People's Pharmacy

People's Pharmacy

Why walnuts, which may lower cholesterol, are not often prescribed

Health & Fitness

February 22, 2004|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,King Features Syndicate

Eating walnuts nearly every day has brought my cholesterol down nicely. This experience makes me wonder: Why don't doctors prescribe natural remedies? The Food and Drug Administration should not object, because items like walnuts are already safe for consumption. But my doctor was surprised when I told him how I have gotten my cholesterol under control.

Natural remedies, such as specific foods, are not always the first thing a doctor considers. Drug companies spend a lot of money promoting their products to physicians, while no one is marketing walnuts for heart health.

There is, however, a surprising amount of research documenting the ability of nuts in general and walnuts in particular to lower triglycerides and bad cholesterol (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2001). Studies have also shown a reduction in heart disease among people who consume nuts.

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