Park Ridge, Ill. (April 3, 2008) Choline, an essential nutrient found in foods such as eggs, is associated with a 24 percent reduced risk of breast cancer, according to a study supported by a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), to be published in The FASEB Journals print issue in June.(1) This study adds to the growing body of evidence that links egg consumption to a decreased risk of breast cancer.
In this new case-control study of more than 3,000 adult women, the risk of developing breast cancer was 24 percent lower among women with the highest intake of choline compared to women with the lowest intake. Women with 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, says Steven H. Zeisel, MD, PhD, University of North Carolina, who is an author of the study and a leading choline researcher. Increasing evidence shows that it may be particularly important for women, particularly those of child-bearing age.
Only ten percent of Americans currently meet the recommended intake for choline, identifying a need to increase choline intake across the population.(2) According to the Institute of Medicine, adequate choline intake is 550 milligrams per day for men and breastfeeding women, 425 milligrams per day for women, and 450 milligrams per day for pregnant women.(3) 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.(4) Choline is found exclusively in the eggs 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 havent even heard of it, says 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. 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.
Eggs and Decreased Risk of Breast Cancer:
Two previously published studies, supported by NIH grants, have shown that women who eat eggs have a lower risk of developing breast cancer:
Other Benefits of Choline:
In addition to playing a role in the normal functioning of all cells, including brain and nerve function, liver metabolism and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body, choline has been shown to:
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