A new study made by researchers at  Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard Medical School found that  girls ages 9 to 15 who regularly ate peanut butter or nuts were 39 percent less likely to develop benign breast disease by age 30. Benign breast disease, although noncancerous, increases risk of breast cancer later in life. The findings strongly suggest that eating peanut butter, nut and vegetable fat  significantly improves breast health later in life.

Studies such as these are difficult to be made objectively and relevant since there are so many factors at play. Pinpointing a certain substance that has a beneficial or hazardous effect on the body out of a slew of consumed foods has always proved to be a challenge. This is why scientists need to address a survey as large as possible for findings to become statistically relevant. For their study, the researchers used data gathered from  health histories of 9,039 U.S. girls enrolled in The Growing Up Today Study from 1996 through 2001. Later, from 2005 through 2010, when the study participants were 18 to 30 years old, they reported whether they had been diagnosed with benign breast disease that had been confirmed by breast biopsy.

The team of researchers found that girls who ate peanut butter or whole nuts at least twice a week were 39% less likely of developing benign breast disease than those who never eat them. Nuts and peanut butter benefits were also associated with beans, lentils, soybeans and corn, however consumption of these foods was much lower in girls who eat peanut butter, so evidence was considered too weak in this respect.

“These findings suggest that peanut butter could help reduce the risk of breast cancer in women,” said senior author Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, associate director for cancer prevention and control atSiteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

Because of the obesity epidemic, Colditz recommended that girls replace high-calorie junk foods and sugary beverages with peanut butter or nuts. Findings were published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

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