Nut Consumption May Reduce Incidence of Breast and Colon Cancer

Eating 2 or 3 servings per week of nuts can reduce the risk of several types of cancer

Feb 01, 2016, 09:00 ET from International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC)

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, February 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Adding nuts to your diet is associated to a reduction in the risk of cancer. This is the main conclusion of multiple studies that have shown that eating 2 or 3 servings per week (57-84 g) of nuts is associated to a reduction in the risk of some types of cancer (breast, colon, pancreatic and lung cancer).

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A study by Dr. Soriano-Hernandez and his team at the University of Colima (México) has concluded that frequent consumption of peanuts, walnuts or almonds is associated to a reduced risk of breast cancer by a factor of 2 or 3. Researchers analysed 97 patients with breast cancer and 104 control subjects who did not have the pathology[1]. Another study from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard (USA) showed that eating 2 servings of nuts per week during adolescence is associated to a 36% lower risk of breast cancer compared to women consuming less than 1 serving (27g) per month[2].

Different studies have shown that nut consumption can reduce the incidence of colon cancer as well. In 2004, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition showed a reduced incidence of colon cancer in women who ate an average of 16 g of nuts and seeds daily. This study revealed that women who consumed more than 6.2g per day of nuts and seeds was associated to a 31% lower risk of colon cancer[3]. Earlier this year, a team of researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard (USA) found that women who consumed nuts twice or more per week had a 13% lower risk of colorectal cancer compared with women who rarely consumed nuts.[4]

Furthermore, eating just 2 servings (28 g) is associated with a 32% lower risk of pancreatic cancer among women[5] and researchers from the DCCPS National Cancer Institute (Maryland, United States) have reported that nut consumption was statistically associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer.[6]

The conclusion is that eating nuts is not only associated with a lower risk of cancer but also a reduced risk of death from cancer. These are the results of the PREDIMED study, which indicated last year that participants who habitually had 3 servings per week of nuts enjoyed a 40% reduction in deaths from cancer.[7]

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SOURCE International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC)