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Does eating eggs cause ovarian cancer?

22 March 2017


A recent article on the Express reported that eating more than two eggs a week can cause an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Is there any truth in this?

What is being reported?

Vegan health charity Viva! Health claims research shows that eating more than two eggs a week increases risk of ovarian and prostate cancer by 80% and suggests that even one egg a week increases the risk by as much as 70%.

The charity suggests that as eggs are a rich source of cholesterol which is involved in the synthesis of sex hormones such as testosterone and oestrogens that promote cell growth, high levels of these can contribute to cancerous growth in hormone-sensitive tissues such as ovary and or prostate.

However, no scientific evidence is offered to back this theory up.  

Is there any truth in this?

There is currently no evidence to suggest that eating eggs can cause ovarian cancer. People have diets of such wide variety that identification of a specific food as a cancer risk would require in depth research to be carried out over many years.  

Eggs can be eaten as part of a healthy, balanced diet and are a good source of protein and B vitamins.  

It is advisable to limit how often you have fried eggs, as frying increases the amount of saturated fat which can lead to an increased risk of things such as heart disease. But eating eggs in general does not pose any significant health risk.

What does increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer?

Things we know can cause an increased risk of ovarian cancer include family history and genetics, age, being overweight or obese, and smoking. More information about ovarian cancer risk can be found here.