Differential effects of walnuts vs almonds on improving metabolic and endocrine parameters in PCOS.

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Kalgaonkar, S., R.U. Almario, D. Gurusinghe, E.M. Garamendi, W. Buchan, K. Kim, S.E. Karakas, 2011. Differential effects of walnuts vs almonds on improving metabolic and endocrine parameters in PCOS. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 65:386–393.

 Background/Objectives: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is commonly associated with insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and increased inflammation, which all benefit from dietary intake of monounsaturated and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA and n-3 PUFA). Our goal was to compare the effects of MUFA-rich almonds vs n-3/n-6 PUFA-rich walnuts on metabolic and endocrine parameters in PCOS. Subjects/Methods: Thirty-one PCOS patients randomly received either walnuts or almonds containing 31 g of total fat per day for 6 weeks. At the beginning and at the end, anthropometric parameters, fasting lipids, phospholipid-fatty acids, inflammatory markers, androgens, oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) and frequently sampled intravenous-GTT were obtained. Results: Weight remained stable. Within group, walnuts increased the n-3/n-6 essential PUFA in the diet and plasma phospholipids. Walnuts decreased low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol by 6% from 3.76±0.27 to 3.38±0.22 mmol/l (P=0.05) and apoprotein B by 11% from 0.72±0.04 to 0.64±0.05 g/l (P<0.03). Although almonds also reduced low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol by 10% and apoprotein B by 9%, these were not significant. Walnuts increased insulin response during OGTT by 26% (P<0.02). Both walnuts and almonds increased adiponectin (walnuts from 9.5±1.6 to 11.3±1.8 mg per 100 ml, P=0.0241; almonds from 10.1±1.5 to 12.2±1.4 mg/dl, P=0.0262). Walnuts decreased HgBA1 from 5.7±0.1 to 5.5±0.1% (P=0.0006) with significant intergroup difference from almonds (P=0.0470). Walnuts increased sex hormone-binding globulin from 38.3±4.1 to 43.1±4.3 nmol/l (P=0.0038) and almonds reduced free androgen index from 2.6±0.4 to 1.8±0.3 (P=0.0470). Conclusion: Nut intake exerted beneficial effects on plasma lipids and androgens in PCOS.