Effects of Walnut Consumption on Mood in Young Adults-A Randomized Controlled Trial

Nutrients. 2016 Oct 25;8(11):668. doi: 10.3390/nu8110668.


Walnuts contain a number of potentially neuroprotective compounds like vitamin E, folate, melatonin, several antioxidative polyphenols and significant amounts of ω-3 fatty acids. The present study sought to determine the effect of walnuts on mood in healthy volunteers. Sixty-four college students were randomly assigned to two treatment sequences in a crossover fashion: walnut-placebo or placebo-walnut. At baseline mood was assessed using Profiles of Mood States (POMS). Data was collected again after eight weeks of intervention. After six-weeks of washout, the intervention groups followed the diets in reverse order. Data was collected once more at the end of the eight-week intervention period. No significant changes in mood were observed in the analyses with both genders combined and in females. However, we have observed a significant medium effect size improvement in the Total Mood Disturbance score (-27.49%, p = 0.043, Cohen's d = 0.708) in males. In non-depressed healthy young males, walnuts seem to have the ability to improve mood.

Keywords: RCT; males; mood; randomized controlled trial; walnuts.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Bread
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Functional Food*
  • Humans
  • Juglans*
  • Male
  • Michigan / epidemiology
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mood Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Nuts*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Students
  • Universities
  • Young Adult