Do Eggs, Dairy, Red Meat and Poultry Increase Prostate Cancer Risk?

How do you like your eggs? Over easy? Scrambled? How about switching to oatmeal? A new US study found that eating eggs may increase your risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. In fact, a number of studies have indicated that various foods, including eggs, dairy, and red meat increase risk of prostate cancer, as does poultry.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, and Harvard School of Public Health evaluated data from 27,607 men who had been followed from 1994 to 2008 and who were prostate cancer-free at the beginning of the period. They discovered that healthy men who ate 2.5 eggs or more each per week had an 81% higher risk of developing advanced prostate cancer compared with men who ate fewer than 0.5 eggs per week on average.

As an aside, they also noted a “suggestion” that eating poultry and processed red meat after a diagnosis of localized prostate cancer was linked to progression to advanced prostate cancer. Previous research, however, has indicated a more significant association.

In a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute of more than 175,000 men and spanning the years 1995 to 2003, the investigators found that men who ate the most red meat were 12% more likely to develop prostate cancer and 33% more likely to develop advanced cancer than men who ate the least amount of red meat.

It appears eating eggs can do more than raise your cholesterol level. If you want to improve your chances of avoiding advanced prostate cancer, skip the steak and eggs and scrambled eggs and bacon.


Richman EL et al. Egg, red meat, and poultry intake and risk of lethal prostate cancer in the prostate specific antigen-era: incidence and survival. Cancer Prev Res 2011 Sep; DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207

Sinha R et al. Meat and meat-related compounds and risk of prostate cancer in a large prospective cohort study in the United States. Am J Epidemiol 2009 Nov 1; 179(9): 1165-77.

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