Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada - CCAC

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Almonds, Peanuts and Cashews May Boost Colon Cancer Survival Rate: Study

A handful of nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and peanuts may help lower the risk of colon cancer recurrence and mortality, claims a new study. The study said people who have colon cancer and are regularly having these nuts may have higher survival rate.

The study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that those who regularly consumed at least two, one-ounce servings of nuts each week showed a 42 per cent improvement in disease-free survival and a 57 per cent improvement in overall survival. The study also revealed that patients with stage III colon cancer, recurrence was reduced by nearly half.

For the study, the researchers followed 826 participants in a clinical trial for a median of 6.5 years after they were treated with surgery and chemotherapy.

"These findings are in keeping with several other observational studies that indicate that a slew of healthy behaviours, including increased physical activity, keeping a healthy weight, and lower intake of sugar and sweetened beverages, improve colon cancer outcomes," said lead author Temidayo Fadelu, postdoctoral student at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

"The results highlight the importance of emphasizing dietary and life-style factors in colon cancer survivorship," Fadelu added.

The researchers said that there are many misconceptions regarding nuts that often discourage patients to load up on these nutritious superfoods. Patients may not be eating nuts due to concerns about the high fat content and that increasing nut consumption will lead to obesity.

On the contrary, "our studies, and across the scientific literature in general, have found regular consumers of nuts tend to be leaner", explained Charles S. Fuchs, Director at Yale Cancer Centre in the US.

Several previous studies have also reported that nuts also help to reduce insulin resistance.

"These studies support the hypothesis that behaviours that make you less insulin resistant, including eating nuts, seem to improve outcomes in colon cancer," Fuchs said.

In addition to this, nuts can also prove to be one of your best companions for weight loss. Nuts can satisfy hunger with less intake of carbohydrates or other foods associated with poor outcomes, Fuchs noted.

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