Colon Cancer May Be Prevented by Munching on Walnuts: Study

Colon Cancer May Be Prevented by Munching on Walnuts

Eating walnuts is a good way to improve your diet, but a new study suggests that it can also help suppress and prevent colon cancer.

A new study published in Cancer Prevention Research has found that walnuts may change the bacteria in the gut, helping to suppress colon cancer and lower the risk of developing the disease.

Based on the results of the study, eating 28 grams worth of walnuts each day would be enough to receive the cancer-fighting benefits.

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Walnuts have many nutritional benefits. Out of all tree nuts, walnuts have the highest amounts of polyunsaturated fat and the highest ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids. They also contain high amounts of vitamin E, which is known to help prevent cancer.

However, these new findings suggest that walnuts may also act like a probiotic, improving our gut microbiome and reducing the risk of colon cancer, as well as possibly other gut-related illnesses.

Researchers found that when mice ate seven to 10.5 percent of their total daily calories as walnuts, they developed fewer instances of colon cancer. In particular, male mice that ate the walnuts had 2.3 times fewer colon tumors on average than other mice.

Researchers also analyzed fecal samples from the mice, looking at the types of bacteria that were present in their gut. They found that mice that ate walnuts had gut microbiomes that were less susceptible to colon cancer.

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These findings also suggest that walnuts may possibly have other gut benefits, including for digestive disorders. However, research would need to be done to see whether this is the case.

Previous studies have found that walnuts have benefits for heart disease, neurological disorders, and diabetes. Now, it appears that they can also improve the health of our colon.

More research will be needed to confirm the anti-cancer effect of walnuts. However, in the meantime, there is no harm in adding more of these healthy nuts to your diet.

Food for thought: Lead study author Daniel W. Rosenberg says he tries to eat walnuts every day!


Sources for Today’s Article:

Krieger, K., “Walnuts May Help Prevent Colon Cancer,” UConn Today web site, June 2, 2016, http://today.uconn.edu/2016/06/walnuts-may-help-prevent-colon-cancer/.

“Walnuts May Shield You From Colon Cancer,” NDTV web site, June 3, 2016, http://www.ndtv.com/health/walnuts-may-shield-you-from-colon-cancer-1415122.