Eggs – Good Or Bad For The Prostate?

Eggs are a dietary staple in most parts of the world.

Go to America, and you’ll get fried eggs with ham, an old-fashioned American classic.

Go to the UK, and you might find eggs boiled or scrambled as part of a standard breakfast.

Or in Korea, where you’ll get eggs cracked and cooked on top of hot rice dishes to complement an already tasty and nutritious meal.

The point is, eggs have become a central component in people’s diets across the world for a few simple reasons:

  • They’re cheap.

  • Nutrient-dense.

  • An excellent protein source.

  • Packed with healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats.

  • Contain minerals like iron, and vitamins A, B, and D (Keum 2015).

However, eggs are also a major contributor to choline in the American diet.

Choline is an essential nutrient required for various bodily functions, but concerns have been raised about its potential association with prostate cancer development. This article aims to explore the link between choline from eggs and prostate cancer risk.

This article will explore the current understanding and ongoing research regarding the potential link between eggs and prostate cancer risk.

Do eggs cause prostate cancer?

According to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, eating eggs could increase your chances of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. The study followed a large group of 27,607 men over 14 years (1994-2008).

The study suggests that men who consumed 2.5 or more eggs per week had an 81 percent higher risk of developing advanced prostate cancer compared to those with lower egg consumption

However, there are a few problems with this study.

So before you panic, let’s take a look at what they are…

First of all, only 199 out men out of 27,607 developed advanced prostate cancer. Only 0.72 percent of the participants developed advanced prostate cancer, which raises questions about the statistical significance of the observed association.

Researchers also found that men who ate more eggs were also likely to exercise less, smoke, have a high Body Mass Index (BMI), or have a family history of prostate cancer.

The study identifies associations between egg consumption and increased risk but does not establish causation. Other lifestyle factors, such as exercise, smoking, BMI, and family history, may contribute to the observed association.

While the prospective study controlled the above factors, there were likely other factors that were not accounted for, which silently contributed to the increased risk of prostate cancer.

Participants were required to answer questionnaires about their eating habits every four years.

It’s important to acknowledge the presence of recall bias in the study, as participants’ ability to accurately remember their dietary habits over a four-year period may impact the reliability of the findings.

A more recent meta-analysis of observational studies published in the British Journal of Nutrition also looked at the effects of egg intake on prostate cancer risk (Keum 2015).

10 studies were included to examine prostate cancer risk, and 4 studies were included to investigate the risk of death from prostate cancer.

A more recent meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggested that higher egg consumption did not significantly increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. However, it’s important to note that associations with prostate cancer mortality were observed in men with high egg consumption, potentially influenced by factors such as red meat intake.

However, for men with prostate cancer, consuming eggs increased the risk of prostate cancer mortality. It should be noted, however, that men with high egg consumption also had higher red meat intake (Keum 2015).

Given there is a clear link between high red meat intake and an increased risk of prostate cancer, it’s possible the higher risk of death was due to red meat rather than eggs.

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What role does choline play?

Choline, an essential nutrient crucial for cell repair and division, is abundant in eggs, with approximately 683 mg per 100 grams of yolk.

Eggs are the most abundant source of choline, with about 683 mg choline per 100 grams of yolk.

Concerns arise from the presence of choline in prostate cancer cells, leading to questions about its potential role in increasing the risk of prostate cancer.

Additionally, dietary choline undergoes transformation into trimethylamine (TMAO) in the gut, a process implicated in potential health implications.

Research has suggested that the trimethylamine produced from high levels of dietary choline intake “may increase inflammation, which in turn, could promote prostate cancer progression to lethal disease.”

A study looking at the relationship between choline intake and aggressive prostate cancer was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Richman 2012).

There were 47896 men involved in the study. Their diet was assessed 6 times over 22 years.

According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Richman 2012), men with the highest choline intake experienced a 70% increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer compared to those with the lowest choline intake.

It’s important to note that the observed association is limited to a specific population in America. Further studies in diverse populations are necessary to establish the global relevance of the link between choline and prostate cancer (Richman 2012).

A challenge to the hypothesis linking choline in eggs to prostate cancer risk is the presence of more significant contributors to choline in the American diet, such as wheat germ (NIH). It’s worth noting that despite wheat germ’s choline content, no study has reported a link between wheat germ and prostate cancer.

However, no study has reported a link between wheat germ and prostate cancer. Soybeans/ soy are another food staple rich in choline…yet once again, no connection has been made to prostate cancer (NIH).

The takeaway

In truth, it is difficult to focus any analysis on a single component of a person’s diet.

Increased risk of prostate cancer is likely influenced by various factors, including diet and weight, making it challenging to attribute causation to a single component.

It’s noteworthy that certain countries with higher egg consumption than the USA exhibit a lower prevalence of prostate cancer. However, a range of factors may contribute to these variations, emphasizing the complexity of drawing direct correlations.

This observation aligns with the findings in the British Journal of Nutrition review, indicating that there is insufficient evidence to support the claim that egg consumption increases the risk of developing prostate cancer.

In short, there does not appear to be sufficient evidence to support the claim that eggs are bad for prostate health, or that eggs increase one’s risk of prostate cancer.

Highlighting the significance of choline as an essential nutrient, it is crucial to include it in the diet for optimal health. Low concentrations of choline are associated with the development of fatty liver and liver damage.

Furthermore, animal studies suggest that choline intake may be beneficial to cognitive function and memory. Given the ongoing research, waiting for more conclusive evidence from clinical trials before making decisions about dietary changes, such as cutting eggs from the diet, is a prudent approach.

Reducing prostate cancer risk through diet

If you are concerned about developing cancer, then you can follow the existing dietary and lifestyle guidelines for reducing prostate cancer risk, which includes:

  • Limiting processed foods in your diet. The majority of processed foods contain additives, sugar, and salt.

    These chemical additives are not food-based, and many of them are anti-microbial, which means they not only limit the growth of bacteria and other microbes, to keep the food from rotting, but they also affect the microbes that keep our gut healthy.

  • Reducing red meat consumption. High intakes of red meat have been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. It was previously reported in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) that red meat intake was associated with an increased risk of metastatic prostate cancer based on follow-up from 1986 to 1996.

  • Avoiding cow’s milk and other high-fat dairy products. Research has shown that men who consume a lot of dairy products have an increased likelihood of developing prostate cancer than men who don’t eat calcium-heavy diets.

  • Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet, which are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, recent research suggests that a vitamin-rich plant-based diet may lower the risk of prostate cancer. Try including cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale, which are rich in beta carotene.

  • Research has also suggested that lycopene, a carotenoid found in certain fruits and vegetables, may help to prevent prostate cancer. Whole foods that are rich in lycopene are highly nutritious and rich in other vitamins and dietary fiber.

    However, lycopene, while great when eaten as part of a healthy diet, should not be taken as a dietary supplements. Tomato intake providing about 30 mg of lycopene has been shown to reduce PSA levels in men with prostate cancer. These benefits were exerted from lycopene from whole foods rather than as an extract.

  • Drinking green tea. Green tea has been shown that antioxidants also slow down prostate cancer progression and reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

  • Omega 3 fatty acids, from salmon, mackerel, and trout are a good source of healthy fat. These fatty acids also help produce prostaglandin, lower high blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attacks, and lower harmful cholesterol levels while raising good cholesterol levels.


The above examples are only some of the foods that will help you promote and maintain good prostate health.

Although some studies suggest a link between egg consumption and prostate cancer risk, it is difficult to focus any analysis on a single component of a person’s diet. Therefore, it is best to wait for more conclusive evidence.

When it comes to diet, a plant-based diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce prostate cancer risk. Over time, be sure to add in moderate exercise and activity for a balanced approach.

A properly maintained diet and a healthy lifestyle provide you a fighting chance at preventing prostate diseases and significantly improving your prostate health.

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  1. Richman EL, Kenfield SA, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci EL, Zeisel SH, Willett WC, Chan JM. Choline intake and risk of lethal prostate cancer: incidence and survival–. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2012 Sep 5;96(4):855-63.
  2. Richman EL, Kenfield SA, Stampfer MJ et al. Egg, red meat, and poultry intake and risk of lethal prostate cancer in the prostate-specific antigen-era: incidence and survival. Cancer Prevention Research, Published Online First September 19 2011.
  3. Ackerstaff E, Pflug BR, Nelson JB, Bhujwalla ZM. Detection of increased choline compounds with proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy subsequent to malignant transformation of human prostatic epithelial cells. Cancer research. 2001 May 1;61(9):3599-603.
  4. Keum N, Lee DH, Marchand N, Oh H, Liu H, Aune D, Greenwood DC, Giovannucci EL. Egg intake and cancers of the breast, ovary and prostate: a dose–response meta-analysis of prospective observational studies. British Journal of Nutrition. 2015 Oct;114(7):1099-107.
  6. Wilson KM, Mucci LA, Drake BF, Preston MA, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, Kibel AS. Meat, fish, poultry, and egg intake at diagnosis and risk of prostate cancer progression. Cancer Prevention Research. 2016 Sep 20.
  7. Blusztajn JK, Slack BE, Mellott TJ. Neuroprotective Actions of Dietary Choline. Nutrients. 2017 Jul 28;9(8):815.

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