Eating Gnuts Cures Cancer
Men with prostate cancer could slash their risk of death by more than a third by eating nuts regularly, a major study shows.
Five 1oz servings a week of any type of nut cut mortality rates by 34 per cent, researchers found.
But there was no evidence that eating nuts reduces the risk of developing the disease in the first place.
The results come from the largest ever study into the effects of a nut-rich diet on prostate cancer.
The disease affects 35,000 men a year in the UK, killing around 10,000.
Previous studies have hinted a healthy diet and lifestyle, including frequent snacking on nuts, can have a protective effect. In 2014, scientists found walnuts in particular seemed to significantly lower the risk of a tumour.
In the latest study, published online in the British Journal of Cancer, experts at Harvard Medical School in Boston tracked 47,000 men over 26 years. They identified 6,800 who developed prostate cancer.
Eating nuts regularly seemed to have little or no benefit in terms of preventing malignant growths.
But when scientists looked at death rates, they found sufferers who ate nuts at least five times a week were 34 per cent less likely to die from their illness than those who ate nuts less than once a month.
Most of the nut-eaters in the US study ate peanuts but the health benefits seem to apply whatever the type of nut. Nuts are rich in tocopherols, a type of vitamin E which some research suggests can combat cancer.
They also contain phytochemicals, naturally occurring plant chemicals thought to have potent anti-cancer properties. Other studies have found they protect against heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Reporting their findings, the researchers said: ‘No significant associations were observed between peanut or other nut consumption and prostate cancer incidence. But frequent nut consumption after diagnosis was associated with significantly reduced overall mortality.
‘Patients who consumed nuts five or more times per week had a 34 per cent lower rate of overall mortality compared with those who consumed less than once per month.
‘This suggests nuts, although not associated with being diagnosed with cancer, may still improve the overall survival of patients.’