Lipid extract from walnuts may positively affect the self-renewal capacity of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, new research has found.
Research conducted in South Korea showed that lipid extract from walnuts had significantly contributed to the cancer-prevention community.
Principle investigator Prof Yuri Kim of the Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management at Ewha Woman’s University and her research team looked at whether the components of walnut lipid extracts (WLEs) have an effect on colon cancer cells.
CSCs are a small subpopulation of cells within a tumour that have a self-renewing capacity and thus have the potential to increase tumour metastasis rates and enhance resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
“Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of death with limited therapeutic options for treatment, which is why these study findings are significant to the nutrition academic society,” Kim said.
“The study findings suggest the therapeutic potential of walnuts on colon cancer. Walnuts beneficial role in the diet continues to be affirmed. These findings build upon prior work in the areas colon, breast and prostate cancers, brings us one step closer in understanding their preventative effects,” she said.
This was the first study California Walnut Commission (CWC) conducted in South Korea. Dennis A Balint, CEO, CWC added, “The study outcomes are very encouraging for our understanding of walnuts role in cancer prevention.”
He said that CWC has and will continue to invest in cancer research to establish stronger evidence about benefits of walnuts’ exceptional benefits.
Elaborating on the health benefits of walnuts, Geetu Amarnani, Nutritionist and Health Consultant said, “Consuming a diet comprised of walnuts is the key to healthy living.
They contain a powerhouse of important nutrients that have been contributed to many health benefits. Walnuts are the only nut that contains the plant-based omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) ALA that is required by the human body.
The multiple components in walnut lipid extracts include fatty acids and tocopherols, and the study demonstrates the fact that consumption of lipid components in walnut may significantly inhibit colon cancer by targeting colon cancer cells,” she was quoted as saying in a CWC press release. The research was published in the journal Food Science and Biotechnology.