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Protective effect of nuts in cancer confirmed
Scientific research has shown that nuts can protect against serious diseases. Their protective effect against colon cancer has already been indicated in numerous studies. German researchers have now found that nuts can reduce the growth of cancer cells in the intestine.
Nuts protect against deadly diseases
Nuts are high in energy and very healthy. Studies have shown, for example, that walnuts can lower LDL cholesterol, nuts can lower the risk of diabetes, increase the survival rate of prostate cancer and lower the risk of death in general. Current study results from nutritionists at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena now show that nuts can reduce the growth of cancer cells in the intestine.
Full of healthy ingredients
"We have known for a long time that there are nuts full of ingredients that are good for the cardiovascular system, that protect against obesity or diabetes," said Dr. Wiebke Schlörmann from the Institute of Nutritional Sciences at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in a statement from the university.
According to the scientist, her protective effect against colon cancer has already been indicated in numerous studies. "What we didn't know in detail so far is what the protective effect of nuts is based on."
The researchers from Jena were now able to provide specific answers to this question. In the specialist magazine "Molecular Carcinogenesis" they report on their results, which shed light on the molecular mechanisms of this protective effect.
Defense is activated
The health-promoting effect of nuts is based, among other things, on the fact that the body's defenses are activated to detoxify reactive oxygen species.
Such substances, which are created, for example, by ultraviolet radiation or various chemicals, can cause cell damage that leads to cancer.
"But the body has a whole range of protective mechanisms that render reactive oxygen species harmless," says Dr. Schlormann. These are stimulated by nuts and their ingredients, as the Jena nutritionists have now shown.
Effect of five types of nuts examined
According to the information, the researchers examined the effects of a total of five different types of nut: macadamia, hazel and walnut, as well as almonds and pistachios.
The nuts have been artificially "digested" in a test tube. The resulting digestion products were then examined for their effectiveness on cell lines.
It was shown that the activity of the protective enzymes catalase and superoxide dismutase increased in the treated cells. In addition, the so-called programmed cell death is induced by the digestive products in the treated cancer cells.
Is the protective effect affected by roasting?
"We were able to demonstrate this effect in all of the nut varieties examined," said study leader Prof. Dr. Michael Glei.
In a next step, the scientists from Jena want to find out whether this protective effect is impaired by roasting the nuts.
Since most of the nuts examined are mainly eaten roasted, it may be possible to derive a corresponding nutritional recommendation from them. (ad)