Walnuts and Vegetable Oils Containing Oleic Acid Differentially Affect the Gut Microbiota and Associations with Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Follow-up of a Randomized, Controlled, Feeding Trial in Adults at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

It is unclear whether the favorable effects of walnuts on the gut microbiota are attributable to the fatty acids, including α-linolenic acid (ALA), and/or the bioactive compounds and fiber. This study examined between-diet gut bacterial differences in individuals at increased cardiovascular risk following diets that replace SFAs with walnuts or vegetable oils. Forty-two adults at cardiovascular risk were included in a randomized, crossover, controlled-feeding trial that provided a 2-wk standard Western diet (SWD) run-in and three 6-wk isocaloric study diets: a diet containing whole walnuts (WD; 57-99 g/d walnuts; 2.7% ALA), a fatty acid-matched diet devoid of walnuts (walnut fatty acid-matched diet; WFMD; 2.6% ALA), and a diet replacing ALA with oleic acid without walnuts (oleic acid replaces ALA diet; ORAD; 0.4% ALA).