One of the most consumed nuts in North America is under the microscope at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals.

Centre director Peter Jones said Wednesday that a team is looking to tie together almonds and the growth of healthy bacteria in our gut microbiome.

"There have been one or two trials before conducted to look at the effect of almonds on the gut microbiome but this is the first trial to really thoroughly investigate this in a controlled clinical study," Jones said.

Jones went onto say that he suspects almonds are good for the gut because they contain what are called soluble fibres.

"The microbiome just loves these sorts of fibres so to stimulate the growth and proliferation of the microbiome and we think you stimulate the growth of the beneficial bugs in our gut."

Jones is hoping the study will find changes in health markers like lower cholesterol and inflammation, and researchers will be able to link them to changes in the gut bacteria patterns.

Jones says study participants will do 3 four week cycles, and give blood and stool samples before and after for testing.

The first cycle will have participants come to the centre at the University of Manitoba campus to eat breakfast every weekday. That breakfast will include a 150g serving of almonds.

The second cycle will be a wash out phase, and the third will be similar to the first, only instead of almonds, participants will consume a placebo snack bar that doesn’t contain almonds.

The study is set to begin at the end of February and needs 40 participants. According to a recruitment poster it can be anyone who is a non-smoker, male or female, between the ages of 18-75.

For more information you can call The Richardson Centre at 204-474-9989 or email