According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, recent research is indicating that diets rich in whole walnuts or walnut oil can actually slow down prostate cancer growth in mice. In addition, both walnuts and walnut oil have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and increase sensitivity to insulin.

The walnut diet also decreased levels of the hormone IGF-1, which had been previously associated with both prostate and breast cancer.

For years, people have been on a crusade against fat, and that thinking is not always right. Your urologist Des Moines cites walnuts as a perfect example because while they are high in fat, their fat does not encourage prostate cancer growth. In fact, it does just the opposite.

A previous study found that walnuts reduced prostate tumor size in mice; however, there were questions about which parts of the nuts provided these benefits. It wasn’t clear if it was the meat, the oil or the omega-3 fatty acids of the walnuts. If it did turn out to be the omega-3 fats, the benefit might not be exclusive to walnuts. Since the fatty acid profile for the soybean oil used as a controlling factor was similar – but not identical – to walnuts, more research had to be conducted.

In the most recent study, researchers mixed fats with essentially the same fatty acid content in walnuts as their control diet. The mice were fed whole walnuts, walnut oil or the walnut-like fat for a period of 18 weeks. According to your urologist Des Moines, the results duplicated those from the previous study. While the walnuts and walnut oil reduced cholesterol and slowed prostate cancer growth, the walnut-like fat did not have these effects, confirming that other nut components caused the improvements – not the omega-3s.

While the study does not isolate which combination of compounds in walnuts slows cancer growth, it did exclude fiber, zinc, magnesium and selenium. In addition, the research showed that walnuts modulate several mechanisms associated with cancer growth.

If you would like more information about prostate cancer and your risk level, call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule a consultation.