that those who drink tea habitually three times a week or more are more likely to lead a longer, healthier life. The study, which was reported by Science Daily in the article, “Tea drinkers live longer”, suggests that the polyphenols in tea could be linked with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and all-cause death, with study author Dr. Dongfeng Gu saying, “The protective effects of tea were most pronounced among the consistent habitual tea drinking group. Mechanism studies have suggested that the main bioactive compounds in tea, namely polyphenols, are not stored in the body long-term. Thus, frequent tea intake over an extended period may be necessary for the cardioprotective effect."

The study also made a clear distinction between green tea and black tea where it was thought that black tea didn’t have the same favourable health effects.

The study involved an observational analysis of habitual and non-habitual tea drinkers over a median period of 7.3 years; to authorise the findings, the study’s authors have concluded that randomised trials are needed to better confirm the findings.

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Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.