A daily handful of walnuts may stave off prostate cancer, according to new research.
Scientists have found diets rich in the nut, or its oil, slowed tumour growth in mice.
They also reduced cholesterol and increased sensitivity to the hormone insulin which helps prevent diabetes.Walnuts are a 'superfood' naturally high in a host of health boosting chemicals, including omega-3 fatty acids, and have already been shown to protect against breast cancer and heart disease. The latest findings showed they cut levels of the hormone IGF-1, which has been implicated in both prostate and breast cancer.
Dr Paul Davis, of the University of California at Davis, said: 'For years, the United States government has been on a crusade against fat, and I think it has been to our detriment. Walnuts are a perfect example. While they are high in fat, their fat does not drive prostate cancer growth. In fact, walnuts do just the opposite when fed to mice.'
Some 35,000 Britons are diagnosed with it each year, and 10,000 die.
The new study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, was aimed at finding out if the beneficial properties were unique to walnuts, or whether it was a particular ingredient such as omega-3 fatty acids found in other foods.