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Eat Just a Handful of Nuts Every Day to Cut Heart and Cancer Risk, says a Recent Study

Nuts and peanuts are high in fibre, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats which can reduce cholesterol levels

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Representational image. Pixabay

London, December 5, 2016: Eating at least 20 gram of nuts a day — equivalent to a handful — can reduce the risk of a wide range of diseases including heart disease and cancer, new research has found.

Handful of nuts daily can cut people’s risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30 per cent, their risk of cancer by 15 per cent, and their risk of premature death by 22 per cent, the study said.

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The study included all kinds of tree nuts, such as hazel nuts and walnuts, and also peanuts — which are actually legumes.

The results – published in the journal BMC Medicine – were in general similar whether total nut intake, tree nuts or peanuts were analysed.

What makes nuts so potentially beneficial is their nutritional value, said study co-author Dagfinn Aune from Imperial College London.

“Nuts and peanuts are high in fibre, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats — nutrients that are beneficial for cutting cardiovascular disease risk and which can reduce cholesterol levels,” Aune said.

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“Some nuts, particularly walnuts and pecan nuts are also high in antioxidants, which can fight oxidative stress and possibly reduce cancer risk,” Aune explained.

The research team analysed 29 published studies from around the world that involved up to 819,000 participants, including more than 12,000 cases of coronary heart disease, 9,000 cases of stroke, 18,000 cases of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and more than 85,000 deaths.

While there was some variation between the populations that were studied, such as between men and women, people living in different regions, or people with different risk factors, the researchers found that nut consumption was associated with a reduction in disease risk across most of them.

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“Even though nuts are quite high in fat, they are also high in fibre and protein, and there is some evidence that suggests nuts might actually reduce your risk of obesity over time,” Aune said.

The study also found that if people consumed on average more than 20 gram of nuts per day, there was little evidence of further improvement in health outcomes. (IANS)

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Researchers Discover Balance of Two Enzymes That May Help Treat Pancreatic Cancer

While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

A new research has set the stage for clinicians to potentially use levels of a pancreatic cancer patient’s PHLPP1 and PKC enzymes as a prognostic and for researchers to develop new therapeutic drugs that change the balance of the two enzymes as a means to treat the disease.

The study, published on Wednesday in Molecular Cell, was led by Alexandra Newton, professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and Timothy Baffi, a graduate student in her lab, Xinhua news agency reported.

The new study built on the team’s work in 2015 that found the enzyme PKC, which was believed in previous studies to promote tumour growth, actually suppressed it.

The latest study took the investigation a step further by uncovering how cells regulate PKC activity and discovered that any time an over-active PKC is inadvertently produced, the PHLPP1 “proofreader” tags it for destruction.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

“That means the amount of PHLPP1 in your cells determines your amount of PKC,” Newton said. “And it turns out those enzyme levels are especially important in pancreatic cancer.”

The team observed 105 pancreatic cancer tumours to analyze the enzyme levels in each one. About 50 per cent of patients with low PHLPP1/high PKC lived longer than five-and-a-half years.

Also Read- A Brain Circuit Can Help Reverse Craving for Liquor, Says Study

While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment.

Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas, a large gland in the digestive system. It typically doesn’t show symptoms in the early stages. Sufferers tend to develop signs, such as back pain and jaundice, when it has spread to other organs. (IANS)