In a new study published on 25 September 2008 in the Journal Nutrition and Cancer, researchers at Marshall University have discovered that snack-sized quantities of walnuts slow cancer growth in mice. W. Elaine Hardman, PhD. said "When we fed the mice walnuts, the growth rate of the tumors they had was dramatically suppressed".
The mice ate a diet which gave them the equivalent of two servings of walnuts per day. Tumors in the walnut-fed group took twice as long to double in size as tumors in the control group, which mimicked a typical American diet. "It's always good to find something that will slow the growth of tumors without being toxic chemotherapy", said Hardman, who has spent 15 years studying the role of diet in cancer.
Walnuts have at least three components that could account for their cancer-slowing effect, Hardman said. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to slow cancer growth. They also include antioxidants and phytosterols, both of which have shown cancer-slowing effects in other studies.