A 2011 study by Richman et al., conducted by esteemed institutions Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and University of California/San Francisco, draws data from the long-running Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS).
The HPFS, which began in 1986, originally enrolled over 50,000 male health professionals and has since gathered extensive data.
Participants in the study filled out a baseline questionnaire that included information on their medical conditions, physical activity levels, weight, medication use, and smoking habits.
Additionally, they completed a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).
To ensure the information remains current, the participant’s medical and physical data is updated every two years, while dietary information is updated every four years.
With an average response rate exceeding 94%, this questionnaire provides valuable insights into the participant’s overall health and lifestyle.
The Richman study focused on examining the relationship between dietary meat and eggs and the risk of lethal prostate cancer.
The types of meat and eggs analyzed included processed and unprocessed red meat such as beef, pork, and lamb, consumed as a main dish, mixed dish, or sandwich.
The researchers also considered the total intake of red meat, poultry with or without skin, chicken or turkey hot dogs or sandwiches, and eggs.
The primary outcome of the study was defined as either distant organ metastases due to prostate cancer (TNM stage: M1) or death from prostate cancer that occurred during the follow-up period of 1994 to 2008.
To conduct the study, the researchers collected data from the HPFS and performed standard statistical analyses.
This involved correlating various factors and eliminating potential confounding variables to arrive at their results.
In essence, they carried out a comprehensive statistical analysis.
The study found that men who consumed more red meat and eggs had a higher average body mass index, engaged in less physical activity, were more likely to be current smokers, had a higher prevalence of type II diabetes and a family history of prostate cancer, and tended to eat less poultry and fish and more dairy.
Conversely, men who consumed more poultry were found to be more physically active, less likely to smoke, and had a diet that included less red meat, dairy, and coffee, and more fish, compared to those who consumed the least amount of poultry.
According to the published study, men who consume 2.5 or more eggs per week are at a higher risk of developing lethal prostate cancer.
In fact, they have an 81% increased risk compared to those who consume less than half an egg per week.
The reason behind this is related to the cholesterol content in eggs.
Prostate cancer cells metabolize cholesterol as a source of energy and fuel, which in turn contributes to the progression of the disease and suppresses immune responses.
High blood cholesterol levels have been associated with advanced cancer cases.
In conclusion, if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, your previous consumption of eggs may impact the behavior and progression of the disease.