Nuts for Better Health


In a study of more than 5,000 people, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) investigators discovered a greater intake of nuts was associated with lower levels of inflammation. The study’s results, which may help explain the health benefits of nuts, appeared in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“We know inflammation is a key process in the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes,” says corresponding author Ying Bao, MD, an epidemiologist in BWH’s Channing Division of Network Medicine. “Our new work suggests nuts may exert their beneficial effects in part by reducing systemic inflammation.”

Peanuts and tree nuts contain many healthful components, including magnesium, fiber, L-arginine, antioxidants, and unsaturated fatty acids. Researchers have not yet determined which of these components, or if the combination of all of them, may offer protection against inflammation, but Bao and her colleagues hope to explore this through clinical trials that would regulate and monitor diet.