International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation Study Links Tree Nut Consumption and Survival in Colon Cancer Patients

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First Study to Examine the Association Between Nut Intake and Colon Cancer Recurrence and Survival in the Journal of Clinical Oncology

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In a large prospective study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, colon cancer patients who consumed nuts had a significant decrease in cancer recurrence and death.

The study, led by Charles S. Fuchs, MD, MPH, Director of the Yale Cancer Center, looked at 826 patients with stage III colon cancer enrolled in a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored randomized clinical trial. After a median follow-up of 6.5 years, patients who consumed two or more ounces of nuts per week—particularly tree nuts (such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts), had a significant reduction in cancer recurrence compared to those who did not consume nuts. Higher nut intake was also associated with a significant improvement in overall survival.

Nuts contain important nutrients such as unsaturated fats, high quality protein, vitamins (e.g., vitamin E, folate and niacin), minerals (e.g., magnesium, calcium and potassium) and phytochemicals—all of which may offer cardioprotective, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

“Previous research has shown that nut consumption may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity and insulin resistance—a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the hormone insulin,” explains Dr. Fuchs. “And these conditions have been associated with an increased risk of colon cancer recurrence and mortality.”

Of the cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and third most common cancer worldwide.

“These findings are very encouraging,” stated Maureen Ternus, M.S., R.D., Executive Director of the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (INC NREF). “While we’ve known for some time now that nuts can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, this new study provides yet another reason to encourage people to eat a handful—or 1/3 cup—of tree nuts every day.”

The International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (INC NREF) represents the research and education arm of the International Tree Nut Council (INC). INC is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to supporting nutrition research and education for consumers and health professionals throughout the world and promoting new product development for tree nut products. Members include those associations and organizations that represent the nine tree nuts (almonds, Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts) in more than 40 producing countries. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.nuthealth.org. You can also find us on social media at https://www.facebook.com/NutHealthOrg and https://twitter.com/NutHealthOrg.

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