Nuts May Improve Overall Health In Men With Prostate Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Ying Bao Sc.D., M.D Assistant Professor of Medicine Channing Division of Network Medicine Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Dr. Ying Bao

Dr. Ying Bao Sc.D., M.D
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Channing Division of Network Medicine
Department of Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School,
Boston, MA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Nuts are rich in bioactive macronutrients, micronutrients, tocopherols and phytochemicals. Current epidemiological evidence has consistently linked increased nut consumption to reduced risk of several chronic conditions including cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and inflammation. In contrast, evidence on nut consumption and cancer risk has been insufficient and equivocal.

Prostate cancer is the leading cancer among U.S. men, with approximately 220,800 new cases diagnosed in 2015. However, very few studies have investigated the association between nut intake and prostate cancer. Thus, in the current study, we followed 47,299 US men from 1986-2012, and examined
(1) whether consuming more nuts prevents getting prostate cancer, and
(2) whether consuming more nuts reduces death rates among non-metastatic prostate cancer patients.

During 26 years of follow-up, 6,810 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 4,346 of these patients were without metastasis at diagnosis. We found no association between nut intake and being diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, among non-metastatic prostate cancer patients, those who consumed nuts 5 or more times per week after diagnosis had a significant 34% lower rate of overall mortality than those who consumed nuts less than once per month.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: In this study, nut consumption was not associated with risk of getting prostate cancer. However, among non-metastatic prostate cancer patients, frequent nut consumption after diagnosis was associated with a lower death rate, suggesting that nuts improve overall health in men with prostate cancer.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Other large cohort studies and clinical trials need to confirm our findings by examining post-diagnostic nut intake in relation to survival among prostate cancer patients. In addition, studies are needed to elucidate the biological pathways through which nuts exert their beneficial effects, for example, investigating nut intake in relation to biomarkers of systemic inflammation and insulin resistance and determine the metabolic alterations caused by increased nut consumption.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: The observation that nut consumption was associated with lower death rates among non-metastatic patients may be due to the benefits of nuts on cardiometabolic diseases. Among prostate cancer patients, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, accounting for nearly one-third of the deaths in our study. Large studies have consistently shown that increased nut consumption was associated with reduced cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality. Nuts are dense in nutrients and bioactive compounds that may confer cardio-protective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Furthermore, nuts are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and replacement of carbohydrates and animal fat with either unsaturated fats has been shown to reduce all-cause mortality and lethal outcomes among men with non-metastatic prostate cancer.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Br J Cancer. 2016 Jun 9. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2016.181. [Epub ahead of print]
Nut consumption and prostate cancer risk and mortality.
Wang W1, Yang M2, Kenfield SA3, Hu FB1,2,4, Stampfer MJ1,2,4, Willett WC1,2,4, Fuchs CS4,5, Giovannucci EL1,2,4, Bao Y4.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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