Several previous studies have investigated whether regular walnut consumption positively changes heart-health-related parameters. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of daily walnut intake on metabolic syndrome (MetS) status and other metabolic parameters among subjects with MetS.


This study was a two-arm, randomized, controlled crossover study with 16 weeks of each intervention (45 g of walnuts or iso-caloric white bread) with a 6 week washout period between interventions. Korean adults with MetS (n = 119) were randomly assigned to one of two sequences; 84 subjects completed the trial. At each clinic visit (at 0, 16, 22, and 38 weeks), MetS components, metabolic parameters including lipid profile, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), adiponectin, leptin, and apolipoprotein B, as well as anthropometric and bioimpedance data were obtained.


Daily walnut consumption for 16 weeks improved MetS status, resulting in 28.6%-52.8% reversion rates for individual MetS components and 51.2% of participants with MetS at baseline reverted to a normal status after the walnut intervention. Significant improvements after walnut intake, compared to control intervention, in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (P = 0.028), fasting glucose (P = 0.013), HbA1c (P = 0.021), and adiponectin (P = 0.019) were observed after adjustment for gender, age, body mass index, and sequence using a linear mixed model.


A dietary supplement of 45 g of walnuts for 16 weeks favorably changed MetS status by increasing the concentration of HDL-C and decreasing fasting glucose level. Furthermore, consuming walnuts on a daily basis changed HbA1c and circulating adiponectin levels among the subjects with MetS.

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