Choline & Breast Cancer

There is a lot of excitement over the discovery of potential links between choline an essential nutrient and breast cancer. Recent studies have raised hopes that an adequate intake of choline on a daily basis can reduce breast cancer risk by as much as 24%. This article will look at choline and how it actually makes a difference.

There have been a lot of articles in the press lately regarding the benefits of choline for women in terms of breast cancer prevention. The nutrient choline has been linked to a reduction in breast cancer risk in initial clinical trials and seems to be a promising candidate in the battle against breast cancer. Let us go through the link between choline & breast cancer.

Choline is not a part of the Vitamin B family right now, but it has a chemical structure which is very similar to others in the family and is usually mentioned with them in most manuals of biochemistry. The mechanism by which choline produces its effects in the body is not fully known and research on this is still in its nascent stage. This chemical entity interacts with folate and methionine in the body to produce most of its actions. Choline can be produced in the body and is available through dietary sources as well. The interest in the link between choline & breast cancer is because choline serves various functions in the human body. For example it is an important component of cell membranes, it plays a role in protecting the livers from accumulating fat and has an important role as the precursor molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The human body can produce small amounts of choline, but it must be a part of the diet to maintain health. In the human body, choline is found in molecules called phospholipids. The most common phospholipid which choline associates with is lecithin. These phospholipids of which choline are components of the cell membranes as mentioned before.

Several studies link an adequate intake of choline to a reduction in breast cancer risk. In 2003, a Harvard University study indicated that subjects who consumed more eggs which are one of the richest source of choline , vegetable fat, and fiber than the average girl during adolescence had a smaller risk of developing breast cancer as adults. Eating one egg per day was associated with an 18 percent reduction in risk . A recent study has again shown that choline 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. This study only adds to the growing body of evidence from research that links egg consumption to a decreased risk of breast cancer. This study has provided solid evidence linking choline & breast cancer. As of now just ten percent of Americans currently meet the recommended intake for choline.

According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended 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. One egg contains 125.5 milligrams of choline, or roughly a quarter the recommended daily supply. This makes eggs an excellent source of choline, a valuable nutrient. Choline is found exclusively in the egg’s yolk. Other good food sources of choline include liver, wheat germ and cauliflower.

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