Women may be able to reduce their risk of breast cancer by consuming more eggs, a study has suggested. The study said that eggs are rich in a nutrient called choline, which may bring down the cancer risk by 24 percent.
This new case-control study, led by Steven H. Zeisel, MD, PhD, University of North Carolina, added another piece of evidence to indicate the link between egg consumption and decreased risk of breast cancer.
The study was conducted on more than 3,000 adult women, and it was observed that the risk of developing breast cancer was 24 percent lower among women with the highest intake of choline as against women with the lowest intake.
Those women, who had the highest intake of choline, consumed a daily average of 455 mg of choline or more, getting most of it from coffee, eggs and skim milk. Women with the lowest intake consumed a daily average of 196 milligrams or less.
"Choline is needed for the normal functioning of cells, no matter your age or gender. Increasing evidence shows that it may be particularly important for women, particularly those of child-bearing age," said Zeisel.
One egg contains 125.5 milligrams of choline, or roughly a quarter the recommended daily supply, making eggs an excellent source of this essential nutrient. Choline is found exclusively in the egg's yolk. Other top food sources of choline include liver, wheat germ and cauliflower.
"While choline is an essential nutrient to the human diet, most people haven't even heard of it. Given that in the U.S. there is a real need to understand how much choline we require in our diet, we hope that research, education and awareness about choline will increase as a result of this study published in The FASEB Journal," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor in Chief of The FASEB Journal and research professor of medicine and director of the Biotechnology Study Center at the New York University School of Medicine.
In fact, two of the earlier studies have also shown that women who eat eggs have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
Choline, not only plays a vital role in the normal functioning of all cells, including brain and nerve function, liver metabolism and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body, it also has other benefits.
Apart from preventing birth defects, choline improves memory and reduces heart disease risk.
The study will be published in The FASEB Journal's print issue in June.