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Welcome to the CR Forums Mechanism, and thanks for becoming a supporting member! 

 

My first post (on that topic, curious if there are any CR or IF meetup groups like some organizations have... live  in the New England / CT / MA / NY area)!

 

There aren't any meetup groups of the CR Society that I am aware of, but many of us are getting together at the upcoming CR Society Conference in Tucson in May. Of course it is a big commitment to someone new to CR, but it will be a fun and educational time if you can make it. Alternatively, you might consider the other (loosely) CR-oriented organization, The CR WayTM, which has its headquarters in upstate New York and to their credit has a more active social component than the CRS. You can learn more about it's founders Paul and Meredith in this new documentary, if you haven't seen it already. I suspect you have given how adept you appear to be at searching archives.

 

Regarding Omega-3 : Omega-6 ratio. I won't pretend to speak for Michael, but I think his reservations about eating large amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids in general, goes beyond the promotion of inflammatory eicosanoids. I think his argument goes that we (esp. people on CR) want to avoid eating too much PUFA because it will result in those PUFAs being incorporated into our cellular and mitochondrial membranes, thereby making them more prone to age-related peroxidation damage. You can read more about Michael's ideas on the topic, and some recent evidence for it, in this thread. But I should let Michael speak to himself.

 

As for me, I'm not a big subscriber to Michael's theory on this one. In fact, according to Michael, my PUFA intake, almost exclusively from a variety of nuts & seeds, including plenty of walnuts, is stupid high, a characterization I never tire of chiding him about. If you haven't seen them yet, Dr. Greger over at NutritionFacts.org has a bunch of videos on the health benefits of nuts & seeds in general, and particularly walnuts.

 

--Dean

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Mechanism,

 

Here is a pretty accurate snapshot of my current diet. I'm eating approximately 7-8oz of nuts per day, but I don't necessarily recommend my approach for anyone else. I'm exploring a pretty unusual part of the space of possible diets & lifestyles. I enjoy nuts, consider them one of the healthier foods out there (despite Michael Rae's PUFA reservations), and appear from blood tests and subjective sense of health & vitality to be thriving on my current, admittedly pretty esoteric diet & lifestyle. But YMMV. 

 

--Dean

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Mechanism,

 

I'm sure you realized this if you looked at my diet, but for anyone reading this thread who didn't, I should make clear I eat a wide variety of nuts and seeds, not just walnuts, to maximize my coverage of nutrients and minimize my exposure to bad stuff in any one of them. At last count, here are the nuts and seeds (mostly raw and all unsalted) that I consume daily, that make up those 7-8oz, in descending quantity:

 

Nuts:    Almonds, hazelnuts/filberts, walnuts, chestnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, pistachios, brazil nut (1 / week)

Seeds:  Flax, chia, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin (pepitas), sesame 

 

I've also recently added a little bit of defatted peanut butter (reconstituted with water) to my diet, which I really enjoy as well.

 

My unusual lifestyle affords me the luxury of partaking in such a wide variety of tasty nuts and seeds, while remaining slim.

 

--Dean

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All,

 

On the topic of walnuts, reports from several new studies are out this week showing interesting benefits of eating them. Here is a press release from the California Walnut Commission (who sponsored the studies...) with highlights. The first is from the amusingly-titled "Walnuts and Healthy Aging" (WAHA) study [1] showed people didn't gain weight and their blood lipid profile showed modest improvements by simply adding 60g of walnuts per day to their diet for a year, without other instructions about dietary modifications:

 

Researchers instructed 707 healthy older adults to add daily doses of walnuts (~15% of caloric intake [≈ 300kcal ≈ 60g ≈ 2oz of walnuts - DP]) to their typical diet or to consume their usual diet without nuts. Participants were not given advice on total calorie and macronutrient intake or food substitution for walnuts. After one year, the study found that both diets had minimal effect on body weight, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol. However, the walnut-diet resulted in significant LDL cholesterol reductions compared to the control, nut-free diet.

 

The second [2] found eating walnuts for 3 weeks resulted in positive changes to the gut microbiome, towards more butyrate-producing bacteria which might help explain at least in part the cardioprotective effects of walnut consumption. 

 

The third [3] found a seven day diet high in PUFA fat (but not necessarily walnuts, 35% fat, 21% of it PUFA) resulted in changes to fasting levels of several hunger hormones (Leptin & PYY) indicative of greater satiety when compared with a 7-day diet with the same total fat (35%) but less PUFA (7%). Reduced hunger is thought in part to explain the paradoxical lack of weight gain in people who eat a lot of nuts. No details about the actual diet in the abstract, so this one should be taken with a grain of salt.

 

The final study [4] was in mice fed either a high-fat (HF) diet, a low-fat (LF) diet, a high-fat diet supplemented with walnuts (HF-W) or a high-fat diet supplemented with walnuts and other polyphenol rich foods like broccoli, cherries, raspberries, green tea. It's too bad the full text isn't available. It sounds like from a lipid profile perspective, the LF diet did the best, but all the different walnut-rich diets did better than a HF diet alone. Here is the summary from the press release:

 

A recent animal study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University looked at the addition of walnuts and polyphenol-rich foods to a typical high-fat Western diet to understand the impact on metabolic health in male mice. Results showed that a walnut-diet supplemented with polyphenol-rich foods such as raspberries, cherries or green tea may help reduce inflammation. Mice that consumed walnuts on their own or in combination with polyphenol-rich foods also demonstrated significant effects on factors related to metabolic syndrome, in addition to changes in both liver gene expression and metabolite levels consistent with an improved metabolic state. As this study was performed on animals, findings cannot yet be applied to humans.

 

Again, all these studies were sponsored by the California Walnut Commission (which has even given a distinguished service award to the lead author of [1]), and since the studies are being presented at an annual meeting as abstracts only, they probably have not (yet) been peer-reviewed. So all the results should be taken with a grain of salt. But interesting nonetheless.

 

--Dean

 

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[1] http://www.fasebj.org/content/30/1_Supplement/293.4.abstract

 

Effect of a 1-Year Walnut Supplementation on Blood Lipids among Older Individuals: Findings from the Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA) study

 
Emilio Ros1, Sujatha Rajaram2, Aleix Sala-Vila1, Merce Serra-Mir1, Cinta Valls-Pedret1, Montse Cofán1, Irene Roth1, Monica Doménech1, Tania Freitas1, Carlos Calvo1, Ella Haddad2 and Joan Sabaté2
 
Abstract
 
Background In small well-controlled short-term feeding studies conducted in middle-aged adults, nut-enriched diets have resulted in cholesterol lowering and absence of weight gain compared to control diets. There are no long-term data on lipid changes when supplementing the diet with nuts in older adults.
 
Objective To assess whether adding walnuts to the daily diet of free-living healthy older adults for 1 year will result in changes in blood lipids compared to the usual diet without nuts.
 
Design Within the context of the WAHA study, a two-center clinical trial aimed at determining the effect of a 2-year walnut diet on age-related outcomes, we randomized 707 free-living older but healthy individuals (352 in Barcelona, 355 in Loma Linda; 67% women, mean age 69 y, mean BMI 27.3 kg/m2) to supplementation of the usual diet with daily doses of walnuts at ≈15% of energy or to usual diet without nuts (control). Participants had frequent (once every two months) assessments by dietitians; no advice was given on total energy/macronutrient intake or food substitution for walnuts. At baseline and 1 year serum lipids were analyzed. Between-group differences in outcomes were analyzed by analysis of covariance with adjustment for sex, age, center and baseline levels; lipid values were additionally adjusted by changes in statin treatment.
 
Results Complete 1-year data were available for 514 participants (260 walnut diet, 254 control diet). There were 137 participants pending 1-year assessment and 56 dropouts for various reasons. The walnut diet was well tolerated and the proportion of α-linolenic acid in red blood cells increased in the walnut group by 0.162% (95% CI, 0.143–0.181) and in the control group by 0.015% (CI, −0.005–0.035) (P<0.001), indicating good compliance with the intervention. Changes in blood lipids were (mean±SEM) −7.5±1.6 versus −0.4±1.6 mg/dL (P=0.003) for total cholesterol, −7.1±1.3 versus −1.1±1.4 mg/dL (P=0.002) for LDL-cholesterol, and −0.15±0.31 versus −0.05±0.31 (P=0.025) for the total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio, in the walnut versus control diets, respectively. No between-diet differences were observed for triglycerides or HDL-cholesterol. Lipid effects were similar in the two centers. No differences in body weight was observed between treatments.
 
Conclusion Incorporating daily doses of walnuts to the habitual diet of older free-living individuals for 1 year was well tolerated and resulted in significant LDL-cholesterol reduction without adverse effects on body weight. Results were similar with a Mediterranean or a Western background diet
 
Support or Funding Information: The WAHA study is funded by the California Walnut Commission
 
Footnotes: This abstract is from the Experimental Biology 2016 Meeting. There is no full text article associated with this abstract published in The FASEB Journal.
 
------------
 
Walnut Consumption Influences the Human Gut Microbiome
 
Heather M Guetterman1, Kelly S Swanson2,3, Janet A Novotny4, David J Baer4 and Hannah D Holscher1,3
 
1Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
2Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
3Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
4USDA, ARS, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Beltsville, MD
Abstract
 
Background Diet and the microbiome play an important role in human health. However, the interplay of diet, the microbiome, and health and disease is under-investigated. Furthermore, there is a dearth of information on the impact of specific foods on the gastrointestinal microbiome. Diets rich in nuts have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease risk factors, including reduced LDL cholesterol and inflammation. The exact mechanisms of these cardioprotective effects may be linked to the gastrointestinal microbiome.
 
Objective We aimed to assess the impact of walnut consumption on the human gastrointestinal microbiome as a means for understanding the underlying mechanisms of the cardiometabolic protective effects of nut consumption.
 
Methods A controlled-feeding, randomized, crossover study was undertaken in healthy adult males (n=10) and females (n=8). Study participants received isocaloric treatment diets containing 0 grams or 42 grams/day of walnut pieces for a period of 3 weeks with a 1-week washout between periods. Blood, urine, and fecal samples were collected at the beginning and end of each treatment period for metabolic, immunologic, and microbial analyses. Barcoded amplicon pools of bacterial, fungal, and archaeal sequences were generated using a Fluidigm Access Array system prior to high-throughput sequencing on an Illumina MiSeq. Sequence data were analyzed with QIIME 1.8. Data were analyzed using the mixed-model procedure of SAS with post-hoc Tukey adjustments for multiple comparisons (SAS 9.4).
 
Results Principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) of UniFrac distances between samples based on their 97% OTU composition and abundances indicated that bacterial communities were impacted by walnut consumption (p<0.05). Walnut consumption increased (p=0.05) the relative abundance of Clostridium from baseline to end. Compared to the end of the control period, walnut consumption increased the relative abundances of Roseburia (p=0.02) and Dialister (p=0.02), and tended to increase the proportion of Faecalibacterium (p=0.07). The relative abundance of Oscillospira tended (p=0.08) to decrease from the end of the control period (no walnuts) compared to the end of the treatment period when walnuts were consumed.
 
Conclusions These novel results revealed that walnut consumption significantly affects the microbial composition of the human gastrointestinal microbiota. More specifically, walnut consumption increased bacterial genera associated with anti-inflammatory properties and production of the short-chain fatty acids butyrate and propionate. Short-chain fatty acids are purported to mediate some of the hypocholesterolemic effects of dietary fibers. These data help fill the gap in knowledge related to the cardioprotective effects of nut consumption. Further research on the bacterial fermentation of walnuts is needed to determine if the changes in these microbial communities translate to increased production of short-chain fatty acids.
 
Support or Funding Information
 
This study was funded by USDA and California Walnut Commission.
 
Footnotes
 
This abstract is from the Experimental Biology 2016 Meeting. There is no full text article associated with this abstract published in The FASEB Journal.
 
-------------
 
Hunger and satiety responses to saturated fat-rich meals before and after a high PUFA diet
 
Jamie A Cooper1, Jada L Stevenson3 and Chad M Paton1,2
 
Objective High-fat meals rich in poly-unsaturated fats (PUFAs) have been shown to induce greater satiety than meals rich in saturated (SFA) or mono-unsaturated (MUFA) fats in an acute setting. It remains unknown, however, what the long-term diet effects of PUFAs are on hunger and satiety.
 
Purpose To determine hunger and satiety responses to high SFA test meals before and after a 7-day high PUFA diet.
 
Methods Eighteen, normal weight, sedentary adults (BMI=21.4±2.3kg/m2; age=22.7±4.1y) were randomly assigned to either a PUFA or control diet. Following a 3-day lead-in diet, participants reported for the baseline visit where anthropometrics and a fasting blood sample were collected. Participants then consumed two high-fat meals (breakfast and lunch) that were rich in SFAs (47% of total energy as SFA). Postprandial blood draws were collected approximately every 30 minutes for 4 hour after each HF meal, for a total of 8 hours. Participants then consumed a high PUFA diet (50% carbohydrate, 15% protein, 35% fat, of which 21% of total energy was PUFA,) or control diet (50% carbohydrate, 15% protein, 35% fat, of which 7% of total energy was PUFA) for the next 7 days. All food and drink were provided by research personnel, and diets were designed to meet each participants estimated daily energy needs. Following the 7-day diet, participants completed the post-visit which included same procedures as the baseline visit (2 high SFA meals and 8 hours of blood draws). Blood samples were analyzed for ghrelin (hunger hormone) and Peptide YY (PYY), insulin, and leptin (satiety hormones).
 
Results For fasting concentrations, the PUFA group showed a significant decrease in ghrelin (1147.1±101.4 vs. 967.0±85.9pg/mL, p<0.05) and significant increase in PYY (89.2±9.3 vs. 113.5±11.8pg/mL, p<0.05) from pre-to post-diet. There were no change in fasting insulin or leptin concentrations, or in the control group for any hormone. In response to the high SFA meal challenges, there was greater postprandial PYY after the 7-day high PUFA diet (postprandial average of 140.8±10.4 vs. 150.6±8.8pg/mL for pre- to post-PUFA diet, respectively; p=0.05). Conversely, there were no significant differences in the postprandial response for ghrelin, insulin, leptin, or VAS measures from pre- to post-diet in either the PUFA or control groups (ns).
 
Conclusion A high PUFA diet consumed for seven days favorably altered physiological markers of hunger and satiety in the fasted and fed state. This study is the first to show that the types of fat consumed on a daily basis can alter long-term appetite hormone profiles.
 
Support or Funding Information
 
This study was funded by the California Walnut Commission.
 
Footnotes
 
This abstract is from the Experimental Biology 2016 Meeting. There is no full text article associated with this abstract published in The FASEB Journal.
 
-----------------
 
Mice Fed High-fat Obesigenic Diets with Walnut Plus Other Whole Foods Demonstrate Metabolic Improvement and Changes in Gene Expression and Metabolomic Patterns
 
Neil F Shay, Ting Luo, Omar Miranda and Allysa Adamson
 
Abstract
 
We tested the hypothesis that addition of PUFA-rich walnut to a high-fat Western diet (HF) would improve metabolism in male C57BL/6J mice. Further, various polyphenol-rich foods were added to walnut-containing HF diets to evaluate the potential for additional metabolic improvement. Groups of mice (n=8 each) were provided either a low-fat diet (LF, 10% kcal fat), high-fat diet (HF, 45% kcal fat), HF supplemented with walnut (W), or W diet supplemented with blueberry (W+BB), raspberry (W+RB), apple (W+AP), cranberry (W+CB), cherry (W+CH), broccoli (W+BR), olive oil (W+OO), soy protein (W+SP), or green tea (W+GT) for 9 weeks. In week 8, a glucose tolerance test was conducted: W-fed mice showed improved glucose control vs. HF-fed mice while W+RB- and W+AP-fed groups showed improvement vs. W-fed mice. After 9 weeks, LF-fed mice gained less weight than all other HF-fed groups. Histological analysis showed hepatic lipid in W-fed mice was not significantly different from LF-fed mice, while W+BR- and W+GT-fed mice had lowest lipid levels with the exception of the LF-fed mice. Patterns of expression of serum cytokines indicate a generalized reduction of inflammatory cytokines in all W-fed groups vs. HF-fed mice.
 
Gene expression in LF, HF, W, W+RB, W+CH, and W+GT groups was measured using a focused gene array (Qiagen). Analysis of relative mRNA levels revealed that walnut-fed mice and walnut plus another whole food had differentially regulated gene expression compared to HF-fed and W-fed mice. Significantly regulated mRNAs were associated with functions related to lipid, carbohydrate, and xenobiotic metabolism, antioxidant effect, and inflammation. The analysis indicates each diet produces a unique expression pattern.
 
Finally, a global metabolomic study compared LF-, HF-, W-, W+CH-, W+RB-, and W+GT-fed mice. Changes in metabolite levels related to energetics, inflammation and redox homeostasis were observed. Changes in carbohydrate metabolism were observed in W+CH-fed mice, with more subtle effects in W+RB-fed mice; these may reflect changes in increased energy demand. Changes in biomarkers in HF- vs. LF-fed mice pointed to increasing inflammation in HF mice; HF+W mice showed increases in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which may negatively regulate inflammation. W-fed mice supplemented with RB, CH or GT produced signs of declining inflammation. Finally, changes in biomarkers of redox homeostasis in HF+W+CH may suggest declining oxidative stress, which may also impact inflammation in the liver. Further studies assessing feces could identify microbiome-related changes associated with dietary supplementation. Finally, an assessment of how dietary supplementation might affect obesity-related disease models (e.g. NASH) may identify new therapeutic opportunities to target disease. We conclude that intake of walnut, a high PUFA-containing food, on its own or in combination with a polyphenol-rich food, was demonstrated to have significant effects on physiological parameters related to metabolic syndrome and changes in both hepatic gene expression and metabolite levels consistent with an improved metabolic state.
 
Support or Funding Information
 
California Walnut Commission
 
Footnotes
 
This abstract is from the Experimental Biology 2016 Meeting. There is no full text article associated with this abstract published in The FASEB Journal.

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One thing to keep in mind wrt. "nuts are too high in PUFAs" - not all nuts are created equal. For example, almonds have relatively lower (compared to walnuts) levels of PUFA - depending on the cultivar. For California (where I reside and consume local almonds):

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19021789

 

 

J Food Sci. 2008 Nov;73(9):C607-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2008.00936.x.

Fatty acid composition of California grown almonds.

Abstract

 

Eight almond (Prunus dulcis L.) cultivars from 12 different California counties, collected during crop years 2004 to 2005 and 2005 to 2006, were extracted with petroleum ether. The extracts were subjected to GC-MS analyses to determine fatty acid composition of soluble lipids. Results indicated palmitic (C16:0), oleic (C18:1), linoleic (C18:2), and alpha-linolenic (C18:3) acid, respectively, accounted for 5.07% to 6.78%, 57.54% to 73.94%, 19.32% to 35.18%, and 0.04% to 0.10%; of the total lipids. Oleic and linoleic acid were inversely correlated (r=-0.99, P= 0.05) and together accounted for 91.16% to 94.29% of the total soluble lipids. Statistically, fatty acid composition was significantly affected by cultivar and county.

 

PMID:19021789

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 
 
As can be seen, oleic is anywhere from about 58% to 74%, and interestingly enough, linoleic is inversely correlated to it, so it'll differ from about 19% to 35%. I buy Trader Joe's Raw Almonds, and other than being from California, I don't know which cultivar it is and therefore what the proportions of oleic/linoleic content are. I take in approx. 1.3 ounces of these almonds a day, every day. Even if unluckily they are the 35% linoleic cultivar, that's still not an astoundingly large amount - which, btw. I offset with 1tb of freshly ground flaxmeal to rebalance the n3:n6 ratio to some degree.
 
The whole dietary fatty acids best practices guidelines is completely unsettled science. Even the universally agreed to baddie of SFA has undergone a rehabilitation and now studies claim that it's not associated with all-cause mortality(!) - never mind CVD - one way or another, while vegetable n6 is superior to monounsaturated fat from a CVD point of view (maybe depending on sources of mono) etc. At best we're guessing and hoping for the best.
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Mechanism, 

Dean, any reasons why no pine nuts in your regular dietary staples?  

 

No, I don't have any particular reason for eschewing pine nuts, except perhaps that they are so darn expensive ($40/lb at nuts.com!). Maybe I will tack them on to my next nuts.com order, but that's mighty steep. 

 

Dean

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... I have a new appreciation of how little we know.

And it doesn't seem as if our nutrition knowledge will increase by much anytime soon, does it? And so we're back to the philosophy of artificial intelligence.

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Mechanism, 

Dean, any reasons why no pine nuts in your regular dietary staples?  

 

No, I don't have any particular reason for eschewing pine nuts, except perhaps that they are so darn expensive ($40/lb at nuts.com!). Maybe I will tack them on to my next nuts.com order, but that's mighty steep. 

 

Dean

 

 

Dean,

 

You are a very meticulous tracker of everything.  Have you ever calculated what your monthly lifestyle bill is? When I say lifestyle, I mean food, supplements, gadgets like ice vests, etc.  

 

My family recently went plant-based (which is wonderful).  I'm definitely noticing a bit of a dent in the pocket book, though I'm happy to pay it.

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Drew,

 

You may find this hard to believe, but my wife handles all the bills in the family. That, coupled with the fact that we're blessed with material abundance means I don't closely track my monthly spending on my diet and lifestyle. But one things is for sure, I definitely spend more on food than the average person. 

 

--Dean

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