A new study published in the journal Lung Cancer has reported that the increased nut intake might contribute to the prevention of small cell lung cancer in men. The study revealed that for total lung cancer and small cell carcinoma, the inverse association with total nut intake in men was strongest in never and former smokers. Moreover, for total lung cancer, the inverse association was stronger in lighter smokers than in heavy smokers.
Survival rates of lung cancer are still poor, despite advances in its detection and treatment. Unfortunately, minimally 50% of the patients are diagnosed when at an advanced disease stage.
Highlights of the study are-
Nuts have recently been hypothesized to conduct cancer-chemopreventive activities because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects Nut consumption appeared to contribute to this protective effect, especially in men but was not studied thoroughly.
Lisette Nieuwenhuis and associates conducted a prospective population-based cohort study to investigate the association between total nut, tree nut, peanut, and peanut butter intake and the risk of lung cancer and its subtypes.
In 1986, dietary and lifestyle habits of 120,852 participants, aged 55–69 years, were measured with a questionnaire. After 20.3 years of follow-up, 3720 subcohort members and 2861 lung cancer cases were included in multivariable case-cohort analyses.
The investigators found that total nut intake was not significantly associated with total lung cancer risk in men or women. For small cell carcinoma, a significant inverse association with total nut intake was observed in men after controlling for detailed smoking habits. Inverse relations with small cell carcinoma were also found for tree nut and peanut intake in men in continuous analyses.
Moreover, for the other lung cancer subtypes, no significant associations were seen in men. Nut intake was not related to the risk of lung cancer subtypes in women, and no associations were found for peanut butter in both sexes.
“In our study, the relation between nut intake and lung cancer risk differed substantially between the sexes. This might be explained by the lower mean nut intake in women (4.4 g/day) than in men (7.9 g/day), ”write the authors.
The study concluded that increased total nut, tree nut, and peanut intake was related to a significantly reduced risk of small cell carcinoma in men, after controlling for detailed smoking habits and inverse, but nonsignificant associations were seen for total lung cancer and the other histologic lung cancer subtypes in men.
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