Heart-Healthy Compound Found in Peanuts
By Jill Lee
June 16, 1997
Enjoying a glass of wine before dinner
to help your heart? You might want to try a handful of peanuts, too, scientists
with USDAs Agricultural Research
To some, this may seem like a contradiction because of peanuts high
fat content. Its well established that 100 grams of shelled peanuts with
skins contain 47.5 grams of fat.
But ARS research has shown that
tasty, healthy peanuts also contain a compound called resveratrol. Thats
the same compound behind red wines apparent ability to offset the
heart-harming effects of a high-fat diet.
The peanut discovery will be discussed in detail today at the 1997
Congress in Amelia Island, Fla.
Red wines resveratrol levels average approximately 160 micrograms per
fluid ounce. By comparison, one ounce of peanuts contains an average of 73
micrograms of resveratrol, the ARS researchers say.
Research at Loma Linda University has
revealed that people who ate nuts five times a week cut their heart attack risk
by 50 percent. The Iowa Womens Health Study, which included 40,000
post-menopausal women, also found a connection between nut consumption and
reduced coronary disease risk. The findings suggest that, in moderation,
peanuts can be a heart-healthy food.
The ARS peanut studies indicate that the type of peanut and the environment
in which it is grown can affect resveratrol levels in the nuts.
Scientific contact: Timothy H. Sanders, ARS,
Market Quality and Handling
Research, Raleigh, N.C., phone (919) 515-6312, fax 515-7124,
Tim_Sanders@ncsu.edu. During the June
15-18 meeting, Sanders may be reached at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Amelia Island,
Fla., phone (904) 277-1100.