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   May 14

A daily handful of WALNUTS can slow the growth of bowel cancer by ‘reducing blood supply to tumours’

Mice fed walnuts had 10 times more omega-3 in their bowel tumours

Omega-3 reduces inflammation and cuts of blood supply, slowing growth

The greater the amount of omega-3, the smaller the tumour, study found

Walnuts change the expression of micro-nucleic acids, which affect how genes adapt to environment – and can slow down growth of cancer

A handful of walnuts a day could help slow the growth of cancer tumours, according to a new study.

Omega-3 fatty acids and other compounds in the nuts may reduce inflammation in bowel cancer cells.

They also reduce blood supply to the tumour, significantly slowing down its growth.

US researchers found mice fed a diet high in walnuts had tumours containing ten times the amount of omega-3s than a control group.

A handful of walnuts a day could help slow the growth of cancer tumours, according to a new study

Bowel cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is the third most common type of cancer worldwide and is the second leading cause of death in Western Countries, after lung cancer.

In Britain 41,581 people were diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2011 and in the following year 16,187 people died from the disease.

In the US, the American Cancer estimates that in 2015, there will be 132, 700 new cases of bowel cancer, and it will cause 49,700 deaths.

Research has shown that 30 – 50 per cent of bowel cancer in men, and 20 per cent in women can be prevented by changing to a healthier diet and lifestyle.

The study, carried Dr Christos Mantzoros, of Harvard Medical School, is the first of its kind to analyse the impact of walnuts on micro-ribonucleic acids (miRNA), which control how genes adapt to environmental factors.

Dr Mantzoros said: ‘Our research demonstrates that a walnut diet causes significant changes in the expression profile of miRNAs in colorectal cancer tissue.’

Compounds in walnuts causes more protective omega-3 fatty acids to congregate in tumour cells, he continued.

Bowel cancer, pictured under the microscope, is the third most common type of cancer worldwide
While future studies are needed, he is ‘optimistic’ changing the expression of miRNAs have a role in targeting bowel cancer, he added.

Researchers fed a group of mice the equivalent of two servings (2ozs or around 57g) per day of walnuts for humans, while a second group received a similar control diet without walnuts.

After 25 days researchers found that in walnut-fed mice, key miRNA that may affect cancer cell inflammation, blood supply and proliferation were ‘positively engaged’.

The tumors of mice fed the walnut-containing diet were found to have 10 times the amount of total omega-3 fatty acids compared to the mice fed the control diet.

This included the plant-based alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a fatty acid critical to various body processes and known for its inflammation reducing properties.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, found that the greater the amount of omega-3 acids, the smaller the tumour, suggesting that ALA may offer some protection.

Tumor growth rate was also significantly slower in the walnut group compared to the control group, but the scientists say that because the study was conducted on animals the results won’t necessarily be the same for people.

Walnuts are the only nut that contain a significant source of ALA – 2.5 grams per ounce – as well as a variety of antioxidants, (3.7 mmol/ounce), and numerous vitamins and minerals.

Source: Daily Mail

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