Washington: A new study has found that consumption of nuts, including tree nuts (such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts), is inversely associated with risk of pancreatic cancer, independent of other potential risk factors for pancreatic cancer.
Researchers looked at the association between nut consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer among 75,680 women in the Nurses` Health Study, with no previous history of cancer.
Women who consumed a one-ounce serving of nuts two or more times per week had a significantly reduced risk of pancreatic cancer compared to those who largely abstained from nuts.
"This reduction in risk was independent of established or suspected risk factors for pancreatic cancer including age, height, obesity, physical activity, smoking, diabetes and dietary factors," lead author, Ying Bao, MD, ScD, from the Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women`s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, said.
While there may be concern that frequent nut consumption may result in weight gain and thereby increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, the opposite seems to be true.
"In our cohort women who consumed the most nuts tended to weigh less," Dr. Bao said.
Moreover, in a recent analysis of this same cohort, higher nut consumption was associated with a slightly lower risk of weight gain and obesity.
Nut intake has also been associated with a reduced risk of diabetes mellitus, which is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer .
The study is published online in the British Journal of Cancer.