Cancer: Eggs may increase risk of prostate cancer

“According to a prospective study published in Cancer Prevention Research, healthy men who consumed 2.5 or more eggs per week had an 81 percent increased risk of lethal prostate cancer compared with men who consumed less than 0.5 eggs per week,” the health body wrote.

“The authors hypothesised that this was due to a high level of cholesterol and choline in the eggs, which are both highly concentrated in prostate cancer cells.”

The authors of the study concluded that “consumption of eggs may increase risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer among healthy men”.

In 2012, the authors of the original study looked specifically at choline content and found that men in the highest quintile of choline intake (471 mg/day) had a 70 percent increased risk of lethal prostate cancer.

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Although choline is a nutrient found in all animal foods, it is more highly concentrated in eggs at 250 mg per egg.

It must be emphasised that causation was not established. The research only found an association between egg consumption and cancer incidence.

Nonetheless, other studies have found such an association. A meta-analysis published in 2015 showed a modestly elevated risk for not only prostate cancer but also breast and ovarian cancers for those with the highest intake of eggs – more than five per week – as compared to those with no egg consumption at all.

Insufficient evidence

It’s important to note that other credible health bodies refute the link between egg consumption and cancer risk.

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“The saturated fat in butter, cheese, bacon, sausage, muffins, or scones, for example, raises your blood cholesterol much more than the cholesterol in your egg,” warns Harvard Health.

The health body adds: “And the highly refined ‘bad carbs’ in white toast, pastries, home fries, and hash browns may also increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.”

General tips to reduce risk of cancer

Having healthy food and drink can reduce your risk of cancer.

“Aim to have plenty of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain foods high in fibre and healthy proteins,” advises Cancer Research UK.

The charity adds: “Cut down on processed and red meat, alcohol and high calorie foods and drinks.”

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