A Diet Including Peanuts Could Save Lives


regularly eating peanuts reduces risk of dying



New study involving over 200,000 people finds that a diet including peanuts could save lives. People with the highest nut consumption also had the lowest cardiovascular mortality.

Many recent news items about peanuts and their health effect recently. The salty snack have been mentioned frequently in science press releases in the past couple of weeks. The science ranges from preventing peanut allergy to outright curing it. Now new research from Vanderbilt University Medical Center finds that a diet rich in peanuts could save lives.

A Diet Including Peanuts Could Save Lives

The study was published in Jama Internal Medicine.

That there are health benefits from having nuts in your diet are established. Nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids, fibers, vitamins and antioxidants all with potential health benefits to people. Earlier studies have found a correlation between eating nuts including peanuts and a lower mortality overall, however this new study is the first to find that consuming nuts can improve heart health regardless of race or socioeconomic status.

[pullquote]”In our study, we found that peanut consumption was associated with reduced total mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality in a predominantly low-income black and white population in the U.S., and among Chinese men and women living in Shanghai,” said Xiao-Ou Shu senior author of the study.[/pullquote]

In this study researchers looked closer at three ongoing cohort studies, SCCS, SMHS and SWHS. These cohorts, or groups of people, consisted of mostly low-income people living in either Shanghai or the US. In total the study included over 200,000 people who answered a structured questionnaire detailing nut consumption and other dietary data. People participating in the studies were followed between 5 and 12 years, during which 14,000 deaths were recorded.

The scientific data showed that people consuming a lot of peanuts had a lower mortality compared to people with the lowest peanut consumption. In people affected by heart disease, peanut consumption reduced the risk of dying by between 17-21%. Among people with the highest peanut consumption the reduction was even greater, between 23 and 38% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

“The data arise from observational epidemiologic studies, and not randomized clinical trials, and thus we cannot be sure that peanuts per se were responsible for the reduced mortality observed, the findings from this new study, however, reinforce earlier research suggesting health benefits from eating nuts, and thus are quite encouraging” said William Blot, Ph.D co-author of the study.

 Image Credit: Daniella Segura via flickr.com, CC BY 2.0