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Nuts Don't Up Risk of Diverticulitis

Researchers Say Nuts, Popcorn, and Corn Don't Increase Complications of Diverticular Disease

Nuts, Seeds, and Diverticulitis continued...

In fact, men who ate nuts at least twice a week had a 20% lower risk of diverticulitis than men who ate nuts less than once a month; men who ate popcorn at least twice a week had a 28% lower risk.

No association was seen between diverticulitis and eating corn, and no association with diverticular bleeding was seen with any of the foods. Also, no association was seen between the foods and development of uncomplicated diverticulosis.

"For decades people have been told that eating these foods increases complications associated with diverticular disease, but our results suggest they don't," Strate says.

Dallas-based gastrointerologist Lawrence R. Schiller, MD, tells WebMD that he no longer recommends that his patients with diverticular disease restrict any foods, including nuts, corn, and popcorn. But he adds that many patients still avoid these foods.

Schiller is program director of the gastrointerology fellowship program at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Many doctors recommend that patients with diverticular disease eat a high-fiber diet; nuts, corn and popcorn are high-fiber foods.

"The idea that these foods should be avoided is so deeply ingrained in people that I really don't think this study will represent the nail in the coffin," he says. "But it is very well done and a useful contribution to the literature. Now when patients ask me about this I can tell them that there is not only no evidence of harm from eating these foods, there is evidence suggesting a benefit."

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