Study Description

The study will be a free-living study over the course of two years. This means that all participants will eat their own food at home, under normal conditions. Half of the participants will be assigned to a group that will include a serving of walnuts in their diets each day for two years. The other half will refrain from eating walnuts for two years.

This study is being conducted at two locations, Loma Linda University in the United States and University Hospital Clinic Barcelona in Spain. Each study site is recruiting 350 healthy elderly subjects to make a 2-year commitment to participate in the study. The study in Loma Linda will begin in September 2012 and recruitment will continue through 2013 until all the participant slots are filled.

At the beginning of the study memory tests and an eye exam will be administered. Blood will also be drawn to test general health parameters. Every two months each participant will come to Loma Linda University to be weighed and measured and to meet with the study dietitian. Walnuts for those in the walnut group will be provided at these visits. For the group not eating walnuts other incentives will be provided at these visits. At the end of one year blood will be drawn again and at the end of two years memory tests, an eye exam and a final blood draw will be scheduled.


To be eligible to participate in the study you must be:

  • Between the ages of 62 to 80 years old
  • Reasonably healthy
  • Able to read and write English
  • Able to come to Loma Linda University every 2 months

You must not:

  • Be extremely obese
  • Have uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension
  • Be in the first year of tragic loss
  • Be allergic to walnuts