Nuts and Heart Diseases

The CDC has found that one in four Americans die of the heart-related disease every year in the Underlying Cause of Death dataset, making them among the leading causes of death in the US. For instance, the. That heart-related diseases are a critical issue, inviting multidisciplinary collaboration and participation in research. In recent years, the consumption of nuts has come up with research on heart-related disease. This essay accepts one of the major hypotheses that nuts decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease or death from cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular diseases are those that affect the cardiovascular system, including coronary heart disease (CHD), ischemic heart disease (IHD), and coronary artery disease (CAD). The primary root of these diseases is atherosclerosis, a restriction in blood vessels due to the buildup of low-density lipoproteins and blood lipids and consequently hardening of the arteries (Bergheanu et al. 2017). Notably, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) removes cholesterol in the blood, thus reducing CVD risk. From this approach, a debate persists in the science world that nuts contain HDL, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease or death from cardiovascular disease.


Ghadimi Nouran et al. (2009) investigated the link between peanut intake and CVD in Iran and found a significant increase in HDL. The study was a randomized crossover clinical trial, where a researcher determines the casual links between intake of nuts and CVD-associated risks. Such studies show the best intervention and have stringer evidence. Since Ghadimi Nouran et al. (2009) found a significant (p>.05) increase in HDL and insignificant increase in total cholesterol, the study concludes that nuts reduced the risk of CVD. This differs from a later study (Guasch-Ferré et al. 2017), where three US cohorts found that except peanut, other nuts have a significant increase in CVD risk at a 95% confidence level. Further, another study (Luu et al. 2015) looked into the link between mortality of Africans, Europeans, and Asians from CVD and consumption of peanuts. The study found that consumption of peanuts has a significant reduction in the hazard ratio for cardiovascular disease and ischemic heart disease at a confidence level of 95%. However, Luu et al. (2015) found that intake of peanuts does not significantly decrease hazard risk for CVD mortality. Although Guasch-Ferré et al. (2017) found that Walnuts significantly increased CVD risk, Torabian et al. (2010) conducted a randomized crossover trial. They found that walnuts significantly reduced the percentage of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the long term and had no significant reduction in HDL.

From the four studies, the majority show that nuts reduce the decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease or death from cardiovascular disease. This evidence is convincing primarily because of the nature of the methods used. For instance, all the studies used significantly large samples, which by the rule of thumb for normal distribution, should be more than 30. Ghadimi Nouran et al. (2009) used randomized crossover clinical in a short period (four weeks) and used the split-half method to ensure the reliability of the research instruments. Torabian et al. (2010) found similar results in the long term (6 months) on a similar method used by Ghadimi Nouran et al. (2009). The other two studies (Guasch-Ferré et al. 2017, Luu et al. 2015) used the cohort method, where researchers use a huge sample and observe them over time. Such studies are highly generalizable since they include highly diversified subjects. However, they are difficult to control, and other social and health-related confounders reduce the method’s validity. Overall, the four studies have convincing scientific evidence that nuts decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease or death from cardiovascular disease.

Works Cited

Bergheanu S, Bodde M, Jukema J. Pathophysiology and treatment of atherosclerosis. Netherlands Heart Journal. 2017;25(4):231-242. doi:10.1007/s12471-017-0959-2

Luu H, Blot W, Xiang Y et al. Prospective Evaluation of the Association of Nut/Peanut Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(5):755. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8347

Ghadimi Nouran M, Kimiagar M, Abadi A, Mirzazadeh M, Harrison G. Peanut consumption and cardiovascular risk. Public Health Nutr. 2009;13(10):1581-1586. doi:10.1017/s1368980009992837

Guasch-Ferré M, Liu X, Malik V et al. Nut Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017;70(20):2519-2532. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2017.09.035

Torabian S, Haddad E, Cordero-MacIntyre Z, Tanzman J, Fernandez M, Sabate J. Long-term walnut supplementation without dietary advice induces favorable serum lipid changes in free-living individuals. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010;64(3):274-279. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2009.152