Abstract Title:

The effect of walnut intake on factors related to prostate and vascular health in older men.

Abstract Source:

Nutr J. 2008 May 2;7:13. PMID: 18454862

Abstract Author(s):

Kim J Spaccarotella, Penny M Kris-Etherton, William L Stone, Deborah M Bagshaw, Valerie K Fishell, Sheila G West, Frank R Lawrence, Terryl J Hartman


BACKGROUND: Tocopherols may protect against prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). METHODS: We assessed the effect of walnuts, which are rich in tocopherols, on markers of prostate and vascular health in men at risk for prostate cancer. We conducted an 8-week walnut supplement study to examine effects of walnuts on serum tocopherols and prostate specific antigen (PSA). Subjects (n = 21) consumed (in random order) their usual diet +/- a walnut supplement (75 g/d) that was isocalorically incorporated in their habitual diets. Prior to the supplement study, 5 fasted subjects participated in an acute timecourse experiment and had blood taken at baseline and 1, 2, 4, and 8 h after consuming walnuts (75 g). RESULTS: During the timecourse experiment, triglycerides peaked at 4 h, and gamma-tocopherol (gamma-T) increased from 4 to 8 h. Triglyceride - normalized gamma-T was two-fold higher (P = 0.01) after 8 versus 4 h. In the supplement study, change from baseline was +0.83 +/- 0.52 micromol/L for gamma-T, -2.65 +/- 1.30 micromol/L for alpha-tocopherol (alpha-T) and -3.49 +/- 1.99 for the tocopherol ratio (alpha-T: gamma-T). A linear mixed model showed that, although PSA did not change, the ratio of free PSA:total PSA increased and approached significance (P = 0.07). The alpha-T: gamma-T ratio decreased significantly (P = 0.01), partly reflecting an increase in serum gamma-T, which approached significance (P = 0.08). CONCLUSION: The significant decrease in the alpha-T: gamma-T ratio with an increase in serum gamma-T and a trend towards an increase in the ratio of free PSA:total PSA following the 8-week supplement study suggest that walnuts may improve biomarkers of prostate and vascular status.

Study Type : Human Study

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