Men suffering from prostate cancer may significantly reduce their risk of mortality by consuming nuts like almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts, new research suggests.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed and second most lethal cancer for men.
“Prostate cancer should be considered seriously as more men are prone to such diseases,” said lead researcher Ying Bao from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, US.
The findings showed that people who consume nuts five or more times in a week had a 34 per cent decreased risk of mortality due to prostate cancer in comparison to those who consumed nuts less than once per month.
“Just 1.5 ounces of nuts per day (about 1/3 cup) can have a positive impact on health,” added Maureen Ternus, Executive Director at the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation — a US based non-profit organisation.
‘Insulin resistance’, a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the hormone insulin, is involved in prostate cancer risk and progression.
Tree nuts have also been associated with improved insulin sensitivity and reduced risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, thereby lowering the total mortality factor.
In addition, nuts contain important nutrients such as unsaturated fats, high quality protein, vitamins, minerals and phyto-chemicals, all of which offer cardio-protective, anti- carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, the researchers said.
For the study, published online in the British Journal of Cancer, the team evaluated 47,299 men, for an overall period of 26 years.
The participants were diagnosed with non-metastatic cancer. Only 10 per cent of them died from prostate cancer. Around one-third died from cardiovascular disease and other causes.
“These findings add to the growing body of evidence showing that nuts should be part of a healthy diet,” Ternus noted.