OK, I give up, what’s a man to eat? Red meat and dairy are terrible for us, we all already know that, but now eggs and poultry are on the do not eat list. Pretty much this leaves us with vegetables only. I know, a vegetarian or vegan diet is understood to be best, but I just do not have it in me. My wife has been a vegetarian for any years, but she does eat eggs and things made of eggs. I do not know, life is a struggle, but let me eat what I want.
Some researchers at Harvard looked into what makes prostate cancer spread. They looked at over a thousand men with early stage prostate cancer and followed them for a couple years to see if there was anything in their diet associated with cancer progression. They wanted to know what in the diet encouraged the cancer to become more aggressive and spread. They came up with some amazing conclusions that might change all of our lives.
They concluded that men who ate a single egg – or even slightly less – a day doubled their risk of having their cancer spread compared to men who hardly ever eat eggs. Simply put, a man with early stage prostate cancer eating even a single egg risks doubling his chance of having his prostate cancer become lethal, the chances of his prostate cancer metastasizing.
In the American diet eggs proliferate. You can easily consume more than one egg a day without eating an egg. Eggs are in many of the day-to-day foods we eat. They are in muffins, bread, salad dressing, sauces, pretty much everything we eat. So, you don’t even need to fry up an egg or order scrambled eggs to consume more than one every day without realizing it.
What makes one egg a day contribute to doubling our risk for a spread of our prostate cancer (yes, I said one egg)? According to the researchers they feel that it is a chemical called choline, a naturally occurring compound found predominantly in eggs, poultry, liver, milk, and fish, which has been associated with getting (triggering) prostate cancer in the first place as well as spreading prostate cancer and making it lethal.
According to the researchers choline consumption was associated with not just getting and spreading prostate cancer but also with a significantly increased risk of dying from prostate cancer. They found that men who ate the most choline (i.e. eggs) had a 70% increased risk of developing and dying from prostate cancer. This finding is consistent with another recent study which found that men who consumed 2.5 or more eggs per week—that’s just like one egg every three days—had an 81% increased of having a lethal prostate cancer.
The Harvard researchers believe that the chemical choline is the reason studies have found a relationship between advanced prostate cancer and meat, milk, and egg consumption because there’s a good bit of choline in all those foods. Since choline concentrates inside prostate cancer cells it is now used as a scan contrast to monitor prostate cancer progression.
Choline may not be the sole culprit in this story. A Cleveland Clinic study found that carnitine, a component of red meat, is transformed in our gut into a toxic metabolite called TMAO that appears to increase heart disease risk. However, in the April 25, 2013 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the same research team also found the choline in eggs, poultry, dairy, and fish forms that same toxic TMAO. Bottom line is that what carnitine does in red meat, choline does in eggs, poultry, dairy and fish; they both create TMAO.
Not only does eggs, poultry, dairy and fish create TMAO increasing the risk of heart disease but it may also increase inflammation that helps turn prostate cancer deadly. This might be the missing link between animal product consumption and both of our leading killers, heart disease and cancer.
So, eggs are bad for us, but according to the findings of this team poultry consumption raises the risk of progression among high-risk men by up to 4 times! Following this line of thinking, consuming poultry ups our chance of developing aggressive prostate cancer by 300%!
For more on this story and a further explanation, there’s an excellent video on Dr. Michael Greger’s NutritionFacts.org.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; Intakes of meat, ?sh, poultry, and eggs and risk of prostate cancer progression; Erin L Richman, Meir J Stampfer, Alan Paciorek, Jeanette M Broering, Peter R Carroll, and June M Chan;
Joel T. Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.