Walnuts may protect against cancer

New research suggests the nuts may help prevent breast cancer

Eating walnuts regularly may reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to new research.

Clinical studies on mice fed the human equivalent of two ounces of walnuts every day developed fewer and smaller tumours.

Dr Elaine Hardman of Marshall University School of Medicine, who carried out the research, said it was likely there would be a similar effect in humans.

Walnuts contain a cocktail of beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants, phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids. Previous research has linked walnuts to a lowering in the risk of heart disease.

However, Josephine Querido of Cancer Research UK said there was still not enough evidence to establish a link between walnuts and a decreased risk of breast cancer.

‘We know that a healthy balanced diet – rich in fruit and vegetables – plays an important part in reducing the risk of many types of cancer,’ she told the BBC.

‘The strongest risk factor for breast cancer is age – 80% of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50, so attending screening is important.

‘Making lifestyle changes, such as keeping a healthy body weight, limiting alcohol intake and taking regular exercise, can also help reduce breast cancer risk.’

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