New research in mice by UC Davis shows that walnuts slow the growth of prostate cancer.
Mice fed a diet with walnuts had smaller, slower growing tumors, the researchers reported in the current issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.
A low-fat diet is often recommended for reducing the risk for developing or slowing growth of prostate cancer. However, the UC Davis study suggests that not eating walnuts may be a mistake.
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, antioxidants and other plant chemicals. Eschewing walnuts may mean foregoing the protective effects of walnuts on tumor growth.
One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, usually later in life. One in 36 will die from the disease because most tumors do not spread beyond the local site, according to the National Cancer Institute.
"Our findings suggest that eating a diet containing walnuts may slow prostate tumor growth so that the tumor remains inside the prostate capsule," said Paul Davis, research nutritionist in the Department of Nutrition and researcher with the UC Davis Cancer Center. "If proven applicable in humans, men with prostate cancer could die of other causes -- hopefully old age."
The research was funded by the California Walnut Board, according to a UC Davis Cancer Center press release.
©2012 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)
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