The risk of breast cancer in mice dropped significantly when they were fed walnuts in what would be equivalent to about 2 ounces of walnuts daily for a human. A new study, published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, compared the effects of a typical diet to that of a diet containing walnuts across the lifespan of the mice.
A test group of female mice genetically predisposed to breast cancer was fed a diet containing ground walnuts. The offspring whose diets also included walnuts developed breast cancer at less than half the rate of the group consuming no walnuts. In addition, the number of tumors and their sizes were significantly smaller. A group consuming walnuts only after weaning — the mother was not exposed to any walnuts — showed approximately one-third fewer tumors compared to mice not exposed to walnuts.
“This is an animal study, so we don’t know if the findings apply to humans yet,” said Alice Bender, a registered dietitian and the nutrition communications manager for the American Institute of Cancer Research. The study was funded by grants from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the California Walnut Commission.
— Anne Aurand, The Bulletin