It’s some of the… well, I’ll just say it… nuttiest research I’ve run across in a while. And these days, with so many strange and wacky studies making it to print, that’s truly saying something.
The new report has some alarming news that anyone fighting cancer needs to know. It concerns a common snack food enjoyed by millions.
For the most part, peanuts are considered healthy. In fact, as you’ll see in a moment, they even have a reputation for helping to prevent this deadly disease.
But the new study suggests that if you already have cancer, the opposite could be true. Munching on this common snack too often may help cancer spread.
The peanut problem for cancer patients
It turns out America’s favorite “nut” might be hiding a dirty little secret. New research reveals that each peanut contains a tiny amount of a compound called peanut agglutinin, or PNA for short.
And when I say tiny, I’m not kidding. PNA is just a fraction of a percent of the peanut.
But you don’t really digest the compound, so the PNA goes right into your bloodstream. If the levels rise high enough, they signal the endothelial cells in your blood vessel walls to get involved.
Those cells respond to the PNA by pumping out two cytokines, called IL-6 and MCP-1. And unfortunately, both proteins are known to help cancer spread.
IL-6 and MCP-1 make your blood vessels “stickier,” which can allow tumor cells to gain a foothold. But it gets worse. This peanut-triggered cytokine duo can also make the cancer cells themselves “sticky’ causing double the trouble.
The tumor cells can continue to clump together and build up right there inside your blood vessels. Or they could mosey along, finding their way into other organs (as epithelial cancers are known to do).
Don’t toss your peanut butter yet
But let’s slow things down here for a welcome reality check. And perhaps for a sigh of relief from any peanut lovers with cancer out there, too.
Remember I said there was just a tiny amount of PNA in a peanut? Well, the new study finds it’s likely you’d need very high levels of the compound to kickstart this whole process.
In fact, the researchers estimate it could take somewhere near half a pound—between 250 and 300 peanuts—to truly put you into the danger zone.
In other words, a handful of peanuts like you would find in a PB&J, a nut bar, or a fistful of the goobers themselves isn’t likely to harm you. Plus, if this cancer-spreading risk was turning into a reality regularly, we’d probably have seen a stronger link long before now.
Instead, we see the opposite.
Earlier research has found that peanuts could cut the risk of breast, pancreas, colon, and esophageal cancers. One study even concluded that folks who enjoy nuts as a snack regularly—including peanuts (even though they’re not actually nuts)—have a 20 percent lower risk of checking out of this world prematurely.
Check out my free special report, The PEANUT SECRET to avoiding an early death, for all the details.
Cancer patients might want to keep this new research in mind and even chat about it with their oncologist. But remember, this is just one study, and it’s not even a clinical trial.
That means we shouldn’t go TOO nutty over this news just yet.
If you’re battling cancer, there’s likely no need to ditch the peanuts entirely. But since the last thing you want to do is accidentally give the disease any advantage, just be mindful of how often you eat them.