Research Shows Daily Dose Of Pistachios May Mitigate Cancer Risk

New research indicates pistachios increase levels of gamma-tocopherol, may reduce cancer risk
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Jan. 29, 2010 - PRLog -- New Delhi, Jan 29, 2010: Eating pistachios has proven to have heart health benefits and now new research from Texas Woman's University - Houston Center indicates that a diet incorporating a daily dose of pistachios may also help reduce the risk of lung and other types of cancers.    

It is known that vitamin E provides a degree of protection against certain forms of cancer. Higher intakes of gamma-tocopherol, which is a form of vitamin E, may reduce the risk of lung cancer. Additionally, gamma-tocopherol has received research attention indicating that it also has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Pistachios are a good source of gamma-tocopherol. A 30g serving of pistachios contains 6.73mg of gamma-tocopherol – offering more than most other snack nuts. Other significant food sources include seeds and vegetable oils.

Commenting on the findings of the study Dr. Ashok Vaid, Chairman – Medical Oncology & Hematology, Medanta Cancer Institute said, “Epidemiologic studies suggest that gamma-tocopherol is protective against certain forms of cancer. Pistachios are a good source of gamma-tocopherol. Regular intake of pistachios is likely to reduce the risk of lung cancer and other forms of cancer.”
Pistachios are also known to provide heart-healthy benefits by producing a cholesterol-lowering effect and providing the antioxidants that are typically found in food products of plant origin.

As per the Dietary Guidelines released in 2009 by the Department of Science and Technology - Ministry of Science and Technology, Diabetes Foundation (India) and National Foundation of Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Disorders, the total dietary fiber in the daily diet should be 25 to 40g per day. Pistachios are a good source of fiber and have been shown to help control blood sugar, lower cholesterol, help with weight management and reduce the risk of some types of cancer.

Nutritionist and obesity and health consultant, Naini Setalvad said, “Pistachios are often called the ‘Skinny Nut’ because they are a good source of fiber and protein. A 30g serving of pistachios has 3g of fiber, more than most other snack nuts and more than many pieces of whole fruit. A high intake of fiber may also be helpful in cutting the risk of certain types of cancer.”

The study, conducted at Texas Woman's University - Houston Center, included 36 healthy participants who were randomized into either a control group (non-pistachio diet) or the intervention group consuming a pistachio diet. There were 18 participants in the control group and 18 in the intervention group.

There was a two-week baseline period, followed by a four-week intervention period in which the intervention group was provided with 68g (about 2 ounces or 117 kernels) of pistachios per day; the control group continued with their normal diet. The effect on the intake and serum cholesterol-adjusted gamma-tocopherol was investigated. Intake was calculated using the Nutrition Data System for Research Version 2007, and consumption was monitored using diet diaries and by measuring the weights of the returned pistachios.

A significant increase in energy-adjusted dietary intake of gamma-tocopherol at weeks three and four was found in those on the pistachio diet compared with those on the control diet.  A similar effect was seen at weeks five and six among those on the pistachio diet compared with those on the control diet. For those on the pistachio diet, cholesterol-adjusted serum gamma-tocopherol was significantly higher at the end of the intervention period compared to baseline period.

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About, the leading online source of information on the health and nutrition benefits of pistachios, is offered in 12 languages and includes research updates and educational materials, to both consumers and health professionals. The site is provided by Paramount Farms, California's largest pistachio grower and processor, as an industry-wide resource. For further details please visit
Source:Shilpy Roy
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