Walnuts put the brakes on prostate cancer in mice
- Created on Friday, 27 January 2012 14:39
Recently, I have emphasized how, for lack of a better word, “crazy” I think it is to shun dietary fat. For one thing, fat is everywhere -in Nature. There are fatty nuts, fatty seeds, fatty fruits, fatty legumes. And the attraction that human beings have to eating fats is primal and visceral. There is a satisfaction that comes from eating fat that is incomparable to any other eating experience. It hits the spot- fulfills us gustatorily- in the most sublime and elevated way. To deny it and to spend one’s life trying to avoid having that experience, is to invite depression, neurosis-or worse. Imagine if you went your whole life trying to avoid sex. That is comparable to what I am talking about. And I am not exaggerating.
So, let that be the segue into new research by UC Davis showing that walnuts slow the growth of prostate cancer in mice. Mice fed a diet supplemented with walnuts had smaller, slower-growing tumors that tended to be relatively harmless, according to the researchers and as reported in the current issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.
Keep in mind that these were mice that were genetically programmed to develop prostate cancer- and to develop it at a young age.
The researchers stressed that, although a low-fat diet is often recommended to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, not eating walnuts may be a big mistake.
It is well-known that walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, but they are also high in antioxidants and other plant compounds, such as polyphenols, that are thought to protect against errant cell growth. Eschewing walnuts may mean foregoing protective effects which could be lifesaving.
A report recently issued by the American Chemical Society found that walnuts contained 70 polyphenol units per gram. Do you know how small a gram is? It is 1/28 of an ounce. One ounce of walnuts contains more polyphenols than the sum of all the fruits and vegetables that most people eat- according to this report. Moreover, on average, polyphenols have 15 times the antioxidant power of Vitamin E.
One in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, usually later in life, but only one in 36 men will die from the disease. That’s because most prostate tumors do not spread beyond the local site.
"Our findings suggest that eating a diet containing walnuts may slow prostate tumor growth so that the tumor remains inside the prostate capsule," said Paul Davis, research nutritionist at UC Davis who led the study. "Our hope is that men with prostate cancer can die of other causes -- hopefully old age."
What are the low-fat gurus, the Sultans of Starch, going to say about this? I’ll tell you what they are going to say: NOTHING. They are going to ignore it and go on preaching their mantra of starch, starch, starch. It's a pity.