The foods to avoid if you dont want prostate cancer?

The foods to avoid if you dont want prostate cancer?
 
This article looks at foods like dairy, eggs, red meat and even chicken that have been linked with metastatic prostate cancer and seeks to understand the relationship (Chris Woollams).
 
Prostate cancer and eggs
 
Erin Richman is a name men need to know as she has spent more than a decade studying the links between foods and prostate cancer; and one of those foods is eggs.
 
Recent history starts back in 2011, when a study(1) in Cancer Prevention Research followed 27,607 Health Professionals who already had prostate cancer, between 1994 and 2008. Those who consumed 2.5 or more eggs a week had an 81 per cent increased risk of metastatic cancer or death compared with those consuming on average less than half an egg a week. 
 
At the time, Richman said she was uncertain what exactly it was in eggs that caused the problem. For example, men who ate more eggs also had higher BMIs, exercised less, were more likely to be smokers, have more type-2 diabetes and more likely to have a family history of prostate cancer. Despite cancelling these factors out of the research, eggs and prostate cancer were still linked.
 
One hypothesis was that cholesterol might be involved; another was choline. Choline is an essential B vitamin also concentrated in prostate cells where it helps repair the membrane around prostate cells every time they divide.
 
 
Red meat, processed meat and chicken with skin too?
 
These weren’t the only conclusions in the study. Consumption of red and processed meat, and poultry with skin was also shown to be linked to more aggressive and fatal prostate cancer, but the total study was small and these results, unlike the egg results, were not deemed ‘significant’.
 
Richman had further evidence for dismissing the link with meats as in 2010 she had performed a smaller study (2), which ruled out links with red meat, fish and skinless poultry, but showed links with eggs and poultry with skin.
 
In 2012, and another Richman Harvard Medical School study(3). This time Richman opened with the statement that ‘meat, milk and eggs have been inconsistently linked with a risk of advanced prostate cancer’ and so the team were going to study this further. All three of those foods are high in choline, so this was the factor examined. Choline intake was divided into 5 levels. Men who were in the top fifth, had a 70% greater risk of metastatic and lethal prostate cancer.  
 
 
TMAO may be the driving force
 
So what is going on? Well, the heart heath researchers may have shed light on this. A study(4) by Dr. Stanley Hazen and team found that choline is metabolized by your gut bacteria and then converted in the liver to TMAO.  The gut bacteria turn choline into Phosphatidylcholine, (lecithin), with a contribution of an enzyme from the liver. Indeed, choline, betaine and carnitine from food or supplements can each be converted into Trimethylamine N-oxide or TMAO. Some choline is essential for membrane repair, but too much leads to TMAO formation and more fat in the blood stream. And such fat has been linked many times to the spread of prostate cancer.
 
TMAO has been linked by the Cleveland Clinic, in a research study(5) involving 4,000 people, to increased plaque and fat deposits in the arteries, and a greater risk of heart attacks and stroke. It is known to alter cholesterol and bile acid production.
 
TMAO is also highly inflammatory. And prostate cancer is known to be caused by inflammation.
 
Elevated TMAO levels are also linked to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and diabetes. There is possibly a link with colorectal cancer too. With CKD, it is uncertain whether it is cause or effect. Unsurprisingly, CKD is linked with a greater risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. 
 
Renal impairment is also linked to higher levels of pathogens from Proteobacteria and reduced levels of beneficial microbes, such as Roseburia, Coprococcus, and Ruminococcaceae and this is linked with higher TMAO levels (7). 
 
Just to complicate the picture a little further, a 2016 overview(6) on TMAO clarified that red meat, eggs, dairy products and salt-water fish are all rich in choline, lecithin and carnitine and thus, potentially linked to increased TMAO in humans.  
 
Clearly, your gut bacteria play a crucial role, and there is some evidence that probiotics may be helpful. And so we come full circle to recent research that linked prostate cancer with a loss of certain good bacteria, heightened levels of pathogens, and a reduction in inflammation in people who consumed high levels of polyphenols(8).
 
 
The Bottom Line
 
 
Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and a founder of CANCERactive said, "Clearly there is evidence that almost any egg consumption, followed by red meat, processed meat and chicken with skin on, seems linked to a higher risk of more aggressive prostate cancer, and these foods should be avoided. The mechanism seems true for choline, carnitine, betaine and lecithin, so men should also check their supplements.
The biochemistry chain seems to involve changed gut bacteria and TMAO, and results in more inflammation and greater levels of bad fat in the body, both factors being known to help spread not just prostate cancer, but almost all cancer."
 
 
Ref
 
2018 Research
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