New research from Marshall University suggests walnut consumption could suppress growth and survival of breast cancers. Led by W. Elaine Hardman, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, a Marshall University team revealed that consumption of two ounces of walnuts a day for about two weeks significantly changed gene expression in confirmed breast cancers. This pilot, two-arm clinical trial is the latest of a series of studies related to dietary walnut links to tumor growth, survival and metastasis in breast cancer. "Consumption of walnuts has slowed breast cancer growth and/or reduced the risk of mammary cancer in mice," Hardman said. "Building on this research, our team hypothesized that walnut consumption would alter gene expression in pathologically-confirmed breast cancers of women in a direction that would decrease breast cancer growth and survival." The work was described in a paper published last month in the journal Nutrition Research. The study was funded, in part, by the California Walnut Commission (CWC), which provided the walnuts and necessary funding. The CWC did not influence the development of the study, analyses of the data or decision to publish the results. All data is available online. The National Institutes of Health also provided funding.  Hardman notes in a press release that additional, larger studies are needed of the nuts' effects.

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