The relationship between nut intake and risk of colorectal cancer: A case control study

Jeeyoo Lee, Aesun Shin, Jae Hwan Oh, Jeongseon Kim

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11 Scopus citations


Background: Nut consumption is known to reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease. However, in previous studies, portion sizes and categories of nut consumption have varied, and few studies have assessed the association between colorectal cancer risk and nut consumption. In this study, we investigated the relationship between nut consumption and colorectal cancer risk. Methods: A case-control study was conducted among 923 colorectal cancer patients and 1846 controls recruited from the National Cancer Center in Korea. Information on dietary intake was collected using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire with 106 items, including peanuts, pine nuts, and almonds (as 1 food item). Nut consumption was categorized as none, < 1 serving per week, 1-3 servings per week, and ≥3 servings per week. A binary logistic regression model was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between nut consumption and colorectal cancer risk, and a polytomous logistic regression model was used for sub-site analyses. Results: High nut consumption was strongly associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer among women (adjusted ORs: 0.30, 95%CI: 0.15-0.60 for the ≥3 servings per week group vs. none). A similar inverse association was observed for men (adjusted ORs: 0.28, 95% CI: 0.17-0.47). In sub-site analyses, adjusted ORs (95% CIs) comparing the ≥3 servings per week group vs none were 0.25 (0.09-0.70) for proximal colon cancer, 0.39 (0.19-0.80) for distal colon cancer, and 0.23 (0.12-0.46) for rectal cancer among men. An inverse association was also found among women for distal colon cancer (OR: 0.13, 95% CI: 0.04-0.48) and rectal cancer (OR: 0.40, 95% CI: 0.17-0.95). Conclusions: We found a statistically significant association between high frequency of nut consumption and reduced risk of colorectal cancer. This association was observed for all sub-sites of the colon and rectum among both men and women, with the exception of proximal colon cancer for women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number37
JournalNutrition Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 7 Mar 2018


  • Case-control study
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Korea
  • Nut

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