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article imageNuts help to prevent 'early death'

By Tim Sandle     Jun 14, 2015 in Health
Maastricht - A new study, carried out in The Netherlands, suggests that munching on a handful of nuts each day can help to prevent an early death.
Previous studies have highlighted how nuts can help to prevent the development of cardiovascular disease. The new study focuses on specific diseases and correlates the rate of nut consumption with these diseases, once other lifestyle factors have been accounted for.
With the new research, scientists based at Maastricht University, led by Professor Piet van den Brandt, discovered that there is a 23 percent lower chance of death with people who eat at least 10g (0.3oz) of nuts or peanuts a day. This finding came from a 10-year study. The study examined 120,000 men aged between 55 and 69 years old. All of the men resided in The Netherlands.
The research showed that the premature mortality risk due to diseases like cancer, diabetes, respiratory and neurodegenerative diseases, was, on average, 23 percent lower. The greatest factor was with neurodegenerative disease, where the rates were 45 percent lower. Second, in terms of health benefits, was a 39 percent lower chance of dying from respiratory disease.
The study related to eating whole or pure nuts, not nuts that have been processed such as peanut butter. With peanut butter the level of trans-fats probably counteracts any health benefits.
As to why nuts are so healthy, the BBC breakdowns the key health components of nuts, which consist of: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids; various vitamins; fiber; antioxidants; and other bioactive compounds.
The research has been published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The research paper is titled "Relationship of tree nut, peanut and peanut butter intake with total and cause-specific mortality: a cohort study and meta-analysis."
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