Higher egg and cholesterol consumption hikes heart disease and death risk

Eggs in moderation is generally considered a good addition to a daily diet. — Reuters pic

Eating as few as three eggs a week raises risk of heart disease, study suggests

What's more, the research claimed eating an egg a day could reduce the risk of stroke, which is often linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD), by 26 per cent.

A new, large study may serve up some confusing advice for egg lovers. Of the participants, the mean age was 52, no one had preexisting heart disease, 45 percent were men and 31 percent black.

The new study looked at pooled data on 29,615 US racially and ethnically diverse adults from six prospective cohort studies for up to 31 years of follow up. The new study offers only observational data but doesn't show that eggs and cholesterol caused heart disease and deaths, said Lee, who wasn't involved in the research.

The study was published Friday in the journal JAMA.

Speaking to Reuters Health about the study in question, study coauthor Norrina Allen, an associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago says that she wouldn't go as far to say that one should stop eating eggs entirely.

The researchers said you can still include eggs in a healthy diet, but in moderation. Eating 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day was associated with a 17 percent higher risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as an 18 percent increased risk of dying. Americans now consume an estimated 280 eggs per person, per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"There's always been a [suggestion in the data] that eggs can raise cholesterol and create cardiovascular harm", said Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of the Cardiovascular Prevention and Wellness program at National Jewish Health hospital in Denver.

But many experts say this new finding is no justification to drop eggs from your diet.

Mob Boss Murder: Gambino Crime Family Head Gunned Down at His Home
Aggressive federal prosecutions in the past 25 years decimated the ranks of New York's five Mafia families. The murder reminded Mob fans of the last NY "hit" on a Mafia boss, almost 40 years ago.

The study said, "Cholesterol is a common nutrient in the human diet and eggs are a major source of dietary cholesterol".

"It's a very large study with a very large number of different types of patients".

The findings stand in contrast to past studies that suggested cholesterol had little to no association with heart disease, and that saturated fat carried the greatest risk, Lauri Wright, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, who did not work on the study, told Newsweek. "They are not free from industry bias", she said. Each participant was asked a long list of what they'd eaten for the previous year or month.

"This study does a good job of parsing the data and identifying dietary cholesterol as an individual and independent component of diet" that's linked with heart disease and mortality, said Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

"We want to remind people there is cholesterol in eggs, specifically yolks, and this has a harmful effect", said Allen. That instruction was not included in the latest version of the guidelines, which did note that "this change does not suggest that dietary cholesterol is no longer important to consider".

In France, national nutrition guidelines refute the idea that you should not eat more than two eggs a week: "You can eat them regularly".

"We have one snapshot of what their eating pattern looked like", Allen said. "For example, poached eggs on whole-grain toast is a much healthier meal than a traditional fry up". However, that study was done on people who weren't eating a typical Western diet.

Latest News