Pancreatic Cancer: Frequent Nut Consumption May Reduce Risk Interview with:
dr_ying_baoYing Bao, MD, ScD
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA. What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Bao: Frequent nut consumption is inversely associated with risk of pancreatic cancer in women, independent of other potential risk factors for pancreatic cancer. Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Bao: No. Nuts are a rich source of bioactive components that may confer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, or anticancer properties. For example, previous studies reported that nut consumption was associated with decreased insulin levels, a lower prevalence of abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome, and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes; and insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes are all risk factors for pancreatic cancer. Moreover, nuts are rich in vitamins; and high serum alpha-tocopherol, the biologically active form of vitamin E, was associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer in a large prospective cohort study. This evidence also supports a role of nuts in pancreatic cancer prevention.  What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Bao: Increased nut consumption was associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer in this large prospective cohort study of women.  But additional confirmatory studies are warranted. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Bao: Although well-conducted randomized clinical trials would be ideal, more data from large prospective cohort studies are needed to confirm our findings. In addition, the association between nut intake and survival among  pancreatic cancer patients is also an intriguing area of research.


Nut consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer in women
Y Bao, F B Hu, E L Giovannucci, B M Wolpin, M J Stampfer, W C Willett and C S Fuchs

British Journal of Cancer , (22 October 2013) | doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.665


Last Updated on November 26, 2014 by Marie Benz MD FAAD