Walnuts, a ‘superfood’ packed with omega-3 fatty acids, known for increasing memory skills and heart health now adds to its list of health benefits. Walnuts might prevent the growth of Prostate Cancer, according to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. The findings suggest that people who regularly ate walnuts had low levels of the hormone IGF-1 which is responsible for prostate and breast cancer.


“For years, the United States government has been on a crusade against fat, and I think it has been to our detriment.” Dr. Paul Davis, of the University of California at Davis, said “Walnuts are a perfect example. While they are high in fat, their fat does not drive prostate cancer growth.In fact, walnuts do just the opposite when fed to mice.” Some 35, OOO Britons are diagnosed with it each year, and 1O, OOO die.

For the research, scientists fed mice walnuts and walnut oil for 18 weeks regularly. Result was mid boggling.  Mice those were fed with walnuts showed a reduced level of cholesterol and slowed rate of growth in prostate cancer compared to mice those who were not fed with walnuts.

Dr. Davis said: “We showed it is not the omega-3s by themselves, though, it could be a combination of the omega-3s with whatever else is in the walnut oil.It is becoming increasingly clear in nutrition it is never going to be just one thing; it is always a combination.”

In addition to it walnuts also increased a chemical known as adiponectin that suppresses tumour(PSP94) including decrease in levels of COX-2 molecule, a booster for prostate cancer. However, it is not always necessary that results on mice are applicable on humans but mostly mice translate to human, David said.

Added Dr. Davis: “In our study the mice were eating the equivalent of 2.6 ounces of walnuts. “You need to realise 2.6 ounces of walnuts is about 482 calories.That is not insignificant, but it is better than eating a serving of supersized fries, which has 61O calories.In addition to the cancer benefit, we think you also get cardiovascular benefits that other walnut research has demonstrated.It is the holiday season, and walnuts are part of any number of holiday dishes. Feel free to consume them in moderation.”

In the study, it was not mentioned exact combination of compound in walnut that is responsible for slowing down prostate cancer. However, they gave some clues while mentioning zinc, magnesium and selenium.

The study was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

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