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Review

Nuts: Natural Pleiotropic Nutraceuticals

1
Lipid Clinic, Endocrinology and Nutrition Service, Institut d’Investigacions Biomediques August Pi Sunyer, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
2
CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
3
Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Paolo Magni, Andrea Baragetti and Andrea Poli
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3269; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093269
Received: 19 August 2021 / Revised: 1 September 2021 / Accepted: 14 September 2021 / Published: 19 September 2021
Common nuts (tree nuts and peanuts) are energy-dense foods that nature has gifted with a complex matrix of beneficial nutrients and bioactives, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, high-quality protein, fiber, non-sodium minerals, tocopherols, phytosterols, and antioxidant phenolics. These nut components synergize to favorably influence metabolic and vascular physiology pathways, ameliorate cardiovascular risk factors and improve cardiovascular prognosis. There is increasing evidence that nuts positively impact myriad other health outcomes as well. Nut consumption is correlated with lower cancer incidence and cancer mortality, and decreased all-cause mortality. Favorable effects on cognitive function and depression have also been reported. Randomized controlled trials consistently show nuts have a cholesterol-lowering effect. Nut consumption also confers modest improvements on glycemic control, blood pressure (BP), endothelial function, and inflammation. Although nuts are energy-dense foods, they do not predispose to obesity, and in fact may even help in weight loss. Tree nuts and peanuts, but not peanut butter, generally produce similar positive effects on outcomes. First level evidence from the PREDIMED trial shows that, in the context of a Mediterranean diet, consumption of 30 g/d of nuts (walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts) significantly lowered the risk of a composite endpoint of major adverse cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke, and death from cardiovascular disease) by ≈30% after intervention for 5 y. Impressively, the nut-supplemented diet reduced stroke risk by 45%. As they are rich in salutary bioactive compounds and beneficially impact various health outcomes, nuts can be considered natural pleiotropic nutraceuticals. View Full-Text
Keywords: tree nuts; peanuts; fatty acids; prospective studies; randomized clinical trials; cardiovascular risk; type-2 diabetes; cancer; hypertension; cognitive function; mortality; body weight; blood lipids; inflammation; PREDIMED tree nuts; peanuts; fatty acids; prospective studies; randomized clinical trials; cardiovascular risk; type-2 diabetes; cancer; hypertension; cognitive function; mortality; body weight; blood lipids; inflammation; PREDIMED
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ros, E.; Singh, A.; O’Keefe, J.H. Nuts: Natural Pleiotropic Nutraceuticals. Nutrients 2021, 13, 3269. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093269

AMA Style

Ros E, Singh A, O’Keefe JH. Nuts: Natural Pleiotropic Nutraceuticals. Nutrients. 2021; 13(9):3269. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093269

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ros, Emilio, Annapoorna Singh, and James H. O’Keefe 2021. "Nuts: Natural Pleiotropic Nutraceuticals" Nutrients 13, no. 9: 3269. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093269

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