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Nutrients 2018, 10(12), 1907; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121907

Walnut Consumption for Two Years and Leukocyte Telomere Attrition in Mediterranean Elders: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

1
Lipid Clinic, Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, IDIBAPS, Villarroel 170, Edifici Helios, despatx 8, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
2
Ciber Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), 28029 Madrid, Spain
3
Telomeres and Telomerase Group, Molecular Oncology Program, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), 28029 Madrid, Spain
4
Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA
These authors contributed to this work equally.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 4 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Effects of Nut Consumption)
Full-Text   |   PDF [591 KB, uploaded 4 December 2018]   |  

Abstract

Randomized controlled trials on diet and shortening of leukocyte telomere length (LTL) mostly focus on marine-derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Walnuts are a sustainable source of n-3 PUFA. We investigated whether inclusion of walnuts (15% of energy) in the diet for 2 years would maintain LTL in cognitively healthy elders (63–79 years old) compared to a control group (habitual diet, abstaining from walnuts). This opportunistic sub-study was conducted within the Walnuts and Healthy Aging study, a dual-centre (Barcelona, Spain and Loma Linda University, California) parallel trial. A sub-set of the Barcelona site participants were randomly assigned to the walnut (n = 80) or control group (n = 69). We assessed LTL at baseline and at 2 years and we conducted repeated-measures ANCOVA with 2 factors: time (baseline, 2 years) and group (control, walnut) and their interaction. Adjusted means (95% confidence interval) of LTL (in kb) in controls were 7.360 (7.084,7.636) at baseline and 7.061 (6.835,7.288) after 2 years; corresponding values in the walnut group were 7.064 (6.807,7.320) and 7.074 (6.864,7.284). The time × intervention interaction was nearly significant (p = 0.079), suggestive of a trend of walnut consumption in preserving LTL. This exploratory research finding should be confirmed in trials with adequate statistical power. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging; alpha-linolenic acid; biomarker; n-3 PUFA; nuts aging; alpha-linolenic acid; biomarker; n-3 PUFA; nuts
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Freitas-Simoes, T.-M.; Cofán, M.; Blasco, M.A.; Soberón, N.; Foronda, M.; Serra-Mir, M.; Roth, I.; Valls-Pedret, C.; Doménech, M.; Ponferrada-Ariza, E.; Calvo, C.; Rajaram, S.; Sabaté, J.; Ros, E.; Sala-Vila, A. Walnut Consumption for Two Years and Leukocyte Telomere Attrition in Mediterranean Elders: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1907.

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