Hello My Friends
Welcome To The Vitality Project!
As a professional health coach concerned with the health and well-being of my clients it is my intention to improve your well-being and longevity by using the principles of nutrition, fitness, diet, lifestyle dynamics, and anti-aging medicine.
You may have read that the consumption of nuts is a good idea for the health benefits commonly associated with these tasty treats. Certainly, the research looking at the consumption of nuts in human subjects has shown improvements in blood cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar regulation. What about the effects that nut consumption has upon longevity? Is there a connection here as well?
New research findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at this very interesting potential relationship. The researchers examined data from 76, 464 women and 42,498 men between the years of 1980-2010 pertaining to the relationship between nut consumption and total or cause-specific mortality. In order to do this, they followed the subjects for years and calculated their nut consumption at the beginning of the study and again every 2-4 years.
They also recorded the number of deaths throughout the study period and determined the cause of death.
The results of the study indicated that during the study follow-up, a total of 16,200 woman and 11, 229 men died. The researchers also found that the subjects who consumed the most nuts were less likely to die from any cause during the study and this relationship was evident even after all the risk factors for death had been accounted for.
The risk of mortality steadily decreased as more nuts were consumed to a point indicating that those who ate nuts 7 or more times per week had a 20% less chance of dying from any cause relative to those who did not consume any nuts. In addition, those who consumed the highest amounts of nuts were also less likely to die from specific illness like heart disease, cancer and lung infections contrasted to those who did not eat any nuts. This study also indicated that those subjects who had the highest nut consumption had less weight-gain.
Although this study is quite interesting, there a few strengths and weaknesses associated to it. The strengths include a large sample size, long follow-up, reasonably good compliance, dietary data, statistical controlling and experimental results which are in agreement with other data sets. The weaknesses are that this is an observational study and cannot prove cause and effect relationships and the sample participants were all in the health care field so they represented a certain demographic of the population and so the results may not relate at all groups of people.
My thoughts are that this study is one of the best types of observational study that you will ever find. No observational study is perfect but this one comes quite close in many ways. The great thing about the results of this study is that it does agree with previous work regarding the influence of nut consumption upon human health and that these results are explainable by various mechanisms.
Nuts are high in omega-9 fats and also contain fiber and chemicals which can decrease free-radical generation. Nut consumption is associated with better control of weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, insulin secretion and inflammation. All of these factors can influence the risk of death from most of the common causes.
I recommend consuming at least 30 Gms. of raw, unsalted nuts every day.
Remember….your quality of life is the measurement of successful living regardless of your age.
Dr. Kevin. J. McLaughlin
Clinical Director: The Vitality Project