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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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Saliva Test can Detect Oropharyngeal Cancer

Saliva test can detect mouth, throat cancer early

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Saliva test shows promise for earlier and easier detection of mouth and throat cancer. Pixabay

A non-invasive saliva test can detect human papilloma virus-16 — the strain associated with oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) — showing promise for earlier and easier detection of mouth and throat cancer, report researchers.

The novel technique detected OPC in whole saliva in 40 per cent of patients tested and 80 per cent of confirmed OPC patients.

OPC has an approximate incidence of 115,000 cases per year worldwide and is one of the fastest-rising cancers owing to increasing HPV-related incidence, especially in younger patients.

“It is paramount that surveillance methods are developed to improve early detection and outcomes,” said co-lead investigator Tony Jun Huang from Duke University in the US.

Cancers that occur in the back of the mouth and upper throat are often not diagnosed until they become advanced, partly because their location makes them difficult to see during routine clinical exams.

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Cancers that occur in the back of the mouth and upper throat are often not diagnosed until they become advanced. Pixabay

“The successful detection of HPV from salivary exosomes isolated by our acoustofluidic platform offers distinct advantages, including early detection, risk assessment and screening,” added Dr Huang in a paper published in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

This technique may also help physicians predict which patients will respond well to radiation therapy or achieve longer progression-free survival.

In the study, investigators analyzed saliva samples from 10 patients diagnosed with HPV-OPC using traditional methods.

They found that the technique identified the tumour biomarker in 80 per cent of the cases when coupled with the traditional detection method called droplet digital PCR.

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“The saliva exosome liquid biopsy is an effective early detection and risk assessment approach for OPC,” said co-lead investigator David TW Wong from University of California-Los Angeles.

According to the researchers, this technology can also be used to analyze other biofluids such as blood, urine and plasma. (IANS)