A new study by UC Davis and other institutions has revealed that diets rich in whole walnuts or walnut oil slowed prostate cancer growth in mice.
Researchers have found that both walnuts and walnut oil reduced cholesterol and increased insulin sensitivity and the walnut diet also reduced levels of the hormone IGF-1, which had been previously implicated in both prostate and breast cancer.
Lead scientist and research nutritionist Paul Davis said that 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.
The researchers said that they 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 and its becoming increasingly clear in nutrition that it's never going to be just one thing; it's always a combination.
They added that the energy effects from decreasing IGF-1 seem to muck up the works so the cancer can't grow as fast as it normally would and reducing cholesterol means cancer cells may not get enough of it to allow these cells to grow quickly.
The study was published online in the Journal of Medicinal Food.