The California Walnut Commission launches global “Power of 3” campaign

The California Walnut Commission is launching a “Power of 3” global marketing initiative in order to educate consumers on the health benefits of walnuts, claiming that three handfuls of walnuts a week (around 90 grams) is an easy and simple way of improving overall nutrition. Walnuts are the only nut significantly rich in the plant-based essential fatty acid omega-3 ALA.

The month-long campaign will run in the UK, USA, UAE, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Spain and Turkey and will encourage people around the world to share the “Power of 3” with loved ones. Central to the campaign is the California Walnut Commission’s global landing page, but other elements include digital and social media content, blog posts, sweepstakes, influencer programmes, recipes, pop-up events, samplings, adverts and more.

To support the campaign, the California Walnut Commission has provided an insight to the science behind plant-based omega-3 ALA:

ALA and Heart Health

A study from Advances in Nutrition provided evidence showing the potentially beneficial role ALA may have in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, including strokes and heart attacks. Given the current promising data, the researchers noted the need for well-controlled clinical trials to clarify the effects of ALA on risk for cardiovascular disease and to determine the recommended amount of ALA to consume for heart health benefits.

ALA and Brain Health

A review study from Progress in Lipid Research assessed the tissue levels of omega-3 DHA formed from ALA. The first finding was that ALA leads to the synthesis of EPA in some cases, and in particular, may contribute to DHA levels in the brain. Evidence from a variety of studies suggests dietary ALA may be able to fulfill the human requirement for DHA in the body when higher levels of ALA (at least 1.2g) are consumed. Assessing the synthesis of EPA and DHA from ALA in humans is limited to blood level measurements. The takeaway from this study is that through its conversion process, ALA may play a role in maintaining DHA levels in important tissues such as the brain. However, more research needs to be undertaken to fully understand the effect of this process in the body.

ALA and Overall Mortality

Research from one of the largest clinical trials looking at the benefits of a Mediterranean diet suggested older Spanish individuals (ages 55-80) with a high cardiac risk who supplemented a high fish diet with dietary ALA saw a reduced risk of all-cause mortality. Specifically, study participants who consumed at least 0.7% of their daily calorie intake from ALA had a 28% reduced risk of all-cause mortality.

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