According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. While it’s often very treatable when caught early enough, the best thing is to find ways to avoid it altogether. One way is to consider what you eat. Recent research has found that consuming walnuts may be a way of preventing breast cancer.
Researchers examines the effects of a diet containing a small amount of walnuts over the lifespan of mice. It was the equivalent of two ounces daily for humans. What they observed was the walnuts slowed the development and growth of breast cancer tumors in the mice.
“We think now that diet can prevent 30 to 60 percent of all cancers,” said lead researcher Elaine Hardman, Ph.D., professor at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “The healthy diet that we should be eating is what we know is healthy – a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Walnuts can be an important component of that diet.”
The researchers compared the results of the mice with walnuts in their diet to a control group without it. Using genetic analysis, they found that mice who ate walnuts saw a change in the activity of multiple genes that are relevant to breast cancer.
It’s also important to note that it appears that the benefits came from the whole walnut, not specific nutrients.
“Walnuts are a nutrient dense package of protective compounds such as antioxidants, phytosterols and plant-based omega-3 fat that work in harmony,” said Karen Collins, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., nutrition advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
(via: The Sacramento Bee)
September 16th, 2011