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Consuming Tree Nuts Could Lessen the Risk of Prostate Cancer Death

Jun 21, 2016 12:32 AM EDT
Tree Nuts
A new Harvard Medical School study suggests that eating one ounce of tree nuts four to five times a week can lessen mortality risk of prostate cancer by 34 percent.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A new study from the Harvard Medical suggests that regular consumption of tree nuts such as almonds walnuts, Brazil nuts and cashews as part of daily diet can reduce the mortality risk of prostate cancer

The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, revealed that patients suffering from prostate cancer who consumed 1 ounce of tree nuts four to five times per week were 34 percent less likely to die because of the disease.

However, the researchers found no significant linked between eating tree nuts and prostate cancer diagnosis.

For the study, researchers followed more than 47,000 men for 26 years. Out of those, 6810 incidents of prostate cancer were reported, with 4,346 men diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer. Only ten percent of the patients with prostate cancer died from cardiovascular diseases over the period of the study.

"These findings add to the growing body of evidence showing that nuts can and should be part of a healthy diet," said Maureen Ternus, M.S., R.D., Executive Director of the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (INC NREF), in a statement. "Just 1.5 ounces of nuts per day (about 1/3 cup) can have a positive impact on health."

According to the study, the ability of tree nuts to improve insulin sensitivity help to prevent insulin resistance, a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the hormone insulin and is believed to be involved in the development and progression of prostate cancer. Tree nuts can also prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease, improving overall morbidity.

Aside from improving insulin sensitivity, tree nuts also offers cardioprotective, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties due to its important nutrients including unsaturated fats, high quality protein, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

According to the report from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prostate cancer is one of the most common type of cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths of men in the United States. In 2012, 177,489 men in the U.S. were diagnosed with prostate cancer, including 27,244 men who died from the disease.

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