During the course of a major study conducted in the USA, researchers found that the consumption of nuts has a positive effect on the risk of diverticulitis. Bulges of the inner lining of the intestine are referred to as diverticles when they occur in larger numbers. Where such diverticles become blocked, for example by faeces, this results in an inflammation of the regions affected, which is known as diverticulitis.
Such bulges frequently occur in the colon.
Persons suffering from diverticulitis and its consequences are often advised not to eat nuts. This is unjustified, as the aforementioned USA study found.
The study involved over 47,000 male participants aged between 40 and 75 years and was carried out during the period between 1986 and 2004. At the start of the study, none of the participants suffered from diverticulitis, associated complications, cancer or colonic inflammation.
During the course of the long-term study, 801 cases of diverticulitis occurred, as did 383 cases of diverticle bleeding. Study subjects suffering from the aforementioned were found to have consumed fewer nuts than their healthy counterparts.
It has been shown that the increased consumption of nuts results in a lower risk of diverticulitis.
Professor Lisa Strate summarised the study as follows: "The consumption of grain, nuts and popcorn does not increase the risk of complex diverticulitis. Our results prove that there is no need to deprive yourself of nuts if you are suffering from diverticulitis.
Strate LL, Liu LY et al. (2008): Nut, Corn, and Popcorn Consumption and the Incidence of Diverticular Disease. In: Journal of the American Medical Association Issue 27, S.907-914.