British Journal of Nutrition

  • British Journal of Nutrition / Volume 108 / Issue 10 / November 2012, pp 1764-1772
  • Copyright © The Authors 2012. The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence <>. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
  • DOI: (About DOI), Published online: 16 January 2012

Full Papers

Metabolism and Metabolic Studies

A high-fat diet containing whole walnuts (Juglans regia) reduces tumour size and growth along with plasma insulin-like growth factor 1 in the transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate model

Paul A. Davisa1 c1, Vihas T. Vasua2 p1, Kishorchandra Gohila2, Hyunsook Kima1, Imran H. Khana3, Carroll E. Crossa2 and Wallace Yokoyamaa4

a1 Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

a2 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

a3 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Center for Comparative Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

a4 Processed Foods Research, US Department of Agriculture, Western Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, Albany, CA 94710, USA


Prostate cancer (PCa) has been linked to fat intake, but the effects of both different dietary fat levels and types remain inconsistent and incompletely characterised. The effects on PCa in the transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) cancer model of an elevated fat (20 % of energy as fat) diet containing 155 g of whole walnuts were compared to those of an elevated fat (20 % of energy as soyabean oil) diet with matched macronutrients, tocopherols as well as a low-fat (8 % of energy as soyabean oil) diet. Mice, starting at 8 weeks of age, consumed one of the three different diets ad libitum; and prostates, livers and blood were obtained after 9, 18 or 24 weeks of feeding. No differences were observed in whole animal growth rates in either high-fat (HF) diet group, but prostate tumour weight and growth rate were reduced in the walnut diet group. Walnut diet group prostate weight, plasma insulin-like growth factor 1, resistin and LDL were lower at 18 weeks, while no statistically significant prostate weight differences by diet were seen at 9 or 24 weeks. Multiple metabolites in the livers differed by diet at 9 and 18 weeks. The walnut diet's beneficial effects probably represent the effects of whole walnuts' multiple constituents and not via a specific fatty acid or tocopherols. Moreover, as the two HF diets had dissimilar effects on prostate tumour growth rate and size, and yet had the same total fat and tocopherol composition and content, this suggests that these are not strongly linked to PCa growth.

(Received October 10 2011)

(Revised December 06 2011)

(Accepted December 06 2011)

(Online publication January 16 2012)

Key Words:

  • Prostate cancer;
  • Transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate model;
  • Fat;
  • Whole foods;
  • Insulin-like growth factor 1;
  • Chemoprevention


c1 Corresponding author: Dr P. A. Davis, +1 530 752 8966, email

p1 Present address: Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology, National Jewish Health, Denver, CO 80 206, USA.


  Abbreviations: GUI, genitourinary intact; HF, high-fat diet; IGF-1, insulin-like growth factor 1; LF, low-fat diet; NE, neuroendocrine; PCa, prostate cancer; TRAMP, transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate; WW, whole walnut diet