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Eggs and Prostate Cancer: Is there a risk?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 01, 2011 at 10:43 AM

A new study has been published which indicates that eating three eggs a week may lead to increased risk of prostate cancer:

Scientists at Harvard School of Medicine, who studied the eating habits of 27,000 men over 14 years, suspect the damage is done by the cholesterol and choline in eggs.

199 of the men in the study developed lethal prostate cancer. The men ate the most eggs at were at a significantly higher risk than those who ate less eggs. No significant link was established with any other food.

Although there are potentially other lifestyle factors involved this article cautions against eating them too.

As eggs are popular among the paleo community, should we be drastically be limiting egg intake or perhaps just eating egg whites?

57b17814101f378c91e93cb5914bda5d

(0)

on January 08, 2012
at 07:25 PM

there are other studies wh point out the same. why you close the eyes for the facts. The facts show there might be a ling seriously to cancer and eggs. why ignore it?

0b90a7029cead87fbd5e900495c6bc62

(48)

on October 01, 2011
at 07:21 PM

Excellent point. The UK has just recorded the hottest October day ever so I guess you could establish a positive correlation between the temperature today and the number of ice cream sellers. However, this dosen't prove that ice cream sellers cause it to be hot!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on October 01, 2011
at 04:41 PM

I've just added the (existing) tag correlation-not-causation here and on a few similar questions because that seems to be the best answer, even if it is not part of the actual question. Also I thought this would make it easy to find this kind of question and the thoughtful responses in a search. I hope that's ok with the OP!

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4 Answers

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3
1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

on October 01, 2011
at 12:14 PM

Let's repeat once more: correlation does not imply causation. The only scientific value of a correlation is to generate hypotheses for experimental study.

People who eat more eggs may do lots of other things more (or less) than others. Any of those things may or may not cause health problems.

"the men who ate the most eggs in the study were also more likely to have a poor diet, smoke, be overweight and take less exercise"

The data in this study do not show (or disprove) the hypothesis that eggs cause prostate cancer.

0b90a7029cead87fbd5e900495c6bc62

(48)

on October 01, 2011
at 07:21 PM

Excellent point. The UK has just recorded the hottest October day ever so I guess you could establish a positive correlation between the temperature today and the number of ice cream sellers. However, this dosen't prove that ice cream sellers cause it to be hot!

57b17814101f378c91e93cb5914bda5d

(0)

on January 08, 2012
at 07:25 PM

there are other studies wh point out the same. why you close the eyes for the facts. The facts show there might be a ling seriously to cancer and eggs. why ignore it?

3
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:43 PM

Every study that looks at eggs vs Disease X usually finds a correlation. Why? Because eggs aren't considered a "health" food, so you have health nuts who avoid eggs because of perceived health benefits of doing so. This leads to a number of confounding variables: egg eaters have less healthy habits (smoking, drinking, exercise, other food choices, etc) vs egg non-eaters. It's quite likely there's a confounding variable causing this apparent relationship.

1
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on October 02, 2011
at 02:36 PM

I can't find more than the abstract of the study but this article had a somewhat critical discussion and included more details than your link:

http://prostatecancerinfolink.net/2011/09/30/eggs-prostate-cancer-and-the-daily-mail/

In this case the ???evidence??? that eating more than 2.5 eggs a week is associated with a large increase in risk for prostate cancer-specific mortality is based on data from 199 men who died of prostate cancer in a total sample size of 27,000. Of these 199 men, just 55 (about 0.2 percent of the total sample) reported eating more than 2.5 eggs per week. What is more, this association appears to take little to no account of a whole variety of other factors that might have also influenced the risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality in these patients.

0
4cfe373a7fb33f9cdcece2d2df21155a

on October 03, 2011
at 03:01 PM

I have long considered the consumption of eggs (organic) to be an important part of a healthy diet and have eaten two every day for 75 years. I don not however eat much beef or any processed meats. Do you think it is better to eat butter substitutes such as those containing palm oil, than to eat butter? Steve

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