Prostate cancer is currently the second deadliest cancer among men in the United States. Statistics show that one in every 39 males will die of the illness, while one man in every seven will be diagnosed with it.
Now, just in time for Father's Day, new research has revealed that dying from prostate cancer could likely be avoided by eating tree nuts such as cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts.
The researchers, some of them from Harvard Medical School, studied 47,000 men over the course of 26 years and found 6,800 who developed prostate cancer. These participants were detected with non-metastatic cancer.
Only 10 percent of the patients with prostate cancer died from the illness, while about one-third died from cardiovascular disease and other causes.
In the end, experts did not find any "statistically significant associations" between prostate cancer diagnosis and consuming tree nuts.
However, the study found that men who ate tree nuts five or more times in seven days had a 34 percent lowered risk of prostate cancer death compared with those who ate nuts less than once in 30 days.
Researchers said this suggests that although eating nuts is not linked to being diagnosed with prostate cancer, it may still improve the overall survival of patients.
Maureen Ternus, who runs a nonprofit organization known as the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation, says just 1.5 ounces (43 grams or about 1/3 cup) can indeed have a positive impact on health.
Why Eating Tree Nuts Can Reduce Prostate Cancer Death
Insulin resistance, a condition in which a person's cells become resistant to the hormone insulin, is linked to the progression and risk of developing prostate cancer.
Tree nuts have long been connected to improvement in insulin sensitivity and decreased risk of diabetes and heart disease, therefore reducing the factors for mortality.
Nuts also contain vital nutrients including protein, unsaturated fats, vitamins, proteins, phyto-chemicals and minerals. All of these provide anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cardio-protective properties.
Ying Bao, lead researcher of the new study and an expert from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, added that because men are more prone to prostate cancer, the disease should be considered more seriously.
Meanwhile, the study is not the first to find a link between tree nuts and certain cancers.
In 2009, scientists claimed that consuming Brazil nuts could also help prostate cancer patients.
Brazil nuts have high quantities of the mineral "selenium," which has anti-cancer properties that protects tissues and cells from damaging molecules.
Details of the new study are published in the British Journal of Cancer.
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