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Eating This Lowers Your Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

By on November 12, 2013
Whether you prefer a handful of almonds, pecans, or walnuts, researchers now say the benefits of eating nuts just aren’t confined to the health of your heart–it could now decrease your risk of pancreatic cancer.

In a study published in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers say that women who ate a one ounce serving of nuts twice a week were significantly less likely to develop this cancer.

“Women who consumed a one-ounce serving of nuts two or more times per week had a significantly reduced risk of pancreatic cancer compared to those who largely abstained from nuts,” says Dr. Ying Bao of the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who helped research the study. “This reduction in risk was independent of established or suspected risk factors for pancreatic cancer including age, height, obesity, physical activity, smoking, diabetes and dietary factors.”

Found behind the lower part of your stomach, your pancreas helps your body digest food and regulate sugar, making it a necessary part of the digestive process. Unfortunately, few symptoms emerge when carcinogens develop inside the pancreas, making it undetectable until the latest stages of this disease. As a double whammy, pancreatic cancer develops fast, so even if you catch it early, chances are your survival rate is very low.

However, there is one way to reduce the risk of this disease–by slimming down. And a handful of tree nuts may be able to do just that.

“In our cohort women who consumed the most nuts tended to weigh less,” says Bao.

Results of the Study

Surveying over 75,000 women in the United States with no history of pancreatic cancer, Bao and his team of scientists looked at how nut consumption and pancreatic cancer were linked–if indeed a link existed.

To test this out, Bao looked at how many nuts they consumed on a regular basis, including walnuts, almonds, pecans, and other tree nuts. The International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation helped fund the study, though they did not influence the study design or collection of data.

After the results were analyzed, researchers found that those who ate at least two one ounce servings of nuts per week were statistically the least likely to develop pancreatic cancer–and oddly enough, more likely to be slim.

“Nuts contain a variety of important vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals,” says Maureen Ternus, M.S. R.D., executive director of the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation. “This exciting, new study provides yet another reason to encourage people to eat a handful–or 1/3 cup–of tree nuts every day.”

As for which nuts you should opt for to lower your risk of pancreatic cancer, all nuts work, according to researchers: The best ones to choose from include almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and pistachios.

Readers: Are nuts a part of your diet? Why or why not?

Sources:
Women Who Eat Nuts Face Lessened Pancreatic Cancer Risk – Telegraph.co.uk
Pancreatic Cancer Lowered by Nut Consumption (Study)Eurekalert.org

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