Egg Eaters More Likely To Die From Prostate Cancer According To Study

An eggMen who frequently consume eggs are much more likely to die from prostate cancer according to the results of a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research last month. The study also found suggestive evidence that consuming large amounts of poultry and processed red meat following prostate cancer diagnosis increased the risk of subsequently dying from the disease.

The study, led by Erin L. Richman of the Epidemiology & Biostatistics Department, University of California, looked at the risk of prostate cancer in 27,607, initially healthy men, who were followed from 1994-2008. Over the course of the study 3,127 men developed prostate cancer with 199 dying from the disease. The researchers found that men who consumed an average of 2.5 or more eggs a week were 81% more likely to die from prostate cancer than men who consumed less than 0.5 eggs per week.

Furthermore, in a separate analysis of the 3,127 men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer, heavy consumption of both poultry and processed red meat increased the likelihood of dying from the disease although these results did not achieve statistical significance.

Consuming 3.5 or more servings of poultry a week increased the risk of death by 69% compared to less than 1.5 servings a week, while 3 or more servings of processed red meat increased the risk of death by 45% compared to less than 0.5 servings.

The researchers noted that choline and cholesterol are highly concentrated in prostate cancer cells. Red meat, poultry, and egg yolk are rich sources of both choline and cholesterol suggesting that these two substances may be related in some way to the growth of prostate tumours.

The researchers concluded that: “Although additional studies are needed, caution in egg intake may be warranted for adult men.”

Previous studies on egg intake and prostate cancer have been few and far between. One study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found a positive dose response relationship between eggs, cheese, milk and meat, and the risk of dying from prostate cancer. High consumption of all four animal products increased the risk of dying from prostate cancer by 260%.

On the other hand, a Dutch study, published in 1994 in the British Journal of Cancer, found no link between eggs, fish, red meat, and poultry and the risk of developing prostate cancer.

If frequent consumption of eggs is as strongly linked to prostate cancer as suggested in the above study, one would expect to find increased prostate cancer death rates in countries with high per capita consumption of eggs. Interestingly, Japan, Mexico, China, Malta, and the Czech Republic, the five countries with the highest levels of egg consumption, all have relatively low death rates from prostate cancer.