Effects of Walnut Consumption on Mood in Young Adults

Document Type


Publication Date



Walnuts, Mood, College students


Walnuts contain a number of potentially neuroprotective compounds like vitamin E, folate, melatonin, several antioxidative polyphenols and significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. The present study sought to determine the effect of walnuts on mood. Sixty-four college students were randomly assigned to two treatment sequences in a cross-over fashion: walnut-placebo or placebo-walnut. Baseline data 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 change in mood was observed in analysis that included both genders on the walnut supplemented diet. However, in gender specific analysis significant improvement was observed in males in the anger/hostility domain (p=0.013) and in the Total Mood Disturbance score (p=0.043). In young males, walnuts seem to have the ability improve some mood domains. The study was in part supported by the California Walnut Commision. The funders had no role in the implementation, data collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of the study or preparation of this publication.

Journal Title

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Journal




Supplement number 1

First Department

Graduate Psychology and Counseling