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Published on Apr 13, 2010
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According to a study conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, and just published in the February issue of Diabetes Care, eating 2 ounces of walnuts per day as part of a normal diet may improve cardiovascular health in people with type 2 diabetes.*
Prior studies have demonstrated potential benefit of walnuts in promoting heart health in healthy adults, but few have focused on diabetes. Since type 2 diabetes raises the risk for heart disease, researchers wanted to explore the effect of walnut intake on adults with diabetes.
The study participants adults with type 2 diabetes were instructed to eat 2 ounces of walnuts each day along with their normal diets during one 8-week period, and to simply follow their normal diets during another 8-week period. The research team found that endothelial function improved significantly when people consumed the walnut-enriched diet for 8 weeks. Endothelial function - a measure of how well blood vessels are able to dilate and increase flow - is a powerful predictor of overall cardiovascular risk. This is the first study looking at the benefits of walnut consumption on endothelial function in type 2 diabetes.