Walnuts shrink prostate tumors in mice

Jan. 29, 2012 at 8:09 AM
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DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Prostate tumors in mice fed the human equivalent of 3 ounces per day of walnuts grew smaller and slower than tumors in control mice, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Paul A. Davis of the University of California, Davis, and colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif., said in addition to lower plasma insulin-like growth factor 1, a biomarker strongly associated with prostate cancer, walnut-fed mice had lower low-density lipoprotein, the "bad" cholesterol, as well as distinct differences in their livers.

"These results make me very hopeful that walnuts may be beneficial both in terms of avoiding cancer and slowing cancer growth and therefore should be included in a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables," Davis said in a statement.

Walnuts are widely recognized as being heart-healthy and now, this research in prostate cancer along with previous published research from Marshall University reporting that walnuts slow the development and growth of breast cancer tumors in mice, show walnuts maybe a weapon in the fight against prostate cancer as well, Davis explained.

"Walnuts are a whole food that provides a rich package of healthful substances, including omega-3 fatty acids; gamma tocopherol, a form of vitamin E; polyphenols, organic chemicals; and antioxidants," Davis said. "These likely then work synergistically."

The findings were published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

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