The researchers behind a yet-to-be-published study say that for people who have battled colon cancer, as little as 2 ounces of tree nuts per week slashes their chances of having their cancer return. And the reduction, at least according to this study, is dramatic–42%
The study has not yet been published but will be presented in about 3 weeks at the yearly meeting for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO. Its authors, though, are already sharing some details.
This study looked at more than 800 cancer patients battling stage 3 colon cancer. The researchers behind it say that patients who consumed as little as 2 ounces of nuts per week saw a 42% lower chance of having their cancer coming back and 57% lower chance of dying from their cancer.
There is, unfortunately, one big “but” in all of this. Peanuts, it seems, will not provide the same benefit. Cancer patients will need to consume tree nuts like almonds, cashews or walnuts.
“It should be emphasized that the authors are not suggesting that eating nuts should be considered a substitute for standard chemotherapy and other treatments for colon cancer, which have dramatically improved survival,” says ASCO president Daniel Hayes in the Society’s press release about the study. “Rather, patients with colon cancer should be optimistic, and they should eat a healthy diet, including tree nuts, which may not only keep them healthier, but may also further decrease the chances of the cancer coming back.”
The effect of tree nuts may be two-fold. In addition to, perhaps, doing something to actually prevent cancers, nuts are already credited with helping fight obesity and preventing diabetes. Both obesity and diabetes are already known to raise your chances of seeing colon cancer return.
Unfortunately, the study’s authors aren’t providing a lot of extra information about the research. We don’t know, for example, if certain nuts might be better than others or if a diet that included tree nuts as a daily snack might provide even more protection.