Nuts halve mortality risk in colorectal cancer
Nuts fit into a healthy diet. You already knew that, and that people who frequently consume nuts reduce their risk of cancer will not surprise you either.
What's more surprising is that studies also indicate that nuts increase the chances of survival of people with cancer. Earlier we wrote that nuts improve the prospects of men with prostate cancer, and while browsing the Journal of Clinical Oncology we stumbled upon a study in which nuts drastically reduce the mortality risk of colorectal cancer patients.
American researchers, affiliated with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Yale Cancer Center, studied 826 people with colon cancer. The cancer had already spread to lymph nodes in the vicinity of the original tumor, but not yet further. The researchers followed the study participants for 6.5 years.
Just before the research began, the study participants had already undergone surgery and chemotherapy. They also had told the researchers what their lifestyle and diet looked like.
The study participants who ate nuts several times a week were more likely to remain disease-free, and were less likely to die, than the study participants who never ate nuts.
It was mainly tree nuts like such as walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans and almonds, that protected rather than peanuts.
"These findings are in keeping with several other observational studies that indicate that a slew of healthy behaviors, including increased physical activity, keeping a healthy weight, and lower intake of sugar and sweetened beverages, improve colon cancer outcomes," says first author Temidayo Fadelu from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. [sciencedaily.com February 28, 2018] "The results highlight the importance of emphasizing dietary and life-style factors in colon cancer survivorship."
Research leader Charles Fuchs, attached to the Yale Cancer Center, advises people with colorectal cancer to prevent overweight in the first place, secondly to exercise a lot and in the third place to eliminate foods with a lot of fast carbs from the diet. After all, these are the lifestyle factors of which the correlation with the survival of colon cancer is more or less established.
"Then we talk about things like coffee and nuts. If you like coffee or nuts, enjoy them, and if you don't, there are many other helpful steps you can take", Fuchs says.
"Overall, we are working to apply the same rigorous science to the understanding of diet and lifestyles in the colon cancer patient population that we apply to defining new drugs."
J Clin Oncol. 2018 Feb 28:JCO2017755413. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2017.75.5413. [Epub ahead of print].
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Cancer Prevention & Survival