A Cross Sectional Study of the Association between Walnut Consumption and Cognitive Function among Adult US Populations

Objective: To examine the association between walnut consumption and measures of cognitive function in the US population.

Design: Nationally representative cross sectional study using 24 hour dietary recalls of intakes to assess walnut and other nut consumption as compared to the group reporting no nut consumption.

Method: Setting: 1988-1994 and 1999-2002 rounds of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Population: Representative weighted sample of US adults 20 to 90 years of age. The Neurobehavioral Evaluation System 2 (NES2), consisting of simple reaction time (SRTT), symbol digit substitution (SDST), the single digit learning (SDLT), Story Recall (SRT) and digit-symbol substitution (DSST) tests.

Results: Adults 20-59 years old reporting walnut consumption of an average of 10.3 g/d required 16.4ms less time to respond on the SRTT, P=0.03, and 0.39s less for the SDST, P=0.01. SDLT scores were also significantly lower by 2.38s (P=0.05). Similar results were obtained when tertiles of walnut consumption were examined in trend analyses. Significantly better outcomes were noted in all cognitive test scores among those with higher walnut consumption (P < 0.01). Among adults 60 years and older, walnut consumers averaged 13.1 g/d, scored 7.1 percentile points higher, P=0.03 on the SRT and 7.3 percentile points higher on the DSST, P=0.05. Here also trend analyses indicate significant improvements in all cognitive test scores (P < 0.01) except for SRTT (P = 0.06) in the fully adjusted models.

Conclusion: These significant, positive associations between walnut consumption and cognitive functions among all adults, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity suggest that daily walnut intake may be a simple beneficial dietary behavior.

California Ag Today: California Walnut Growers Support its Board

CALIFORNIA WALNUT GROWERS OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORT CONTINUTATION OF MARKETING ORDER

Ninety-five percent of eligible California walnut growers who voted and ninety-three percent of the volume represented in the referendum favored continuing the Federal Marketing Order and the efforts of the California Walnut Board.  This is the first continuation referendum vote ever held by the industry.

“It’s rewarding to know that the work of the California Walnut Board is recognized by the growers and handlers we strive to serve,” said Dr. Jerome Siebert, Chairman of the California Walnut Board.  “When we come together as an industry, we are powerful at addressing challenges and generating far-reaching results for all California walnut producers.”

Voting in the referendum took place from April 1 through April 19, 2014 and those eligible to vote were growers engaged in the production of walnuts within the state during the period September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013.  In order for the referendum to pass, at least two-thirds of eligible producers must vote in favor of continuance.  Since the order was amended in 2008, a vote is now required every six years.

“We’re grateful for the continued support of our growers, who see the value of working together to benefit the entire industry,” said Dennis A. Balint, Executive Director of the California Walnut Board. “There is more work ahead, but we’re starting from a good place and will continue to build on several decades of experience, relationships, research and success.”

The California walnut industry is made up of more than 4,000 growers and 100 handlers. The growers and handlers are represented by two entities, the California Walnut Board and the California Walnut Commission.

 

California Ag Today