Kanish Arhant-Sudhir, Rish Arhant-Sudhir, Ronak Ahir, Krishnankutty Sudhir
Lifestyle modifications for cardiovascular risk red uction include nutritional approaches. We hypothesized that dietary supplementation with unsal ted walnuts and almonds reduce stress-induced cardiovascular responsiveness. We examined the effe ct of 4 weeks of nut consumption on blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR) and responses to men tal stress in 18 healthy volunteers. Following a ru n- in period of 2 weeks, subjects were randomized for 4 weeks to either nut consumption, walnuts (15g) and almonds (15g) daily (n=12) or control, no nut c onsumption (n=6). BP and HR responses during mental stress were assessed before and after dietar y intervention or control. Resting systolic and diastolic BP decreased slightly by 4+ 2 and 2+ 1 mmHg (both P<0.05) in the nut consumption, but no t the control group. Systolic and diastolic BP, and HR in creased significantly in all subjects during mental stress. Mental stress-induced increases in systolic and diastolic BP, and HR were significantly attenuated by 4 weeks of nuts, but not in controls. Body weight did not change significantly in either group. Unsalted nut consumption reduced systolic an d diastolic BP, and significantly attenuated responses to mental stress in healthy humans. Nuts may reduce cardiovascular risk by blunting increases in sympathetic nervous system activity in duced by mental stress.
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