Special Issue "Nuts Intake and Human Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemicals and Human Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Giuseppina Mandalari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Science, University of Messina, 98168 Messina, Italy
Interests: antimicrobial activity of flavonoids; nutraceutical properties; in vitro and in vivo digestion and release of flavonoids
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Terri Grassby
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Surrey, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK
Interests: food science; plant polysaccharides; dietary fibre; bioaccessibility
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nutrients is planning a Special Issue focusing on nut intake and human health, which will include research on all aspects of nut intake and effects on human health, including cardiometabolic health (heart disease, type 2 diabetes) and gut health (prebiotics, cancer prevention). We invite you to submit your latest research to this Special Issue.
With the increasing popularity of plant-based diets, understanding the health effects of nut consumption has never been so important.
All types of study will be considered where nuts are a key component of the analysis/intervention, including intervention trials, epidemiological studies, in vitro studies and metanalyses. All nuts (tree and ground nuts) whether individually, in combination or as significant components of a dietary intervention will be eligible for inclusion. Studies on the digestion and bioavailability of nutrients and phytochemicals, energy metabolism, appetite, satiety and obesity from nuts are also welcome.

Dr. Giuseppina Mandalari
Dr. Terri Grassby
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Nuts
  • Human nutrition
  • Health effects
  • Digestion and fermentation
  • Food structure
  • Microbiome
  • Cognition
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Phytonutrients

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effect of a 12-Week Almond-Enriched Diet on Biomarkers of Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Cardiometabolic Health in Older Overweight Adults
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041180 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1805
Abstract
Long term nut consumption is associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease and better cognitive function. This study examined supplementing habitual diets with almonds or carbohydrate-rich snack foods (providing 15% energy) on biomarkers of cardiovascular and metabolic health, mood and cognitive performance. [...] Read more.
Long term nut consumption is associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease and better cognitive function. This study examined supplementing habitual diets with almonds or carbohydrate-rich snack foods (providing 15% energy) on biomarkers of cardiovascular and metabolic health, mood and cognitive performance. Participants (overweight/obese, 50–80 years) were randomised to an almond-enriched diet (AED) or isocaloric nut-free diet (NFD) for 12 weeks. Body weight, blood lipids, glucose, insulin, blood pressure (BP), arterial stiffness, cell adhesions molecules, C reactive protein (CRP), mood, and cognitive performance (working memory primary outcome), dietary profiles and energy intake/expenditure were measured at baseline and Week 12 in 128 participants (n = 63 AED, n = 65 NFD). Compared with NFD, AED was associated with altered macro and micronutrient profiles, but no differences in energy intake or expenditure. The AED significantly reduced triglycerides and SBP but there were no other changes in cardiometabolic biomarkers, mood, or cognitive performance. The inclusion of almonds in the diet improves aspects of cardiometabolic health without affecting cognitive performance or mood in overweight/obese adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuts Intake and Human Health)
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Article
The Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Anacardium occidentale L. Cashew Nuts in a Mouse Model of Colitis
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030834 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 1773
Abstract
Background: Anacardium occidentale L. is a tropical plant used for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. The goal of the present work was to investigate the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant potential of oral administration of cashew nuts (from Anacardium occidentale L.) in a mouse model [...] Read more.
Background: Anacardium occidentale L. is a tropical plant used for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. The goal of the present work was to investigate the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant potential of oral administration of cashew nuts (from Anacardium occidentale L.) in a mouse model of colitis. Methods: Induction of colitis was performed by intrarectally injection of dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (DNBS). Cashew nuts were administered daily orally (100 mg/kg) in DNBS-injected mice. Results: Four days after DNBS, histological and macroscopic colon alterations as well as marked clinical signs and increased cytokine production were observed. Neutrophil infiltration, measured by myeloperoxidase (MPO) positive immunostaining, was correlated with up-regulation of adhesion molecules ICAM-1 and P-selectin in colons. Oxidative stress was detected with increased malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, nitrotyrosine, and poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) positive staining in inflamed colons. Oral treatment with cashew nuts reduced histological, macroscopic damage, neutrophil infiltration, pro-inflammatory cytokines and MDA levels, as well as nitrotyrosine, PARP and ICAM-1, and P-selectin expressions. Colon inflammation could be related to nuclear factor (NF)-kB pathway activation and reduced manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) antioxidant activity. Cashew nuts administration inhibited NF-kB and increased MnSOD antioxidant expressions. Conclusions: The results suggested that oral assumption of cashew nuts may be beneficial for the management of colitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuts Intake and Human Health)
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Article
The Effect of Walnut Consumption on n-3 Fatty Acid Profile of Healthy People Living in a Non-Mediterranean West Balkan Country, a Small Scale Randomized Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010192 - 10 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1221
Abstract
People living in non-Mediterranean West Balkan countries have diets with a low n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content. Walnuts, a traditional Serbian food, could be an excellent source of n-3 PUFA. The first sub-study evaluated the fatty acid and mineral content [...] Read more.
People living in non-Mediterranean West Balkan countries have diets with a low n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content. Walnuts, a traditional Serbian food, could be an excellent source of n-3 PUFA. The first sub-study evaluated the fatty acid and mineral content of Serbian walnuts, demonstrating that walnuts had the high content of linolenic acid (C18:3, n-3 ALA). The second sub-study assessed the consumption of walnuts (Juglans regia L.) and total n-3-fatty acid intake in apparently healthy Serbian residents, using 24-h dietary recalls (n = 352). An inadequate intake of n-3 fatty acids and a low consumption of walnuts was seen. Additionally, we evaluated the fatty acid profile of healthy Serbian adults (n = 110) and finally, via a randomized intervention 4-weeks study, we assessed the effects of walnut consumption on n-3 fatty acid profile of participants (n = 18). The plasma content of n-3 PUFA was low and the n-6/n-3 ratio was high in our study participants. The n-3 plasma fatty acid profile was improved after 4 weeks of walnut consumption, meaning that ALA, eicosapentaenoic acid, and total n-3 were significantly increased. The results of our study pointed out the potential health benefits of walnuts consumption on amelioration of the n-3 fatty acid profile that should be taken into account in preventive management programs. The higher conversion of ALA to EPA (>10%) in examined study participants, suggests the importance of a moderate walnut consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuts Intake and Human Health)
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Article
The Antimicrobial and Antiviral Activity of Polyphenols from Almond (Prunus dulcis L.) Skin
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2355; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102355 - 03 Oct 2019
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 1946
Abstract
Due to their antimicrobial and antiviral activity potential in vitro, polyphenols are gaining a lot of attention from the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. A novel antiviral and antimicrobial approach could be based on the use of polyphenols obtained from natural sources. Here, we [...] Read more.
Due to their antimicrobial and antiviral activity potential in vitro, polyphenols are gaining a lot of attention from the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. A novel antiviral and antimicrobial approach could be based on the use of polyphenols obtained from natural sources. Here, we tested the antibacterial and antiviral effect of a mix of polyphenols present in natural almond skin (NS MIX). The antimicrobial potential was evaluated against the standard American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) and clinical strains of Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant (MRSA) strains, by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC). Herpes simplex virus type I was used for the antiviral assessment of NS MIX by plaque assay. Furthermore, we evaluated the expression of viral cascade antigens. NS MIX exhibited antimicrobial (MIC values of 0.31–1.25 mg/ml) and antiviral activity (decrease in the viral titer ** p < 0.01, and viral DNA accumulation * p < 0.05) against Staphylococcus aureus and HSV-1, respectively. Amongst the isolated compounds, the aglycones epicatechin and catechin showed the greatest activity against S. aureus ATCC 6538P (MIC values of 0.078–0.15 and 0.15 mg/ml, respectively), but were not active against all the other strains. These results could be used to develop novel products for topical use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuts Intake and Human Health)
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Article
Chemical Composition and In Vitro Bioaccessibility of Antioxidant Phytochemicals from Selected Edible Nuts
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2303; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102303 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1640
Abstract
The ultimate health benefits of peanuts and tree nuts partially depend on the effective gastrointestinal delivery of their phytochemicals. The chemical composition and in vitro bioaccessibility of tocopherols, tocotrienols and phenolic compounds from peanuts and seven tree nuts were evaluated by analytical and [...] Read more.
The ultimate health benefits of peanuts and tree nuts partially depend on the effective gastrointestinal delivery of their phytochemicals. The chemical composition and in vitro bioaccessibility of tocopherols, tocotrienols and phenolic compounds from peanuts and seven tree nuts were evaluated by analytical and chemometric methods. Total fat and dietary fiber (g 100 g−1) ranged from 34.2 (Emory oak acorn) to 72.5 (pink pine nut; PPN) and from 1.2 (PPN) to 22.5 (pistachio). Samples were rich in oleic and linoleic acids (56–87 g 100 g−1 oil). Tocopherols and tocotrienols (mg·kg−1) ranged from 48.1 (peanut) to 156.3 (almond) and 0 (almond, pecan) to 22.1 (PPN) and hydrophilic phenolics from 533 (PPN) to 12,896 (Emory oak acorn); flavonoids and condensed tannins (mg CE.100 g−1) ranged from 142 (white pine nut) to 1833 (Emory oak acorn) and 14 (PPN) to 460 (Emory oak acorn). Three principal components explained 90% of the variance associated with the diversity of antioxidant phytochemicals in samples. In vitro bioaccessibility of tocopherols, tocotrienols, hydrophilic phenolics, flavonoids, and condensed tannins ranged from 11–51%, 16–79%, 25–55%, 0–100%, and 0–94%, respectively. Multiple regression analyses revealed a potential influence of dietary fiber, fats and/or unsaturated fatty acids on phytochemical bioaccessibility, in a structure-specific manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuts Intake and Human Health)
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Article
Baru Almonds Increase the Activity of Glutathione Peroxidase in Overweight and Obese Women: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1750; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081750 - 30 Jul 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1271
Abstract
Background: Obesity-induced inflammation is frequently associated with higher oxidative stress. In vitro and experimental studies have considered baru almonds (Dipteryx alata Vog) as a legume seed with high antioxidant capacity. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether baru almonds are capable [...] Read more.
Background: Obesity-induced inflammation is frequently associated with higher oxidative stress. In vitro and experimental studies have considered baru almonds (Dipteryx alata Vog) as a legume seed with high antioxidant capacity. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether baru almonds are capable of improving the inflammatory and antioxidant status in overweight and obese women. Methods: In a parallel-arm, randomized placebo-controlled trial, 46 overweight and obese women (age: 40 ± 11 years; body mass index: 33.3 ± 4.3) were randomly assigned to receive advice to follow a normocaloric and isoenergetic diet with placebo (PLA, n = 22) or similar advice plus 20 g baru almonds (BARU, n = 24) for 8 wk. Malondialdehyde (MDA), adiponectin, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, interleukin-10, antioxidant enzymes activities (catalase—CAT; glutathione peroxidase—GPx; superoxide dismutase—SOD), and minerals were analyzed in plasma samples. Results: At baseline, groups were similar regarding the body composition, oxidative, and inflammatory parameters. The BARU group increased the activity of GPx (+0.08 U/mg, 95%CI + 0.05 to +0.12 vs. −0.07, 95%CI −0.12 to −0.03, p < 0.01) and plasma copper concentration (p = 0.037) when compared to the PLA group. No differences were observed between groups in CAT and SOD activity or MDA and cytokines concentrations. Conclusions: Baru almond supplementation increased the GPx activity in overweight and obese women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuts Intake and Human Health)

Review

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Review
Nuts and their Effect on Gut Microbiota, Gut Function and Symptoms in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2347; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082347 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2466
Abstract
Nuts contain fibre, unsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols that may impact the composition of the gut microbiota and overall gut health. This study aimed to assess the impact of nuts on gut microbiota, gut function and gut symptoms via a systematic review and [...] Read more.
Nuts contain fibre, unsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols that may impact the composition of the gut microbiota and overall gut health. This study aimed to assess the impact of nuts on gut microbiota, gut function and gut symptoms via a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in healthy adults. Eligible RCTs were identified by systematic searches of five electronic databases, hand searching of conference abstracts, clinical trials databases, back-searching reference lists and contact with key stakeholders. Eligible studies were RCTs administering tree nuts or peanuts in comparison to control, measuring any outcome related to faecal microbiota, function or symptoms. Two reviewers independently screened papers, performed data extraction and risk of bias assessment. Outcome data were synthesised as weighted mean difference (WMD) or standardised mean difference (SMD) using a random effects model. This review was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42019138169). Eight studies reporting nine RCTs were included, investigating almonds (n = 5), walnuts (n = 3) and pistachios (n = 1). Nut consumption significantly increased Clostridium (SMD: 0.40; 95% CI, 0.10, 0.71; p = 0.01), Dialister (SMD: 0.44; 95% CI, 0.13, 0.75; p = 0.005), Lachnospira (SMD: 0.33; 95% CI, 0.02, 0.64; p = 0.03) and Roseburia (SMD: 0.36; 95% CI, 0.10, 0.62; p = 0.006), and significantly decreased Parabacteroides (SMD: −0.31; 95% CI, −0.62, −0.00; p = 0.05). There was no effect of nuts on bacterial phyla, diversity or stool output. Further parallel design RCTs, powered to detect changes in faecal microbiota and incorporating functional and clinical outcomes, are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuts Intake and Human Health)
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Review
Almonds (Prunus Dulcis Mill. D. A. Webb): A Source of Nutrients and Health-Promoting Compounds
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030672 - 01 Mar 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3608
Abstract
Almonds (Prunus dulcis Miller D. A. Webb (the almond or sweet almond)), from the Rosaceae family, have long been known as a source of essential nutrients; nowadays, they are in demand as a healthy food with increasing popularity for the general population [...] Read more.
Almonds (Prunus dulcis Miller D. A. Webb (the almond or sweet almond)), from the Rosaceae family, have long been known as a source of essential nutrients; nowadays, they are in demand as a healthy food with increasing popularity for the general population and producers. Studies on the composition and characterization of almond macro- and micronutrients have shown that the nut has many nutritious ingredients such as fatty acids, lipids, amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, as well as secondary metabolites. However, several factors affect the nutritional quality of almonds, including genetic and environmental factors. Therefore, investigations evaluating the effects of different factors on the quality of almonds were also included. In epidemiological studies, the consumption of almonds has been associated with several therapeutically and protective health benefits. Clinical studies have verified the modulatory effects on serum glucose, lipid and uric acid levels, the regulatory role on body weight, and protective effects against diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, recent researchers have also confirmed the prebiotic potential of almonds. The present review was carried out to emphasize the importance of almonds as a healthy food and source of beneficial constituents for human health, and to assess the factors affecting the quality of the almond kernel. Electronic databases including PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and SciFinder were used to investigate previously published articles on almonds in terms of components and bioactivity potentials with a particular focus on clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuts Intake and Human Health)
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