Pistachios in the News!

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2014

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In a new, large observational study, researchers at Harvard University identified that the regular consumption of nuts, such as pistachios, is associated with the reduced risk of mortality, finding that those who ate nuts daily had impressive benefits.

The study’s findings are consistent with previous research and appear in the November 21 issue of New England Journal of Medicine. The results are based on about three decades of follow-up among 76,464 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (1980-2010) and 42,498 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2010), including examination of food questionnaire data.

Compared to people who didn’t eat nuts, people who ate nuts saw benefits that increased along with the number of servings of nuts they ate. Those who ate nuts seven times a week had nearly twice the benefit compared to those who ate nuts once a week; once a week eaters had a small, but still significant benefit.

The benefits were seen in both men and women, independent of other predictors for mortality. The study authors conclude that “the findings from our study and others suggest a potential benefit of nut consumption for promoting health and longevity.”

This observational study is an important addition to the body of research on nuts and heart health; however, given its observational nature, it’s not possible to conclude cause and effect between nut consumption and mortality.

Bao et al. Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J of Med. 2013;369:2001-2011.