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Health benefits of walnuts



None doubted that walnuts played an important role in our diets. Walnuts were also claimed to be able to lower cholesterol levels, a rich source of vitamin E, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, phytosterols, polyphenols, carotenoids, and melatonin.

Another important role of some active constituents found in walnuts is the fight against neurodegenerative disease and able to lower cholesterol levels. Image: See credits below under reference [5].


Family: Juglandaceae

Genus: Juglans

Common name: Persian walnut, English walnut, common walnut, Juglans duclouxiana, Juglans fallax, Juglans kamaonica, Juglans orientis, Juglans regia kamaonica, Juglans regia orientis, Juglans regia sinensis, Juglans sinensis.



Maybe the content of melatonin in walnuts played a leading role on its claimed properties to control stress levels remember that melatonin is the so-called darkness hormone that has been since recently prescribed in Europe for sleep-related disorders as insomnia.

In Europe melatonin is sold in shops without prescription but why to buy artificial melatonin when we can have it from a natural source? 



Now scientists of the Marshall University School of Medicine revealed another interesting property of walnuts, its ability to slow the growth of implanted breast cancers cells and decrease its proliferation. The study, performed in rats, showed how regular walnut consumption might reduce the risk of developing cancer.

This study is not new, in spite the results are quite surprising it was already in 2008 when the scientists at the same university announced that walnuts and walnut consumption significantly reduced tumor incidence on MDA-MB 231 human breast cancers, establishing that walnut consumption could possibly contribute to reducing the risk of developing breast cancer.

However, since the study performed in 2008 on the effects of Walnuts consumption on breast cancer prevention we didn't hear again about possible links between walnuts and breast cancer incidence.



Walnuts are also a very rich source of bioactive molecules and active constituents. They are rich in carotenoidsphenolic acids, phytosterols and polyphenolic compounds such as flavonoids, proanthocyanidins and stilbenes [3], as well as in phytosterols, an active constituent found also in Sunflower seeds that help to lower cholesterol levels.

Most of the active constituents found in tree nuts have been associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, antiviral, chemopreventive and hypocholesterolaemic actions [3], most of them playing a very important role in the development of some important ailments.

These, however, are very good news that we have to celebrate. 

Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to prescribe or give in any way or form medical advice, recommend or diagnose. Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this page for more info.



[1] Dietary walnut suppressed mammary gland tumorigenesis in the C(3)1 TAg mouse. Hardman WE, Ion G, Akinsete JA, Witte TR. Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Marshall University School of Medicine, Huntington, West Virginia 25701, USA.
[2] Suppression of implanted MDA-MB 231 human breast cancer growth in nude mice by dietary walnut. Hardman WE, Ion G. Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Marshall University School of Medicine, Huntington, West Virginia 25755, USA.
[3] Tree nut phytochemicals: composition, antioxidant capacity, bioactivity, impact factors. A systematic review of almonds, Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. Bolling BW, Chen CY, McKay DL, Blumberg JB. Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, 3624 Horsebarn Road Extension, Unit 4017, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.
[4] Plant names in other languages: Porcher Michel H. et al. 1995 - 2020, Sorting Origanum Names. Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database - A Work in Progress. Institute of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia. < http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Origanum.html > (2007).
[5] Pixabay image under Public Domain License CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).