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Open AccessArticle

Almond Consumption and Processing Affects the Composition of the Gastrointestinal Microbiota of Healthy Adult Men and Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
USDA, ARS, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(2), 126;
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nut Consumption for Human Health)
PDF [230 KB, uploaded 26 January 2018]


Background: Almond processing has been shown to differentially impact metabolizable energy; however, the effect of food form on the gastrointestinal microbiota is under-investigated. Objective: We aimed to assess the interrelationship of almond consumption and processing on the gastrointestinal microbiota. Design: A controlled-feeding, randomized, five-period, crossover study with washouts between diet periods was conducted in healthy adults (n = 18). Treatments included: (1) zero servings/day of almonds (control); (2) 1.5 servings (42 g)/day of whole almonds; (3) 1.5 servings/day of whole, roasted almonds; (4) 1.5 servings/day of roasted, chopped almonds; and (5) 1.5 servings/day of almond butter. Fecal samples were collected at the end of each three-week diet period. Results: Almond consumption increased the relative abundances of Lachnospira, Roseburia, and Dialister (p ≤ 0.05). Comparisons between control and the four almond treatments revealed that chopped almonds increased Lachnospira, Roseburia, and Oscillospira compared to control (p < 0.05), while whole almonds increased Dialister compared to control (p = 0.007). There were no differences between almond butter and control. Conclusions: These results reveal that almond consumption induced changes in the microbial community composition of the human gastrointestinal microbiota. Furthermore, the degree of almond processing (e.g., roasting, chopping, and grinding into butter) differentially impacted the relative abundances of bacterial genera. View Full-Text
Keywords: nuts; microbiome; fiber; fat; fermentation nuts; microbiome; fiber; fat; fermentation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Holscher, H.D.; Taylor, A.M.; Swanson, K.S.; Novotny, J.A.; Baer, D.J. Almond Consumption and Processing Affects the Composition of the Gastrointestinal Microbiota of Healthy Adult Men and Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2018, 10, 126.

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