Effect of phenolic compounds and fatty acid contents of walnut seeds on streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats

  • Amnah M. A. AlsuhaibaniEmail author
  • Amal Nasser Al-Kuraieef
Original Paper


In Saudi Arabia, walnuts are most edible snacks that possess different pharmacological effects. However, their effects on diabetic patients need to be examined. Thus, this study investigated the gross chemical composition, specific minerals, fatty acids and phenolic compounds of walnut seeds in addition to clarify the effect of the consumption of walnuts in different ratios (2.5, 5 and 7.5%) on streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats. The chemical analyses revealed that the walnut seeds are rich in fat, protein and carbohydrates in addition to potassium, magnesium, calcium and phenolic compounds. Walnut seed oil had a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids followed by monounsaturated fatty acids and saturated fatty acids thereafter. Biological results revealed that consumption of walnuts as 2.5, 5 and 7.5% of a basal diet fed to diabetic rats had a significant effect in elevating body weight gain and the feed efficiency ratio, significantly decreased the glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and glucose levels, and significantly increased circulating insulin compared to the positive controls. At the same time, consumption of 7.5% walnut seed powder in the basal diet restored the haemoglobin level and HbA1c values and also improved the antioxidant biomarker to within the values of the negative control group. Regarding the chemical constituents, walnut seeds are rich in fatty acids and phenolic compounds that give positive effects for consumption and also have ameliorative effect on streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats.


Walnut seeds Minerals Fatty acids Phenolic compound Diabetes Rats 



The authors give their profound gratitude to Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University for its moral support in accomplishing this research paper. The authors are also grateful to the staff of the Scientific Research Centre of the MSD, Riyadh for their help in the experimental work.

Authors Contribution

All authors conceived and designed the research, collected and analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. Also, the authors followed up the field work, supervised the animal experiments with technical specialists and reviewed and made editorial comments on the draft of the manuscript. All authors were involved in proofreading the draft of the manuscript, and all of them read and approved the final manuscript.


Self-financing of authors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Food SciencesPrincess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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