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Study also sees 29% reduction in heart disease


It’s the largest study of its kind that followed close to 120,000 people over 30 years which not only saw reductions in the death rates of participants, but also reduced risks of deaths from heart disease and cancer.


The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine and found that the biggest benefit was seen from eating a daily portion of nuts. Eating nuts has been associated with a decreased risk of developing a number of major diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, but there had never been a study examining the association between nut consumption and mortality.


What likely has an impact on the study is that the participants consisted of  76,464 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (1980–2010) and 42,498 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986–2010). Participants with a history of cancer, heart disease, or stroke were excluded.


The research team said nut eaters were also likely to have healthy lifestyles, including being less likely to smoke or be overweight and more likely to exercise, but they say the nuts themselves were also contributing to the longer lifespans.


Among the results:


Eat nuts 1x a week = 11% reduction in death rate

Eat nuts 4x a week = 13% reduction in death rate

Eat nuts 7x a week = 20% reduction in death rate


Lead researcher Dr Charles Fuchs, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said: “The most obvious benefit was a reduction of 29% in deaths from heart disease, but we also saw a significant reduction – 11% – in the risk of dying from cancer.”


Funding for the study came from the US National Institutes of Health and the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (



Nut consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer in women


Increasing nut intake has also been associated with reduced risk of diabetes mellitus, which is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. After adjusting for age, height, smoking, physical activity, and total energy intake from the same study group, found that women who consumed a 28-g (1 oz) serving size of nuts up to 2 times per week experienced a significantly lower risk of pancreatic cancer (RR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.47–0.92; for trend=0.007) when compared with those who largely abstained from nuts. 



Walnuts Are The Healthiest Nut


Photo shows whole and half-shelled walnuts on a white counter top.
















Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania told the American Chemical Society that walnuts contain the highest level of antioxidants compared to other nuts and should be eaten more as part of a healthy diet.


Dr. Joe Vinson analyzed the antioxidant levels of nine different types of nuts and found that the antioxidants found in walnuts were 2 to 15 times as powerful as vitamin E and 2 times more powerful than any of the other nuts in the sample.


He mentions the walnuts should be eaten raw or unroasted to get the full benefit as the heat from roasting nuts reduces the quality of the antioxidants.

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