Study Indicates Walnuts Can Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk

shutterstock_84174421Prostate cancer has become a growing concern among male seniors. While prostate cancer is considered highly treatable if discovered early, prevention is still key. Reducing the risks can help provide many men with some peace of mind when it comes to prostate cancer. Some studies indicate that eating walnuts may help reduce the prostate cancer risk in men.

A latest study by researchers from the University of California-Davis indicates that consumption of walnuts or walnut oil can lower cholesterol and prostate cancer growth, as results show with mice models. Previous studies have shown that walnuts do reduce prostate tumor size in mice. But the researchers then were not able to determine what may be responsible for this effect.

So in order to determine what may responsible for the effect, the researchers fed mice with either whole walnuts, walnut oil or a mixture of fats with the same omega-3 fatty acids found in the walnuts. The researchers where trying to figure out whether the omega-3 fatty acids may play a role in the prostate cancer risk reduction. The mice followed the said diets within a period of 18 weeks. The results showed that while the mice fed with whole walnuts or walnut oil, those fed with omega-3 fat diet did not show any significant reduction on prostate cancer risk.

According to Paul Davis, a research nutritionist who led the said study, “We showed that it’s 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’s becoming increasingly clear in nutrition that it’s never going to be just one thing; it’s always a combination.”

The researchers showed that consumption of walnuts adjusts certain mechanisms linked to cancer growth, such as decreasing the insulin-like growth factor 1 or IGF-1, which is a hormone that plays a role in prostate and breast cancer, as indicated in previous studies. With a decrease in IGF-1 cancers cannot grow as fast as they would under the usual circumstances. Another benefit that researchers have seen with walnut consumption is that it reduces cholesterol levels which deprive cancer cells from using it to grow and develop. Another benefit that researchers have seen with walnut intake is an increase in adiponectin and the tumor suppressor called PSP94, along with a decrease in COX-2 levels. All these are known markers for a reduction in prostate cancer risk.

The researchers suggest that incorporating walnuts into the human diet may also lead to such benefits. But researchers caution that study results in humans do not necessarily translate in a similar way to humans, especially when it comes to diseases. The results of the study are published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

Source: Medical News Today



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