Colon Cancer Outcomes Improved by Nut Consumption

Pharmacy Times, July 2018 Digestive Health, Volume 84, Issue 7

Patients with colon cancer may be able to reduce their risk of cancer recurrence and mortality by regularly eating nuts, according to the results of a recent study.

Patients with colon cancer may be able to reduce their risk of cancer recurrence and mortality by regularly eating nuts, according to the results of a recent study. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, evaluated data on 826 patients with stage 3 colon cancer who were followed for a median of 6.5 years after being treated with surgery and chemotherapy.

Based on their analysis, the researchers determined that participants who ate at least 2 servings of nuts each week experienced a 42% improvement in disease-free survival and a 57% improvement in overall survival. Additionally, disease-free survival was found to have increased by 46% among those who ate tree nuts, such as almonds, cashews, and walnuts, rather than peanuts.

Although the study authors remained unsure of why nuts proved beneficial, they noted that their findings were consistent with previous research in which behaviors that reduce insulin resistance, as nut consumption has been shown to do, were linked to improved outcomes in patients with colon cancer.

“These findings are in keeping with [those from] several other observational studies that indicate that a slew of healthy behaviors, including increased physical activity, keeping a healthy weight, and lower intake of sugar and sweetened beverages, improve colon cancer outcomes,” lead author Temidayo Fadelu, MD, in a statement. “The results highlight the importance of emphasizing dietary and lifestyle factors in colon cancer survivorship.”