Can eggs prevent breast cancer?

By Ann Griswold • Published: April 2nd, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Most pregnant women know that a healthy diet will increase their chances of birthing a healthy baby. Now a new study finds that eating eggs during pregnancy may reduce a daughter’s risk of breast cancer later in life.

Approximately one in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during her lifetime. Why the disease affects some women and not others is not entirely clear, but a new study suggests that a nutrient in eggs known as choline could be the key to cancer prevention.

Boston University researchers fed pregnant rats varying amounts of choline and monitored the progression of breast cancer in their female offspring. The scientists found that breast tumors grew more slowly in female rats whose mothers were fed diets rich in choline. Lower amounts of choline were associated with more aggressive tumors.

Experts say choline consumption should be considered more carefully when developing dietary guidelines. Only about ten percent of Americans consume an adequate amount of the nutrient.

The study isn’t the first to show the benefits of choline consumption during pregnancy. Previous research found that pregnant women who are deficient in the nutrient have a four-fold higher risk of giving birth to a baby with a neural tube defect such as spina bifida, where the baby’s spinal cord fails to close during the first months of pregnancy.

So now you know… diets rich in choline are an egg-selent way to kickstart a healthy future!