Egg Industry Response

Do Eggs Cause Cancer & What Explains This Connection?

 

Egg consumption has been associated with certain cancers. 

 

Does Eating Eggs Lead To Cancer?

 

Do Eggs Cause Bladder Cancer?

Eggs can be a source of 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. 

Do Eggs Cause Breast Cancer?

Egg consumption is associated with a significant increase in breast cancer risk once women get up to around five eggs a week. 

Do Eggs Cause Colorectal Cancers?

Even just a few eggs a week may be associated with a 19 percent greater risk of colorectal cancer, but if you hit three or more eggs a week, the increased risk may be as high as 71 percent.

Do Eggs Cause Ovarian Cancer?

Egg consumption is also associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer. Researchers considered the high cholesterol content of eggs, though, to be the most plausible explanation for the ovarian cancer link.

Do Eggs Cause Prostate Cancer?

There 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.

 

What Explains The Egg-cancer Connection?

Eggs are high in choline. Choline is converted in the gut into trimethylamine (TMA), which, after being oxidized by our liver into TMAO, may promote inflammation and result in cancer progression. I have a video that explains How Our Gut Bacteria Can Use Eggs to Accelerate Cancer.

Since choline and carnitine are the primary sources of TMAO production, the logical intervention strategy might be to reduce meat, dairy, and egg consumption. And, if we eat plant-based food for long enough, we can actually change our gut microbial communities such that we may not be able to make TMAO even if we try.

 

Why Are Eggs Linked To Cancer Progression?

Eggs are the most concentrated common source of choline in the American diet, which may increase the risk of cancer emergence, spread, and lethality. I explore this in more depth in my video Carnitine, Choline, Cancer, & Cholesterol: The TMAO Connection.

 

Disadvantages Of Eating Eggs Daily

The consumption of eggs is associated with: 

 

What Are Other Foods That Cause Cancer?

  • Alcohol: As I discuss in my video, Can Alcohol Cause Cancer?, current estimates suggest that alcohol causes about 5.8% of all cancer deaths in these organs worldwide.
  • Meat: IGF-1—insulin-like growth factor 1—the cancer-promoting growth hormone, is released in excess amounts by our liver when we eat animal protein. Learn more about this in Animal Protein Compared to Cigarette Smoking.
  • Dairy: In addition to IGF-1, dairy protein boosts TOR, which is a growth enzyme that certains cancers thrive by upregulating. Check out my video Dairy and Cancer.

To learn more about the effects of egg consumption on your health, visit our topic page, which covers a broad range of the latest evidence-based research.

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Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


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