A new study suggests that stage III colon cancer survivors can prevent their cancer from making a comeback just by eating nuts. Also, the risk of death from colon cancer was lower in patients who ate nuts than in other patients.
The Yale Cancer Center published the findings this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
- During the study, more than 800 colon cancer survivors were tracked for 6.5 years on average after undergoing chemotherapy and surgery.
- The patients who dutifully ate two servings or more of nuts every week had a 57% lower risk of death from colon cancer than those who didn’t. (One serving contained one ounce of nuts).
Researchers also reported that patients who ate tree nuts had a 46% higher likelihood of survival than patients who ate peanuts. Tree nuts is a category that includes cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts. Peanuts, on the other hand, belong to legumes, not nuts.
Nuts Can Keep Cancer at Bay
Senior author Charles S. Fuchs underlined that the findings are in line with past studies that suggest minor changes to diet and physical activity can make a big difference in colon cancer outcomes.
The results highlight the importance of emphasizing dietary and lifestyle factors in colon cancer survivorship,
Dr. Fadelu said.
Researchers also found that there are some biological mechanisms that can make cancer and chronic illnesses like diabetes worse. Past research showed that nuts can help fix insulin resistance, a condition that spurs unhealthy levels of glucose in the blood and can result in type 2 diabetes.
Past studies also showed that colon cancer patients with obesity, carbs-rich diets, and low levels of exercise were at a higher risk of death from cancer than their more health concerned peers.
Researchers concluded that the same behaviors that help reduce the risk of insulin resistance, like consuming nuts, can improve survival rates in colon cancer patients.
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