Fact Check: Can almonds prevent Cancer?-thip

Quick Take

A number of social media users equate eating almonds with no chance of getting Cancer at all. We fact-checked and found the claim to be Half True. Almonds are healthy food and are proven to give protection against some types of Cancer, but they are no magic pill. It is impossible to always prevent all types of cancer just by eating almonds.

The Claim

Daily 5 almonds = No Cancer. The claim implying that eating 5 almonds daily means total immunity from Cancer is posted across social media platforms. While some users have credited it to a study done in Varanasi (a city in India) without mentioning any university or research institutions, many others have only posted the claim. A screenshot is also given below: 

Fact Check

Can almonds provide 100% immunity against Cancer? 

No. No study shows that almonds can provide 100% immunity against all types of Cancer. But, some studies indicate that almonds have anti-cancer properties. There are some studies that link the consumption of nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc.) to the prevention of colorectal Cancer. Though the data is inconclusive, researchers believe that nut consumption’s effect on cancer prevention is plausible.

Some limited studies link the protective effect of nuts to the prevention of prostate cancer risk and mortality. There is also a study that linked consumption of almonds, walnuts and peanuts to decreased risk of breast cancer. 

In conclusion, few studies have linked the association between cancer prevention and almonds (nut) prevention, especially prostate, breast and colon, but similar data is not available about tumours located in other parts of the body. Also, other than diet, other factors such as lifestyle factors, genetic disorders, family history, inheritance, and genetics may play an important role in some cancers.

Should you be eating almonds for Cancer prevention?  

Yes, you can, provided you do not have certain health conditions like obesity or kidney stones. Almonds, like most nuts, are a nutrition-dense food. It has multiple health benefits, including limited evidence of a few types of Cancer protection. However, if you have a family history of Cancer or if you have any symptoms, including tumours, you should consult the doctors at the earliest.  Also, if you are overweight, you should limit your intake of almonds. Eating too many almonds also can have some side effects.  

Are there any side effects of overconsumption of Almonds?

Yes. Over-consumption of almonds can be harmful in some cases and cause toxicity. As almonds are rich in fibre, overconsumption can lead to gastrointestinal issues, such as constipation (if not taken with enough water). It can also interfere with the absorption of other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, etc. Other harmful effects include weight gain, Vitamin E overdose (rarely), cause kidney stones and rarely, can cause cyanide poisoning. Also, even though it is rare, few people also suffer from almond allergy. Therefore, although almonds are a nutritional powerhouse, their consumption should not exceed 1-ounce to a 1.5-ounce serving (20-23 almonds) as it can cause health issues. 

Dietician Kamna Tank further clarifies this by stating, “Consuming anything in excess leads to the risk of diseases. Almonds are healthy nuts and have many health benefits, but it also has lots of side effects if eaten in large quantities. So before grabbing almonds from the jar, we should know how much to eat. Eating too many almonds leads to many side effects such as constipation and allergy, as almonds contain a protein called Amandine, which is an allergen. It also makes people gain weight; it can cause vitamin E overdoses as almond contain high vitamin E content, and excess vitamin E interferes with blood coagulation and cause hemorrhage; it can cause cyanide poisoning; it also reduces nutrient absorption in the body, and can lead to kidney stones.”

THIP Media Take – The consumption of almonds is good for health, and certain studies have linked it to cancer prevention, but till now, almond consumption is not considered a therapeutic measure. Also, over-consumption can do more harm than good.

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