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How do nuts affect colon cancer?
Researchers have now found that when people with stage III colorectal cancer consume nuts regularly, they have a significantly lower risk of cancer recurrence and mortality.
Scientists at the internationally recognized Yale Cancer Center and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that consuming nuts reduced the risk of cancer recurrence and mortality in stage III colon cancer patients. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Journal of Clinical Oncology".
826 subjects took part in the study
The experts examined a total of 826 subjects for their study. These were medically monitored for a median of 6.5 years after colorectal cancer treatment with surgery and chemotherapy. When the participants ingested an ounce (about 28 grams) of nuts at least twice a week, this resulted in a 42 percent improvement in survival without cancer recurrence and a 57 percent chance of general survival, the doctors explain.
Tree nuts are particularly recommended for colorectal cancer
A further analysis of this cohort also showed that disease-free survival in the subgroup of nut consumers who ate so-called tree nuts instead of peanuts rose to 46 percent, explains study author Charles S. Fuchs from the Yale Cancer Center. Tree nuts include, for example, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashew nuts and pecans. Peanuts are actually part of the legume family.
Diet and lifestyle have a big impact
"These results are consistent with several other observational studies that indicate that a range of healthy behaviors, including increased physical activity, healthy weight, and reduced sugar and sweetened drink intake, improve colorectal cancer outcomes," says Dr. Temida Fadelu of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in a press release. The results underscore the importance of nutritional and lifestyle factors in the survival rate of colorectal cancer, the expert adds.
Nuts reduce insulin resistance
In addition, the researchers emphasized that the study showed relationships between biological mechanisms that not only exacerbate colorectal cancer, but also affect certain chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Previous studies have found that nuts, among other health benefits, can help reduce insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the body has difficulty processing the insulin hormone. Insulin resistance leads to unhealthy sugar levels in the blood and is often a precursor to type 2 diabetes and related diseases, the doctors explain.
Certain lifestyle factors have a negative impact
Other studies in patients with colon cancer have shown poorer results in people with lifestyle factors such as obesity, lack of exercise and a diet high in carbohydrates that increase insulin resistance and cause high blood sugar.
Nuts prevent hunger
"These studies support the hypothesis that behaviors that make us less insulin resistant, including eating nuts, appear to improve results in colorectal cancer," Fuchs said. Nuts could play a positive role in reducing hunger and reducing carbohydrate or other food intake, which is associated with poor results, the researcher added.
Do nuts make you fat?
Some people don't eat nuts because they are high in fat. For example, a serving of about 24 almonds contains about 200 calories, including 14 grams of fat, doctors say. Many people fear becoming obese from eating nuts, but research has found that regular nut users tend to be lean. For a healthy lifestyle, patients should avoid obesity, exercise regularly and take care not to eat a diet that contains many carbohydrates, the experts advise. (as)