Dr. Raphael NyarkoteyObu: PhD(A.M)
“I love chicken, I admit. Furthermore, and a bit more embarrassing since I teach and preach health, I love fried chicken – fried drumsticks to be exact. Argh! (that was painful).But I can’t remember the last time I had any. Maybe it’s just selective memory.The reason why I don’t have much of the fried hens is that it’s not good for my body, despite the fact I find it tasty. And it is more important to me to not die prematurely. So, I stay away from eating deep fried chicken, most of the times.What if the chicken is not fried? Is it OK to eat? Does eating chicken contribute to prostate cancer”? These are the words of Dr. Geo Espinoza; renowned naturopathic Urologist in the US.
Well, does chicken and eggs triggers prostate cancer? Any correlational studies? When I conducted the research on Bolgatanga men and prostate cancer; I received a call from one of the readers asking about eggs and prostate issues. He was much concerned on this, because, he claimed in the Upper West Region; eggs are highly consumed! So I decided to conduct a meta-analysis on this very important subject on eggs, chicken and prostate cancer. Let’s look at the studies:
Studies on Chicken and Prostate Cancer
Though, there is evidence for a dietary role in prostate cancer, the epidemiologic evidence is irritatingly inconsistent.
Thus, much of my conclusions are not based on the last study or the ones that attract more media headline. My recommendations are based on researching the best designed, prospective ( and less so retrospective research) and my clinical observations after seeing thousands of prostate cancer patients in my career so far. Says Espinoza
RECENT STUDY ON POULTRY AND PROSTATE CANCER
A study of 15 prospective cohort study by Spiegelman et al 2016 and published in the International Journal Cancer involving close to 850,000 men from North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, examined the association of incidence of prostate cancer and the intake of unprocessed and processed red meat, seafood, eggs, and poultry. Authors did not find a significative association among unprocessed red meat and processed red meat intake and prostate cancer risk. Also, poultry and seafood was not observed in association with prostate cancer risk
Other studies in humans by Joshi et al 2012 published in the journal Carcinogenesis have shown that consumption of skinless poultry, which is lower in cholesterol and saturated fat than many red types of meat, was not associated with the recurrence or progression of prostate cancer
However, consumption of baked poultry was inversely associated with advanced prostate cancer Josh et al 2012 in the Journal Carcinogenesis. Meaning, those who ate baked poultry had a lower incidence of aggressive, potentially metastatic disease.
In regards to cooking practices, intake of baked poultry showed a mild protective effect with advanced prostate cancer, but when poultry was pan-fried, there was an increased risk of prostate cancer. This inverse association may be explained by a form of vitamin K2, menaquinone, present in dark poultry meat (not white meat, which most think is healthy) that has been associated with reduced risk of advanced prostate cancer in this European cohort.
While the link between menaquinone (K2) and prostate cancer has not been duplicated, Dr. Espinoza takes fish oils with K2 and often recommend them to patients.
Cookingmethods of Poultry makes a difference on Prostate Cancer
But why it does make a difference? This was explained by WilliamLijinsk 1991 in the Journal Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology which attributed Pan-frying consistently in the formation of meat cancer-forming chemicals. Also, the oil used in pan-frying acts as an efficient heat transfer medium between the pan and the surface of the meat, and therefore high surface temperatures are reached. Pan-frying does not expose meats to open flames and fats from the meats do not have an opportunity to drip on the flames undergoing incomplete combustion. Thus, pan-frying is typically not associated with accumulation of Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH).
To Eat or Not to Eat Chicken with Prostate Cancer?
Here are helpful tips if you or someone you love is trying to prevent, co-manage or prevent from dying from prostate cancer by Dr. Espinoza:
- Cooking methods matters with all animal meats, including chicken. Fried and grilled poultry are not good. Yes, I know grilling in the backyard is a big deal in many households, but I would refrain from doing so.
- Baking or slow cooking poultry like in a crockpot is best. In other words, slow, low-temperature cooking is better than fast, high-temperature cooking.
- Free roaming, cage-free hens that eat their natural diet (which includes worms) are leaner and healthier in general, though not sure if the benefits are prostate cancer-specific.
- In general, fish seems to be your best dietary animal source for prostate cancer protection. But the cooking methods in fish preparation; slow cooking; less charring explained earlier still apply. Also, give your body a break from all macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fats) and practice intermittent fasting.
The Truth on Eggs, Choline & Prostate Cancer
Many studies, not all, have associated egg consumption to aggressive prostate cancer.
That’s a doozy since eggs are a staple diet for most and a preferred source of protein for many.
Let’s take a look at the scientific data regarding egg consumption and prostate cancer.
In The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS), a study observing over fifty thousand male health professionals since 1986 noticed that men who consumed ≥2.5 eggs per week had a 1.8-fold increased risk of developing lethal prostate cancer compared with men who consumed <0.5 eggs per week. However, this study found no association between consumption of eggs and risk of deadly prostate cancer after diagnosis.
On the other hand, results from 15 prospective cohort study involving 842,149 men from North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, examined the association of incidence of prostate cancer and the intake of unprocessed and processed red meat, seafood, eggs, and poultry. No association among unprocessed red meat, processed red meat poultry and seafood and prostate cancer was made.
However, a connection was detected between eggs intake and fatal prostate cancers risk.
The Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor (CaPSURE), another very large male study found an increased risk of recurrence for higher intakes of eggs (and poultry with skin) around the time of diagnosis.
Egg intake in CaPSURE was higher, with a mean of 7.9 servings per week compared to 3.2 servings per week in our population. Also, CaPSURE™, men who consumed the most eggs after prostate cancer diagnosis ( about 5.5 eggs per week) had a two-fold increased risk of prostate cancer recurrence compared with men who consumed the least eggs (<0.5 eggs per week)
A Swedish study also reported that men with the highest plasma levels of choline had a 46 % increased risk of prostate cancer compared with men with the lowest levels.
One study of studies (meta-analysis) suggested no association with risk of prostate cancer diagnosis or prostate cancer-specific mortality from consumption of eggs.Breast cancer, ovarian cancer and again prostate cancer were at higher rates amongst people who consumed eggs in this study.
Are Hens raised in better conditions protective against cancer?
Almost all eggs in the United States are from hens living in a stressed environment under unsanitary cages surrounded by manure infested by flies, maggots, and rodents. Lastly, hens are often starved (a process called molting) to increase egg production.
Eggs raised in such unfavorable environments may play a role in the interaction of nutrient content in our bodies but I am not sure how protective or contributory they are in cancer formation according to Mercola.
Why are EggsConnected to an Increase Risk of Prostate Cancer?
He has this to say :“It seems like the connection between eggs, and prostate cancer is on an (important) nutrient called choline. The crux is that choline is essential for human life and mental performance and we would not do well without it.And that’s what makes the association with nutrition and cancer confusing and frustrating.Here’s another thing, choline is used as a tracer for a specific type of PET scan called Choline C-11 PET scan to find smaller prostate cancer cells in the body that can’t be found with other imaging technology.
What does this mean?
A tracer is a substance introduced into the body gobbled up by cancer cells so such cells can light up in images and location of cancer can be found.Amongst integrative oncologists, it is often said that sugar is bad for cancer because glucose ( a simple sugar) is taken up by cancer cells in another type of PET scan called F-FDG PET.If the argument with excess sugar consumption is true, then it must apply to choline as well. No?
What is Choline?
Choline is a nutrient in food with many important roles to support health including brain function similar to but not from the family of B-vitamins.Choline and its metabolites are needed for three main physiological purposes:
- structural integrity and signaling roles for cell membranes,
- cholinergic neurotransmission (acetylcholine synthesis),
- a source for methyl groups via its metabolite, trimethylglycine (betaine), which participates in the S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) synthesis pathways.
If this is all sounds like gobbly gook to you, the bottom line is that choline does good things for your body. The recommended adequate intake (AI) of choline is 550 mg/day for men (425mg for women).
One study found that men with the highest choline intake (~500 mg/day) had a 70 % increased risk of incident lethal prostate cancer compared with men with the lowest intake (~300 mg/day)
The top 5 foods contributing to choline in the diets of the participants were whole eggs, beef, skim milk, reduced-fat milk, and poultry without skin.
What to Make out of the association with Eggs, choline and prostate cancer?
Dr. Espinoza has this also to say :“Don’t try to eliminate choline from your diet. You won’t be able to as this nutrient is found in a lot of foods and some of those foods are necessary for good health. Besides, many foods that are a five on the CaPLESS Food Rating System, like broccoli and cauliflower contain some choline.The yolks in eggs carry the choline, not egg whites. One large egg has about 150mg of choline. Eat egg whites mostly, with maybe one egg yolk. I am not sure you have to give up eggs at all if you do not want to, just don’t eat them every day. Eliminate or limit dairy consumption. Don’t do diets of exclusion, i.e., low-fat or 2% milk, for example. Fat is not your dietarily enemy. Plus taking out a macronutrient from food often mean adding other crap to it. In the case of choline, there seems to be more of it in low-fat and non-fat milk than whole milk.Don’t take supplements that include phosphatidylcholine or stand-alone lecithin, often found in brain or memory boost supplements if you had prostate cancer or at high risk of it. Lecithin improves absorbability of fat-soluble nutrients like curcumin, and it is often blended for that purpose. The amounts of lecithin, when used for this purpose, is small. A better nutrient for memory that doesn’t seem to increase prostate cancer risk is Acetyl L-Carnitine which I use in my Advanced ADT Support packet.And that’s the story between Eggs, choline and prostate cancer. Of course, I could have written a dissertation on this topic but wanted to provide you with brief, actionable information” he says.
Dr. Raphael NyarkoteyObu is a Research Professor of Prostate Cancer and Alternative Medicine –Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca City, Cyprus. A prolific science writer, product developer and scientists at RNG Medicine Research Lab& president of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine at Tema, Com 7 Post Office, which is affiliated to Da Vinci College in Cyprus. Dr. Nyarkotey is the National President of the Alternative Medical Association of Ghana (AMAG). A registered alternative Medical practitioner by the Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC) He can be reached on 0541090045. E mail: Oburalph30@yahoo.co.uk