Researchers at Maastricht University have discovered there is a 23% lower chance of death over a 10-year study period in people eating 10g (0.3oz) or more of nuts or peanuts per day.
Over 120,000 Dutch middle-aged to elderly men and women (55-to-69-year olds) provided dietary and lifestyle information back in 1986, and their mortality rates were subsequently examined. Risks of premature mortality due to cancer, diabetes, respiratory and neurodegenerative diseases were lower for the consumers of nuts; with an average 23% lower risk of 10-year mortality across all diseases. Specifically, there were decreased risks of:
- 45% for mortality due to neurodegenerative diseases.
- 39% for mortality due to respiratory diseases.
- 30% for mortality due to diabetes.
There appears to be no benefit from consuming peanut butter, possibly because such processed foods contain salt and trans fats.
Nuts ‘protect against early death’. London: BBC Health News, June 11th 2015.
This relates to:
van den Brandt, PA. [and] Schouten, LJ. (2015). Relationship of tree nut, peanut and peanut butter intake with total and cause-specific mortality: a cohort study and meta-analysis. International Journal of Epidemiology. June 11th 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
There is an appraisal of this research from NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, which provides a sense of perspective.
Half a handful of nuts a day ‘reduces early death risk’. London: NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, June 12th 2015.
Related Systematic Review
A recent systematic review possibly of interest:
Full Text Link (Note: This article is available freely at present, but may soon require a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).
Grosso, G. Yang, J. [and] Marventano, S. [et al] (2015). Nut consumption on all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. April 2015, Vol.101(4), pp.783-93. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).