Nuts 'could help obese people'

7 November 2011

People suffering from abdominal obesity could benefit from nut consumption, according to a new study.

Scientists at the American Chemical Society (ACS) have, for the first time, reported a link between nuts and higher levels of serotonin in the bodies of patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS), who are at high risk of heart disease.

They found that eating nuts, or nut-based products, could help people who are obese, have high blood sugar or high blood pressure.

Published in the ACS's Journal of Proteome Research, the study looked at how serotonin as a substance helps transmit nerve signals, decreases feelings of hunger and makes people feel happier while improving heart health.

Tests discovered that it took only one dose of nuts per day to produce positive effects on the levels of serotonin.

Cristina Andres-Lacueva from the Biomarkers and NutriMetabolomics Research Group of the University of Barcelona explained that the rise in obesity has meant more patients have MetS and that a discovery of this type could go some way to understanding the way treatment is made.

Nuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. They are rich in fibre, phytonutrients and antioxidants such as vitamin E and selenium.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Andres-Lacueva, Cristina, "Metabolomics Unveils Urinary Changes in Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome following 12-Week Nut Consumption", Journal of Proteome Research, September 12th 2011.

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