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The Consumption of Nuts Can Help Cardiometabolic Health and Older People’s Memory, Attention and Reasoning

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October 23, 2015

The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council has organized a symposium to present to the media the new findings of the benefits of nuts on health, which has taken place at the European Nutrition Conference in Berlin.

Four international experts have explained new findings on nuts and health. Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, from Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain); Dr. Fran Grodstein, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (USA); Dr. Giuseppina Mandalari, from University of Messina (Italy), and Dr. Volker Mai, from University of Florida (USA), shared the latest scientific studies on the beneficial effects of nuts, such as cardiometabolic health or the relationship between the consumption of nuts and better cognitive function in older men.

Prof. Salas-Salvadó, from Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain), explained in the lecture “Nuts and Cardiometabolic Health” that nut consumption can help patients with metabolic syndrome, which is a clustering of medical conditions such as abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. Also, they have proven that participants with metabolic syndrome are more likely to reverse the syndrome when they consumed nuts in the context of a healthy diet.

In this symposium, Dr. Fran Grodstein (Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School, USA) explained that there is a relation between increased consumption of nuts and better cognitive function in older men, which encompasses processing speed, memory, attention, and learning. Specifically, the researchers have shown that men age 67 and older eating more than 2 servings of nuts per week have better results on neuropsychologic tests.

Dr. Giusseppina Mandalari presented the lecture “Nuts and digestion”. Her team study has demonstrated that pistachios release important nutrients and antioxidants during digestion. Researchers also assessed the lipid bioaccessibility of almonds thanks to an in vitro model of digestion consisting of a dynamic gastric model, which provided a convincing explanation for why almonds have a low metabolizable energy content and an attenuated impact on postprandial lipemia.

In the same symposium, Dr. Volker Mai, from the University of Florida, presented the lecture “Tree Nuts and the Gut; Supporting Healthy Microbiota”. Researchers studied whether the consumption of 1.5 ounces of almonds in adults and 0.5 ounces in children changes gastrointestinal function. The study found that almonds consumption resulted in detectable changes in bacterial taxa particularly in children, some with potential beneficial characteristics.

 

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