It’s Nuts How Good Nuts Are For You…

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health benefits of nuts

I love nuts. They’re the perfect compliment to a paleo or low carb diet. It’s also amazing that when compared to prescription drugs in their efficacy to protect your health, they decimate these pharma creations.

Most 40 or 50 something people in the United States will eventually have the conversation with their doctor about cholesterol and whether they should take a statin drug. The benefits of these drugs have been touted as nothing less than a modern miracle of science. However, when you break through the slick Madison avenue messaging, you’re left with a stark reality-these drugs are very mediocre at protecting someone from dying from a heart attack. In fact, when compared head to head with eating blueberries, you’d be better off with nature’s little bluish purple pills rather than Pfizer’s latest statin drug creation. 

I’ve blogged before that the FDA has written warning letters to the manufacturers of Walnuts claiming that their advertising about health claims would need to be evaluated by the FDA and the nuts classified as a drug. So the world of food manufacturers making health claims is a bit “nuts”. However, has a recent study just shown the nuttiness behind the FDA position on Walnuts?

Proven Benefits of Nuts

The study was performed on the data collected among 76,464 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (1980–2010) and 42,498 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986–2010). The researchers tried to correlate various dietary habits of the participants and the risk of dying from various causes. They found very significant associations between eating nuts and a decreased risk of dying from any cause. The percentage risk reductions are above. As you can see, just eating nuts everyday dramatically reduced the risk of dying by 20%. How does this compare to the latest block buster statin drug being pushed on you? This side effect laden statin drug can provide approximately a 1% decreased risk of a heart attack over 3.5 years.

The upshot? Ditch the statins and go buy some almonds, walnuts, or cashews! Throw in some blue berries while you’re at it! What’s nutty about this study is that there’s good enough scientific data available that the FDA and other government agencies should be paying nut manufacturers to advertise the health benefits of nuts rather then admonishing them for competing with Pharma without their blessing!

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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