Eggs and Breast Cancer

Eggs and Breast Cancer

August 19, 2019 91 By William Morgan


“Eggs and Breast Cancer” This nationwide study of dietary
cholesterol intake and cancer concluded that not only may
cutting down on cholesterol help prevent cardiovascular diseases,
but also may reduce the risk of cancer. Therefore, limitation of
animal fat and cholesterol is a “favorable public health measure,” but the study didn’t find high
cholesterol consumption correlated with all cancers. Yes, a significant association between high cholesterol intake
was found for stomach cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer,
pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer,
bladder cancer, and a type of bone marrow
cancer called non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but the association was
negative for prostate cancer. If you look at studies on
prostate cancer and eggs, though, which are one of the primary
sources of cholesterol on the diet, a pooled analysis of 15
prospective cohort studies found that those who ate 25 grams
a day or more of eggs, which is like a half an egg a day
versus like less than an egg a week, those averaging that half egg
had a significant 14 percent increased risk of advanced
and fatal prostate cancer. They weren’t exactly
sure how to explain it, “but eggs contain considerable
amounts of choline,” which certain bad bacteria in
the gut can turn into toxic TMAO, which I’ve described before. There also appears to
be a dose-response, meaning the more eggs,
the more cancer risk. Increasing consumption by five
eggs a week may increase the risk of fatal prostate
cancer 47 percent, though that’s just for
fatal prostate cancer. No relationship was found between
eggs and prostate cancer in general, just eggs and the deadly forms. It’s not necessarily
the cholesterol, though. Yes, a large amount of cholesterol may
support the rapid proliferation and growth of cancer cells,
but there’s also the choline, and the animal protein, all of
which may link egg consumption to the risk of breast, ovarian,
and prostate cancers. And then, if you look at
prostate cancer progression, meaning men who’ve already been
treated for prostate cancer, had a radical prostatectomy to
have their whole prostate removed, and are trying to keep the
cancer from coming back. If you see what they were eating,
a very high intake of eggs— by which they mean nearly
an entire egg a day— was associated with the likelihood of
recurrence of high-grade disease, meaning an aggressive form
of cancer coming back. Egg consumption is also associated with
increased risk of ovarian cancer, where women make their own eggs, something we’ve known
for over 15 years now. Eggs can also be a source of heterocyclic
amines, carcinogenic chemicals that are formed during
high temperature frying. That would be consistent
with the bladder cancer data, suggesting fried egg consumption
may double cancer risk, but not boiled eggs. The researchers considered the
high cholesterol content of eggs, though, to be most plausible
explanation for the ovarian cancer link. Eating lots of cholesterol-rich
foods may increase the formation of toxic bile acids,
which may at least affect colorectal cancer and lung cancer. There does seem to be a
dose-response relationship for egg consumption
and cancers of the gut. Even just a few eggs a week may
be associated with a 19 percent greater risk of colorectal cancer,
but hit three or more eggs a week, and the increased risk may
be as high as 71 percent. And finally, breast cancer: a significant
increase in breast cancer risk once women get up to
around five eggs a week. Now this was putting together just all
the forward-looking cohort studies. Adding together all the studies
doesn’t change the conclusion: “egg consumption [is] associated
with increased breast cancer risk.” A single serving of eggs may exceed the
old 300mg daily limit by like 40 percent. The latest dietary guidelines
actually strengthened their limits on dietary cholesterol, saying
forget 300, as recommended by the National Academy of
Sciences Institute of Medicine, we “should eat as little dietary
cholesterol as possible.”