Eating eggs increases the risk of heart disease

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

The researchers followed almost 30,000 adults over three decades and found that eating three or four eggs a week was tied to a 6 percent higher risk of heart disease and an 8 percent risk of dying from any cause.

Eating 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day - the average intake of adults in the USA - is associated with a 17 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease and an 18 percent higher risk of death from any cause, according to the study.

Researchers at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and elsewhere pooled results from six previous studies, analyzing data on nearly 30,000 US adults who self-reported daily food intake.

An analysis found that consuming 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day was associated with 17 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease and 18 percent higher risk of death. Most recently, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans stated that cholesterol wasn't a concern, but that individuals should "also eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible".

The report said egg yolks are one of the richest sources of cholesterol among commonly consumed foods.

"The fact that studies outside the USA appear to show favorable relationships with egg intake and cardiovascular risk may speak to the importance of what other foods are consumed with eggs as part of the overall diet pattern, as recent research has demonstrated the importance of separating eggs from other foods to understand their independent impact on health outcomes", Rubin said in a statement.

It's enough to put you off your breakfast: an egg a day increases the risk of heart disease by 12 per cent, an overview of research suggests.

The results from this latest study are a stark contrast from research released past year which found eating an egg a day could do wonders for your health.

"The more cholesterol you consume, the higher your risk of heart disease and dying", said study senior author Norrina Allen, an associate professor of preventive medicine from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. In a study published Friday in the medical journal JAMA, he and his colleagues noted that a single large egg contains about 186 mg of cholesterol.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines advised people to limit cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams per day.

The researchers say the culprit is cholesterol, found in egg yolks and other foods, including shellfish, dairy products and red meat.

USA dietary guidelines that eased limits on cholesterol have helped eggs make a comeback. Participants were followed for roughly 17 years, on average. During that period, there were 1,302 deaths from heart attacks and 6,132 total deaths.

"We know that dietary recall can be bad", said Lee.

But the Northwestern researchers said their study suggests those guidelines may have to be looked at yet again.

You might be forgiven for thinking of eggs as beyond reproach. Nutrition experts say the new study is unlikely to change that advice. You're getting a lot of protein, though you can get that from egg whites, too.

She recommends sticking to a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in heart-healthy plant-based foods that are also low in cholesterol, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

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