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A walnut-containing meal had similar effects on early satiety, CCK, and PYY, but attenuated the postprandial GLP-1 and insulin response compared to a nut-free control meal


Regular nut consumption is associated with lower adiposity and reduced weight gain in adulthood. Walnut feeding studies have observed minimal effect on body weight despite potential additional energy intake. Several mechanisms may explain why consuming nuts promotes weight control, including increased early phase satiety, possibly reflected in postprandial response of gastrointestinal and pancreatic peptides hypothesized to affect appetite. The purpose of this study was to compare postprandial insulin, glucagon and gastrointestinal peptide response and satiety following a meal with ∼54% of energy from walnuts or cream cheese, using a within-subject crossover study design in overweight/obese adults (N = 28). Sixty minutes after the walnut-containing meal, glucagon-like peptide-1 was lower than after the reference meal (p=0.0433), and peptide YY, cholecystokinin and ghrelin did not differ after the two meals. Sixty and 120 min after the walnut-containing meal, pancreatic polypeptide (p = 0.0014 and p = 0.0002) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.0079) were lower than after the reference meal, and 120 min after the walnut-containing meal, glucagon was higher (p=0.0069). Insulin and C-peptide increased at 60 min in response to both meals but were lower at 120 min after the walnut-containing meal (p=0.0349 and 0.0237, respectively). Satiety measures were similar after both meals. These findings fail to support the hypothesis that acute postprandial gastrointestinal peptide response to a walnut-containing meal contributes to increased satiety. However, inclusion of walnuts attenuated the postprandial insulin response, which may contribute to the more favorable lipid profile observed in association with regular walnut consumption.

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