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Nuts could save your life

More proof that nut consumption is part of a healthy lifestyle. Background: The consumption of nuts has long been promoted as beneficial for one’s health as they are a source of folate, niacin, vitamins E and B6, as well as many other macronutrients and minerals. Nut consumption has been linked to increased antioxidant activity, decreased inflammation, as well as positively influencing both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type II diabetes. The mechanisms behind the positive benefits are still vague, but it is likely due to its effects on blood cholesterol, endothelial function, and both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Despite these benefits, there are few studies on the effect of nut intake on mortality in a North American population. Objective: This study observed the relationship between nut consumption and mortality among male physicians in the United States. Methods: A total of 20,742 physicians participated in this large randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. Results: There was a significant inverse relationship between nut consumption and all-cause mortality and CVD mortality. Although those who consumed more servings of nuts also had higher dietary magnesium and fiber, the adjustment for these factors had little effect on the results. The prevalence of heart failure, hypertension or myocardial infarction was also lower among those who consumed nuts. Conclusion: There was an inverse relationship between nut consumption and all-cause mortality among American male physicians. Findings in Perspective: The study calls for further investigation on the benefits of nut consumption and the influence of nut consumption on mortality in other populations. However, this study does shed a positive light on the promotion of nut consumption. This study’s findings are also concurrent with previous studies, which found a 20 per cent lower mortality rate among individuals who consumed greater or equal to seven servings of nuts per week. Another important finding to make note of was that the more physically active participants also consumed the most nuts and it would be hard to distinguish the benefits of either variable or if the benefits seen were a combination of both exercise and nut consumption. Although this study cannot necessarily be applied to the general public, it does appear to indicate that nut consumption as part of a nutritious diet and exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. Click here to read the complete scientific abstract. gleaned from the CHFA website