The aim of this study was to investigate the potential benefit of consuming walnuts, which are a source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), on adolescent neurodevelopment.
Therefore, 771 healthy adolescents aged between 11 and 16 years were included in this study. All participants were instructed to follow general healthy eating recommendations and were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the intervention group was instructed to include 30 g of walnuts per day into their diet, while the control group got no specific recommendation. Multiple primary endpoints concerning neuropsychological (including working memory, attention, and fluid intelligence) and behavioural (socioemotional and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms) development were assessed at baseline and after 6 months of intervention.
The results of the study suggest that eating walnuts for 6 months did not improve the neuropsychological function of healthy adolescents. However, improved sustained attention and fluid intelligence, describing the capacity for logical reasoning, were observed in participants who better complied with the walnut intervention.
Effect of walnut consumption on neuropsychological development in healthy adolescents: a multi-school randomised controlled trial
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