Consuming nuts improves colon cancer outcomes

March 6, 2018

Nut consumption may contribute significantly to colon cancer survival, according to a new study led by researchers at Yale Cancer Center. The study tracked 826 people with stage III colon cancer for a median of 6.5 years following treatment with surgery and chemotherapy. The study participants who regularly consumed at least two one-ounce serving of nuts weekly showed a 42% improvement in disease-free survival and a 57% improvement in overall survival.

“Further analysis of this cohort revealed that disease-free survival increased by 46% among the subgroup of nut consumers who ate tree nuts rather than peanuts,” said Charles S. Fuchs, the senior author of the study and director of the Yale Cancer Center.

According to the researchers, the study highlighted connections between biological mechanisms like insulin resistance that may worsen colon cancer outcomes. “These studies support the hypothesis that behaviors that make you less insulin resistant, including eating nuts, seem to improve outcomes with colon cancer,” Fuchs said. “However, we don’t know yet what exactly about nuts is beneficial.”

Fuchs noted that nuts may also be beneficial because they satisfy hunger with lower intake of carbohydrates or other foods associated with poor outcomes. Findings from the study were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.