Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The potential of nuts in the prevention of cancer

  • Carlos A. González (a1) and Jordi Salas-Salvadó (a2)
Abstract

Cancer is a disease that is characterized by the loss of genetic control over cell growth and proliferation, mainly as a result of the exposure to environmental factors. Cessation of smoking and a high consumption of fruits and vegetables are the most important means of reducing the risk of cancer in our society. Like fruits and vegetables, nuts are a source of vegetable protein, monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, phenolic compounds, selenium, vegetable fibre, folic acid and phytoestrogens. There are numerous mechanisms of action by which these components can intervene in the prevention of cancer, although they have not been fully elucidated. There are very few epidemiological studies analyzing the relationship between nuts consumption and risk of cancer. One of the greatest difficulties in interpreting the results is that the consumption of nuts, seeds and legumes are often presented together. The most commonly studied location is the colon/rectum, an organ in which the effect of nuts is biologically plausible. Although the results are not conclusive, a protective effect on colon and rectum cancer is possible. Likewise, some studies show a possible protective effect on prostate cancer, but there is insufficient data on other tumour locations. New epidemiological studies are required to clarify the possible effects of nuts on cancer, particularly prospective studies that make reliable and complete estimations of their consumption and which make it possible to analyse their effects independently of the consumption of legumes and seeds.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The potential of nuts in the prevention of cancer
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The potential of nuts in the prevention of cancer
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The potential of nuts in the prevention of cancer
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Carlos A. González Svatetz, Fax: +34 93 2607787, email: cagonzalez@ico.scs.es
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

H Adlercreutz (1995) Phytoestrogens: epidemiology and a possible role in cancer protection. Environ Health Perspect 103, Suppl. 7 103112.

SA Bingham , NE Day , R Luben , (2003) Dietary fibre in food and protection against colorectal cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC): an observational study. Lancet 361, 14961501.

HB Bueno de Mesquita , P Maisonneuve , S Runia & CJ Moerman (1991) Intake of foods and nutrients and cancer of the exocrine pancreas: a population-based case-control study in The Netherlands. Int J Cancer 48, 540549.

LC Clark , B Dalkin , A Krongrad , (1998) Decreased incidence of prostate cancer with selenium supplementation: results of a double-blind cancer prevention trial. Br J Urol 81, 730734

ER Greenberg , JA Baron , TD Tosteson , (1994) A clinical trial of antioxidant vitamins to prevent colorectal adenoma. Polyp Prevention Study Group. N Engl J Med 331, 141147.

P Greenwald , CK Clifford & JA Milner (2001) Diet and cancer prevention. Eur J Cancer 37, 948965.

JR Hebert , TG Hurley , BC Olendzki , J Teas , Y Ma & JS Hampl (1998) Nutritional and socioeconomic factors in relation to prostate cancer mortality: a cross-national study. J Natl Cancer Inst 90, 16371647.

LK Heilbrun , A Nomura , JH Hankin & GN Stemmermann (1989) Diet and colorectal cancer with special reference to fiber intake. Int J Cancer 44, 16.

OP Heinonen , D Albanes , J Virtamo , (1998) Prostate cancer and supplementation with alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene: incidence and mortality in a controlled trial. J Natl Cancer Inst 90, 440446.

JM Iscovich , RB Iscovich , G Howe , S Shiboski & JM Kaldor (1989) A case-control study of diet and breast cancer in Argentina. Int J Cancer 44, 770776.

MG Jain , GT Hislop , GR Howe & P Ghadirian (1999) Plant foods, antioxidants, and prostate cancer risk: findings from case-control studies in Canada. Nutr Cancer 34, 173184.

TJ Key , NE Allen , EA Spencer & RC Travis (2002) The effect of diet on risk of cancer. Lancet 360, 861868.

PM Kris-Etherton , KD Hecker , A Bonanome , SM Coval , AE Binkoski , KF Hilpert , AE Griel & TD Etherton (2002) Bioactive compounds in foods: their role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Am J Med 113, Suppl 9B 71S88S.

PK Mills , WL Beeson , RL Phillips & GE Fraser (1989) Cohort study of diet, lifestyle and prostate cancer in Adventist men. Cancer 64, 598604.

GS Omenn (2000) Chemoprevention of lung cancer is proving difficult and frustrating, requiring new approaches. J Natl Cancer Inst 92, 959960.

E Petridou , S Kedikoglou , P Koukoulomatis , N Dessypris & D Trichopoulos (2002) Diet in relation to endometrial cancer risk: a case-control study in Greece. Nutr Cancer 44, 1622.

PN Singh & GE Fraser (1998) Dietary risk factors for colon cancer in a low-risk population. Am J Epidemiol 148, 761774.

P Terry , E Giovannucci , KB Michels , L Bergkvist , H Hansen , L Holmberg & A Wolk (2001) Fruit, vegetables, dietary fiber, and risk of colorectal cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 93, 525533.

CS Yang , JM Landau , MT Huang & HL Newmark (2001) Inhibition of carcinogenesis by dietary polyphenolic compounds. Annu Rev Nutr 21, 381406.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords: