New research from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio has indicated that eating a modest amount of walnuts can protect against prostate cancer.
The study is described in the journal Cancer Investigation. Researchers at the UT Health Science Center injected immune-deficient mice with human prostate cancer cells. Within three to four weeks, tumors typically start to grow in a large number of these mice. The study asked whether a walnut-enriched diet versus a non-walnut diet would be associated with reduced cancer formation. A previous study found this to be true for breast cancer.
Three of 16 mice ( 18% ) eating the walnut-enriched diet developed prostate tumors, compared with 14 of 32 mice ( 44% ) on the non-walnut control diet. Also of note, the final average tumor size in the walnut-fed animals was roughly one-fourth the average size of the prostate tumors that developed in the mice eating the control diet.
The mice consumed a diet typically used in animal studies, except with the addition of a small amount of walnuts pulverized into a fine powder to prevent the rodents from only eating the walnuts.
The walnut portion was not a large percentage of the diet. It was the equivalent to a human eating about 2 ounces, or two handfuls, a day, which is not a lot of walnuts.
The data to date suggest that using walnuts on a regular basis in the diet may be beneficial to defer, prevent or delay some types of cancer, including breast and prostate. ( Xagena )
Source: University of Texas Health Science Center, 2013