November 2013

Eating Nuts May Lower Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Eating nuts may reduce the risk for pancreatic cancer in women, according to a recent study.

Many varieties of nuts have been studied for their potential health benefits. Sweet almonds are a popular nutritious food. Researchers are especially interested in their level of monounsaturated fats, as these appear to have a beneficial effect on blood lipids. The essential fatty acids contained in walnuts have also been shown to protect against heart disease. They are high in unsaturated fat and protein and contain no cholesterol. Recent research has also linked daily consumption of nuts to reduced risk of mortality from any cause.

In a recent study, researchers analyzed data on 75,680 women from the Nurses' Health study to assess the potential association between nut consumption and the risk for pancreatic cancer. Data on nut consumption was collected at the beginning of the study and then re-assessed every two to four years. Throughout the study, 466 cases of pancreatic cancer were identified.

After adjusting the data for various risk factors such as smoking, age and physical activity, the researchers found that women who ate at least one ounce of nuts twice weekly had a 35 percent significantly reduced risk of pancreatic cancer when compared to those who principally did not eat nuts. The risk reduction remained significant after further adjusting data for other factors, including body mass index and diabetes.

The authors concluded that regularly eating nuts is associated with a reduced risk for developing pancreatic cancer in women. Additional studies are warranted to further evaluate these findings.

In addition to nuts, early research reports that dietary lycopene intake from tomatoes may be linked to a lower risk of pancreatic cancer. Although this is promising, more studies are needed in this area.

For more information about integrative therapies for pancreatic cancer, please visit Natural Standard's Comparative EffectivenessDatabase.

For more information about sweet almond or walnut, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements Database.

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  1. Bao Y, Hu FB, Giovannucci EL, et al. ut consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer in women. Br J Cancer. 2013 Oct 22. 
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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