Women's health

Walnuts may prevent breast cancer

Walnuts may prevent breast cancer the editor chose a picture of a breast rather than a walnut though. Walnuts found to reduce tumour size in laboratory animals

Eating walnuts may provide the body with essential omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols that reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Denver.

Dr. Elaine Hardman, associate professor at Marshall University School of Medicine, said that while her study was done with laboratory animals rather than humans, people should heed the recommendation to eat more walnuts.

"Walnuts are better than cookies, french fries or potato chips when you need a snack," said Hardman.

"We know that a healthy diet overall prevents all manner of chronic diseases."

Hardman and colleagues studied mice that were fed a diet that they estimated was the human equivalent of two ounces of walnuts per day. A separate group of mice were fed a control diet.

The scientists found that eating walnuts significantly decreased the occurrence of breast tumours, the number of glands with a tumour and tumour size.

"These laboratory mice typically have 100 percent tumour incidence at five months; walnut consumption delayed those tumors by at least three weeks," said Hardman.

"With dietary interventions you see multiple mechanisms when working with the whole food," said Hardman. "It is clear that walnuts contribute to a healthy diet that can reduce breast cancer."

This article was published on Wed 22 April 2009

Image © Forgiss - Fotolia.com

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