Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adding Walnuts To Good Diet May Help Older People Improve Motor And Behavioral Skills

Date:
April 25, 2009
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Adding a moderate, but not high, amount of walnuts to an otherwise healthy diet may help older individuals improve performance on tasks that require motor and behavioral skills, according to an animal model study. Walnuts contain polyphenols and other antioxidants and essential fatty acids.

Adding a moderate, but not high, amount of walnuts to an otherwise healthy diet may help older individuals improve performance on tasks that require motor and behavioral skills.
Credit: iStockphoto/Alex Bramwell

Adding a moderate, but not high, amount of walnuts to an otherwise healthy diet may help older individuals improve performance on tasks that require motor and behavioral skills, according to an animal model study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists. Walnuts contain polyphenols and other antioxidants and essential fatty acids.

Related Articles


The study was conducted by researchers with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University in Boston, Mass.

Neuroscientist James Joseph, psychologist Barbara Shukitt-Hale and coauthors Lauren Willis and Vivian Cheng reported the study in the British Journal of Nutrition. They are with the HNRCA's Neuroscience Laboratory. ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The aging brain undergoes many changes that can result in altered or impaired neuronal functioning. Such disruption can be attributed in part to alterations in "synaptic plasticity," or the ability of the connections between neurons to change in strength and function, and also by increased oxidative damage to neural tissue. In aged rodents, these impairments are seen as poor performance on age-sensitive tests of balance, coordination, and "spatial" working memory.

For the study, weight-matched, aged rats were randomly assigned to one of four diet groups. For eight weeks, the rats were fed special chow mixes that contained either 2 percent, 6 percent or 9 percent walnuts-or no walnuts-before undergoing motor and memory tests. For comparison, the 6 percent walnut study diet is equivalent to a human eating 1 ounce, or about 7 to 9 walnuts, a day. That counts as both a 2-ounce equivalent from the "meat and beans group" and 2 teaspoons toward a daily allowance of dietary oil, as described at MyPyramid.gov.

The study found that in aged rats, the diets containing 2 percent or 6 percent walnuts were able to improve age-related motor and cognitive shortfalls, while the 9 percent walnut diet impaired reference memory. Walnuts, eaten in moderation, appear to be among other foods containing polyphenols and bioactive substances that exhibit multiple effects on neural tissue, according to the researchers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Adding Walnuts To Good Diet May Help Older People Improve Motor And Behavioral Skills." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419201207.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2009, April 25). Adding Walnuts To Good Diet May Help Older People Improve Motor And Behavioral Skills. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419201207.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Adding Walnuts To Good Diet May Help Older People Improve Motor And Behavioral Skills." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419201207.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins