Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pistachio consumption may promote a beneficial gut environment

25.04.2012
First-of-its-kind research presented as an abstract at the 2012 American Society for Nutrition suggests eating pistachios may positively impact bacterial profile of the digestive tract

A preliminary 16-person study suggests that eating pistachios may help alter levels of potentially beneficial bacteria in the gut, a finding that holds promise for supporting digestive health(1). The research, presented as an abstract this week at the Experimental Biology conference, is the first study of pistachios and almonds and their modulating role on the gut microbiota composition.

"Gut microbiota, or the microbial environment in the gastrointestinal tract, provides important functions to the human host," said Volker Mai, PhD, lead study author and assistant professor at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "Modifying microbiota towards a 'beneficial' composition is a promising approach for supporting intestinal health, with potential effects on overall health, and it appears that pistachios may play a role in this modification."

Pistachios Deliver Essential Compounds to the Gut

Pistachios appear to have prebiotic characteristics; they contain non-digestible food components such as dietary fiber, which remain in the gut and serve as food for naturally occurring bacteria. They also contain phytochemicals that have the potential to modify microbiota composition. Foods with prebiotic properties may enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.

To examine this relationship between prebiotics found in pistachios and the gut, researchers conducted a feeding study at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland. Sixteen healthy individuals were randomly assigned to eat an American-style, pre-planned diet that included either 0 ounces, 1.5 ounces or 3 ounces of pistachios or almonds per day. Each participant's diet was calorie-controlled to ensure they neither gained nor lost weight during the intervention. Multiple stool samples were collected throughout the study and analyzed for bacterial community composition. The researchers also quantified the amounts of Lactic Acid Bacteria and Bifidobacteria in the stool, two groups of live microorganisms that reside in the digestive tract and help break down food substances.

After controlling for age, dietary factors and other relevant variables, the researchers observed that after 19 days, people who ate up to 3 ounces of pistachios (about 147 nuts or 2 servings) per day had increased changes in levels of various gut bacteria. According to the abstract, people who ate pistachios showed an increase in potentially beneficial butyrate-producing bacteria. Butyrate has been shown to be a preferred energy source for colonic epithelial cells and is thought to play an important role in maintaining colonic health in humans(2). The difference in gut microbes was stronger in people who ate pistachios rather than almonds. The researchers used "modern high throughput sequencing" to quantify specific gut bacterial DNA signatures before and after nut consumption. According to the researchers, this is the first study using this method to observe that pistachios and almonds may have the ability to help change the amounts of bacteria thriving in the gut.

"Fibers and incompletely digested foods, including nuts, that reach the proximal colon provide compounds required for maintaining a diverse microbiota," said Mai. "While still in the early stages of research, this study is a promising sign that increasing consumption of nuts, specifically pistachios, provides a novel means to modify the number of the gut's 'healthy' microbiota, with potential health benefits."

The research was funded by the Paramount Farms International and the Almond Board of California.

In-Shell Pistachios Offer a Package of Nutrients

A one-ounce serving of pistachios, with 49 kernels and 160 calories, provides 3 grams of dietary fiber, which is 12 percent of the recommended daily value, more than is found in a serving of wheat bread. Pistachios are also an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper and manganese and a good source of phosphorus and thiamin.

(1)Ukhanova M, Fredborg M, Daniels S, Netter F, Novotny JA, Gebauer SK, Xiaoyu W, Baer D, Mai V. Human gut microbiota changes after consumption of almonds or pistachios. Presented at 2012 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, CA on 4/23/2012.

(2)Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Apr;66(4):1654-61.

About PistachioHealth.com

PistachioHealth.com, the leading online source of information on the health and nutrition benefits of pistachios reaches more than 20,000 visitors each month. The site is offered in 12 languages and includes research updates and educational materials, to both consumers and health professionals. Like PistachioHealth.com on Facebook and follow @pistachiohealth on Twitter. For more information about the health benefits of pistachios, visit www.PistachioHealth.com.

Kim Bedwell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fleishman.com
http://www.PistachioHealth.com

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Looking at linkers helps to join the dots

10.07.2020 | Materials Sciences

Surprisingly many peculiar long introns found in brain genes

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Goodbye Absorbers: High-Precision Laser Welding of Plastics

10.07.2020 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>