Eating walnuts may improve endothelial function in patients with type 2 diabetes, data suggest.

David L. Katz, MD, and colleagues at the Yale University’s Prevention Research Center in Derby, Conn., studied 24 patients with type 2 diabetes (mean age 58 years) who were randomly assigned to an ad libitum diet enriched with 56 grams of walnuts a day or an ad libitum diet without walnuts for eight weeks.

At the end of the eight weeks, subjects were switched to the other diet. Participants underwent flow-mediated dilatation testing to measure endothelial function testing and assessment of cardiovascular biomarkers before and after each eight-week treatment phase.

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Endothelial function improved significantly by 2.2% after consumption of the walnut-enriched diet compared with 1.2% after the diet without walnuts, researchers reported in Diabetes Care (2010;33:227-232).

The walnut-enriched diet did not significant change fasting serum glucose, serum total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol from baseline. Adding walnuts to not result in any weight gain.