Regularly eating nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, and peanuts, may help people with colon cancer reduce the risk of cancer remission and mortality, according to a new study.
Researchers said that people who consumed at least two, one-ounce servings of nuts each week had a 42 percent improvement in disease-free survival and a 57 percent improvement in overall survival.
More so, the study found that patients with stage III colon cancer who ate nuts on a regular basis had disease recurrence cut by half.
“The results highlight the importance of emphasizing dietary and lifestyle factors in colon cancer survivorship,” said Temidayo Fadelu, a postdoctoral student at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and lead author of the study.
The study monitored 826 participants in a clinical trial for more than six years after they were treated with surgery and chemotherapy.
While patients generally abstain from eating nuts due to their high-fat content and increased risk of obesity, recent findings suggest the opposite to be the case.
According to Charles S. Fuchs, director at Yale Cancer Centre in the US, previous studies focusing on nut consumption have revealed that regular consumers of nuts “tend to be leaner”.
The researchers also accounted for connections between biological mechanisms than worsen several types of disease, not just colon cancer, including type 2 diabetes.
Previous studies have reported that nuts may help to reduce insulin resistance, which is helpful considering that the condition often leads to unhealthy levels of sugar in the blood and eventually to type 2 diabetes and related illnesses.
Other studies involving colon cancer patients have found that insulin resistance, obesity, exercise and other lifestyle factors worsen the disease.
Professor Fuchs said that earlier research supports the hypothesis that eating nuts seem to improve outcomes in colon cancer.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
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