Abstract

Walnuts contain a number of potentially neuroprotective compounds like vitamin E, folate, melatonin, several antioxidative polyphenols and significant amounts of ω-3 fatty acids. The present study sought to determine the effect of walnuts on mood in healthy volunteers. Sixty-four college students were randomly assigned to two treatment sequences in a crossover fashion: walnut-placebo or placebo-walnut. At baseline mood was assessed using Profiles of Mood States (POMS). Data was collected again after eight weeks of intervention. After six-weeks of washout, the intervention groups followed the diets in reverse order. Data was collected once more at the end of the eight-week intervention period. No significant changes in mood were observed in the analyses with both genders combined and in females. However, we have observed a significant medium effect size improvement in the Total Mood Disturbance score (-27.49%, p=0.043, Cohen’s d=0.897) in males. In non-depressed healthy young males, walnuts seem to have the ability to improve mood.

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