Nuts And Peanuts (But Not Peanut Butter) Lowers Risk of Death

Nuts And Peanuts (But Not Peanut Butter) Lowers Risk of Death

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Title: Relationship of tree nut, peanut and peanut butter intake with total and cause-specific mortality: a cohort study and meta-analysis

Author: van den Brandt et al.

Journal: International Journal of Epidemiology

Objective: To investigate the dose-response relationship between intake of nuts (total, peanuts, tree nuts and peanut butter) and overall and cause-specific mortality.

Background

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Domestic and global interest in nut consumption and nut health has grown dramatically in recent years.

Some of the metabolically active products in nuts that may confer health benefits includes:

  • Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Various vitamins, including vitamin E
  • Fiber
  • Antioxidants
  • Plant sterols
  • L-arginine
  • Other bioactive compounds

Prior studies have found that increased nut intake is associated with a reduction in risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer mortality
  • Respiratory disease mortality
  • Diabetes
  • bad cholesterol (LDL)
  • blood clots (thromboembolic disease)
  • clogged arteries (atherosclerosis)

The authors of this study sought to look at the relationship of total nut consumption, specifically peanuts as well as other tree nuts, and finally peanut butter. They also did a meta analysis looking at the risk of death due to cancer and respiratory disease.

Methods

This data is from the Netherlands Cohort Study, 120,852 men and women (55–69 years) provided information on dietary and lifestyle habits in 1986.

Mortality follow-up until 1996 consisted of linkage to Statistics Netherlands.

Analysis were based on 8823 deaths and 3202 subcohort members with complete data on nuts and potential confounders.

They also conducted a meta-analyses of their results with those published from other cohort studies.

Results

Total nut intake in men and women was related to lower

  • overall death
  • cause-specific mortality
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • cardiovascular
  • respiratory
  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • other causes

Increases in nut consumption (from 0.1 - 5, 5 -10 and >10g nuts/day) were associated with a 12-23% reduction in risk for total mortality (HR 0.88, 0.74 and 0.77 respectively [95%CI 0.66–0.89])

Impressively, comparing 10g of nut intake/day to 0g/day lead to a

  • 44% reduction in neurodegenerative mortality (HR 0.56)
  • 17% reduction in cardiovascular mortality (HR 0.83)

Peanuts and tree nuts were inversely related to mortality, however peanut butter was not.

In their meta-analysis, the highest nut consumers had a

  • 15% reduction in cancer mortality
  • 29% reduction in respiratory disease mortality

Conclusion

Nut intake was related to lower overall and cause-specific mortality from cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and neurological disease.

The effects are equal in men and women.

Peanut butter was not related to a reduction in mortality.

Original Article

Brandt, P. A., & Schouten, L. J. (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, 44(3), 1038-1049. doi:10.1093/ije/dyv039

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