for people ages 20-65 (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
at Davis, California
study started
estimated completion



The researchers will investigate blood and fecal responses in qualified study participants after eating walnuts for 4 weeks compared to not eating walnuts for 4 weeks. The two dietary interventions will be separated by a 4 week washout period. The order of diets will be random; study participants will complete both interventions. Dietary modifications will be part of the study protocol.

Official Title

Response of Gut Microbiota and Cardiometabolic Biomarkers to Consumption of Walnuts


The researchers hypothesize that walnut consumption will induce changes in fecal metagenome, identifiable walnut-derived bioactives (urolithins) and other microbial-derived products (short-chain fatty acids and secondary bile acids). The researchers hypothesize that walnut consumption will result in improvements to blood lipid profiles, including decreased total and LDL-cholesterol; increased HDL-related cholesterol efflux capacity and antioxidant protection; and decreased inflammatory biomarkers relative to control diet. The researchers hypothesize changes in cardiometabolic health biomarkers will be correlated with food bioactive metabolites and/or fecal metagenome. Pathway analysis will identify metabolic pathways differentially regulated by walnut-derived bioactives and walnut-responsive microbial genes.


Healthy Normal Weight Overweight Obese Walnut Nut-Free


You can join if…

Open to people ages 20-65

Generally healthy men and women between 20-65 years of age and BMI range of 20.0-34.9 kg/m2 will be recruited from the Davis - Sacramento metropolitan area. Enrolled subjects must be willing to consume 2 ounces (approximately 1/2 cup) of walnuts daily and modify their diet to avoid eating walnuts and other nuts, and foods or beverages high in polyphenols (a list will be provided) during study enrollment . Adults unable to consent, individuals who are not yet adults (infants, children, teenagers), pregnant or lactating women, women planning to become pregnant in the next four months and prisoners will be specifically excluded. Screening will take place by phone interview and through in-person screening and consent, including anthropometric and biochemical assessments and health history questionnaires.

You CAN'T join if...

  • Allergy to walnuts or other nuts
  • Eating more than 25 grams of fiber per day, assessed by the Block Dietary-Fruit-Vegetable-Fiber Screener©
  • Taking medications or supplements known to affect metabolism or gut microbiota composition (i.e. Metformin, statins, antibiotics within the past 3 months, fiber supplements, probiotics, and others)
  • Documented chronic diseases including diabetes, renal or liver disease, metabolic syndrome, active cancer, MI or stroke, history of gastric bypass or GI disease (e.g. Crohn's Disease, Irritable Bowel Disease, diverticulosis/diverticulitis,etc)
  • Smoker or living with a smoker, including vaporizer and/or electronic cigarettes.
  • Illicit drug use, cannabis usage, or consuming >1 alcoholic drink/day
  • Extreme dietary or exercise patterns; vegan diet.
  • Recent weight fluctuations (>10% in the last 6 months)
  • Taking prescription lipid medications or supplements that may affect lipoprotein metabolism (i.e. >1 g of fish oil/day, antioxidant supplements)
  • Taking exogenous hormones (e.g. hormonal birth control)
  • Poor venous access
  • Unwillingness to comply with study protocols


  • Ragle Human Nutrition Research Center
    Davis California 95616 United States


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University of California, Davis
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