News of World Medicine

Walnuts have anticancer effect

Marshall University researchers (the USA) have found out that the risk of breast cancer dropped significantly in mice when their regular diet included a modest amount of walnuts.

However, it has been established for only mice.

A diet containing walnuts changes the activity of a number of genes, which are associated with breast cancer both in mice and people. During the investigation specialists compared the effects of a typical diet and a diet containing walnuts across the lifespan of one rodent generation: through the mother from conception through weaning, and then through eating the food directly. The amount of walnut in the test diet equates to about 55 g a day for humans. Mice were genetically programmed for cancer development.

The result of the experiment showed that in “nut” the group whose diet included walnut at both stages developed breast cancer at less than half the rate of the group with the typical diet. In addition, the number of tumors and their sizes were significantly smaller in the representatives of the first group. In other words, the scientists were able to reduce the risk for cancer even in the presence of a preexisting genetic mutation. Using genetic analysis, researchers found that the walnut-containing diet changed the activity of multiple genes that are relevant to breast cancer in both mice and humans. Other testing showed that increases in omega 3 fatty acids did not fully account for the anti-cancer effect, and found that tumor growth in rodents decreased when their dietary vitamin E increased. 

Specialists said the findings highlight the vital role diet plays in health. What we put into our bodies makes a big difference – it determines how the body functions, our reaction to illness and health.