Studies have not established the effect of almonds on breast cancer

By "almond," we mean the nut of the sweet almond tree (Prunus amygdalus dulcis), not the bitter almond nut (Prunus amygdalus amara). Almonds are a good dietary source of vitamin E, magnesium, copper, chromium, manganese, phosphorus, riboflavin and melatonin, as well as soluble fiber and monounsaturated fats. Almonds contain numerous phytochemicals, including quercetin, quercitrin, isorhamnetin, naringenin, catechin, epicatechin, and morin. Almond components have been shown to have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Consumption of almonds has been shown in numerous studies to help lower cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Habitual almond consumption does not in and of itself appear to lead to weight gain.

Cancer-related effects of eating almonds

Almond consumption has been associated with lower risk of colon cancer. Although almonds share some of the favorable characteristics of other tree nuts such as walnuts, there is little specific evidence concerning almond consumption and breast cancer risk.

Almonds are an excellent source of melatonin. Melatonin protects against breast cancer in several ways, including by reducing aromatase activity within the breast, thereby reducing estrogen production.

Additional comments

Ideally, almonds should be eaten unroasted and with their skins on. Almond milk can be a good substitute for milk and almond butter is a very good substitute for peanut butter. Almond oil (i.e., sweet almond oil) has been found to have beneficial effects on cholesterol profile and it appears that the favorable effect of almonds is due to components in the oil portion of these nuts. Pure almond extract normally is manufactured using a small amount of bitter almond oil but it is relatively safe in small quantities, especially when used in baking and other forms of cooking involving heat.

Marzipan can be a relatively healthy confection, as long as it is made with ground sweet almonds. Marzipan made with a substantial portion of bitter almonds or peanuts, and persipan made with apricot or peach kernels should be avoided.

Almond oil can safely be used in the massage of seriously ill patients and patients undergoing chemotherapy. On the other hand, bitter almond oil, which can cause cyanide poisoning, should not be ingested or used on the skin.

Laetrile-based cancer treatment

Laetrile, a synthetic form of amygdalin (found in bitter almonds and apricot kernels), has long been used as an alternative cancer treatment, although it is less popular now than in the 1970s and early 1980s when numerous laetrile clinics in Tijuana, Mexico were established to meet the demand from U.S. cancer patients. The claim that laetrile is an effective and benign cancer treatment is not supported by sound clinical data. Laetrile has been found ineffective in shrinking tumors, increasing survival time, and alleviating cancer symptoms. Although sometimes referred to as vitamin B17, laetrile is not a vitamin. Some cases of acute accidental cyanide poisoning have been reported with the use of laetrile in combination with vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to increase the conversion of amygdalin to cyanide and reduce body stores of cysteine, which is used to detoxify cyanide.

Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list of studies, please click on almonds.

Tags: almond, fiber, inflammation, melatonin, milk, naringenin, peach, peanut, vitaminC, vitaminE

Selected breast cancer studies

Phenolic compounds in Rosaceae fruit and nut crops-A review Circadian and Melatonin Disruption by Exposure to Light at Night Drives Intrinsic Resistance to Tamoxifen Therapy in Breast Cancer Effects of selenium compounds on proliferation and epigenetic marks of breast cancer cells Anti-aromatase effect of resveratrol and melatonin on hormonal positive breast cancer cells co-cultured with breast adipose fibro Dietary protein sources in early adulthood and breast cancer incidence: prospective cohort study Effect of Melatonin on Tumor Growth and Angiogenesis in Xenograft Model of Breast Cancer Melatonin modulates aromatase activity and expression in endothelial cells Selenium intake and breast cancer mortality in a cohort of Swedish women Modulation of angiogenesis by dietary phytoconstituents in the prevention and intervention of breast cancer In vitro fermented nuts exhibit chemopreventive effects in HT29 colon cancer cells Tree nut phytochemicals: composition, antioxidant capacity, bioactivity, impact factors. A systematic review of almonds, Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts Laetrile treatment for cancer Update on the Healthful Lipid Constituents of Commercially Important Tree Nuts Occurrence of aflatoxins in California almonds Nutritional quality and protein value of exotic almonds and nut from the Brazilian Savanna compared to peanut Intake of fiber and nuts during adolescence and incidence of proliferative benign breast disease Oxidative stability and shelf-life evaluation of selected culinary oils Almonds ameliorate risk factors of cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes Potential Prebiotic Properties of Almond (Amygdalus communis L.) Seeds Assessment of the Microbiological Safety of Edible Roasted Nut Kernels on Retail Sale in England, with a Focus on Salmonella Manipulation of lipid bioaccessibility of almond seeds influences postprandial lipemia in healthy human subjects Phytochemical composition of nuts Almonds Reduce Biomarkers of Lipid Peroxidation in Older Hyperlipidemic Subjects In Vitro Activity of Almond Skin Polyphenols for Scavenging Free Radicals and Inducing Quinone Reductase Elemental composition and chemical characteristics of five edible nuts (almond, Brazil, pecan, macadamia and walnut) consumed in Southern Africa The potential of nuts in the prevention of cancer A nutrition and health perspective on almonds Antiproliferative Terpenoids from Almond Hulls (Prunus dulcis): Identification and Structure−Activity Relationships Fatty acid profile, tocopherol, squalene and phytosterol content of walnuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and the macadamia nut Unproven methods of cancer management: Laetrile

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