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All Boards >> Irritable Bowel Syndrome Research Library


Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7677
Loc: Seattle, WA
Alpha-Linoleic Acid in Walnuts Good for Cardiovascular Health
      07/24/04 02:02 PM

Walnuts are one of the most nutritious whole food
sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty
acid. Walnut consumption has been proven to significantly lower total
cholesterol levels as well as LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels.
Recently-published research also shows including walnuts in the diet
can improve vascular function, which can aid in the prevention of
heart disease and stroke.

Additional promising research from Penn State showing an ALA diet to
improve vascular function was reported May 6 at the American Heart
Association's 5th Annual Conference on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis,
and Vascular Biology in San Francisco. Lead author Sheila G. West,
Ph.D. says, "Our findings suggest that the special kind of fatty
acids that are present in walnuts can improve the function of arteries
and allow them to dilate better."

Many researchers cite the special combination of nutrients in walnuts
as accounting for these beneficial effects. In addition to providing a
significant concentration of ALA, walnuts contain many vitamins,
minerals, protein, fiber, melatonin, L-arginine and several other
important nutrients.

ALA is essential for optimal function of every cell in our bodies but
since our bodies can't create this "good" fat, we have to get it
from the foods we eat. The National Academy of Sciences recommends a
daily intake of 1.6 and 1.1 grams of ALA for men and women
respectively. With 2.5 grams of ALA, one ounce of walnuts more than
fulfills this requirement.

Based on a decade of evidence supporting the health benefits of
walnuts, the FDA affirmed a qualified health claim for walnuts (the
first for a whole food) in March 2004.

Heather is the Administrator of the IBS Message Boards. She’s the author of Eating for IBS and The First Year: IBS, and the CEO of Heather's Tummy Care. Join her IBS Newsletter. Meet Heather on Facebook!

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