Walnut consumption can provide both vascular and metabolic health benefits, and walnut-induced changes in lipoprotein particle chemical payloads may be responsible for these health benefits. To explore this possibility with a focus on metabolic health, this study investigated the impact of walnut consumption on lipoprotein lipid composition and changes in LDL anti-inflammatory properties, as reported by inflamed adipocyte. Hypercholesterolemic, postmenopausal females were treated with 40 g/day (i.e., 1.6 servings/day; n=15) of walnuts for 4 weeks. Fatty acids and their oxygenated metabolites, i.e., oxylipins, were quantified in isolated lipoproteins. Human primary adipocytes were exposed to LDL and TNFα-stimulated adipokine production was measured. Walnut treatment elevated α-linolenic acid and its epoxides in all lipoproteins and depleted mid-chain alcohols in VLDL and LDL, but not HDL. Walnuts also reduced TNFα-induced diabetic adipocyte production of IL-6 (−48%, P=.0006) and IL-8 (−30%, P=.01), changes inversely correlated with levels of α-linolenic acid-derived epoxides but not α-linolenic acid itself. In conclusion, modest walnut consumption can alter lipoprotein lipid profiles and enhance their ability to inhibit TNFα-dependent pro-inflammatory responses in human diabetic primary adipocytes. Moreover, this study suggests the oxylipins, rather than the parent fatty acids, mediate LDL action of adipocytes.

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