Eggs linked to increased cholesterol, risk of heart disease in new study

Spencer Underwood
March 19, 2019

Adults who consume around 1 ½ eggs daily had a marginally more risk of heart disease than those who consume none. It doesn't present that eggs and cholesterol caused heart disease and deaths, said Lee.

In recent years eggs have enjoyed a rehabilitation in recent years after being branded as unhealthy and artery clogging.

People who eat three or four eggs per week or 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day have a higher risk of heart disease and early death compared with those who eat fewer eggs. One large egg contains about 186 milligrams of dietary cholesterol in the yolk.

The researchers found that eating just three to four eggs per week was tied to a 6 percent higher risk of heart disease, and an 8 percent risk of dying from any cause, according to HealthDay.

The authors of the new study, from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, conclude that Americans should limit their cholesterol and egg consumption, and that current dietary guidelines for cholesterol may need to be reevaluated. 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".

What are your thoughts on the research? As Americans have embraced low-carb diets, many have turned to eggs as a reliable protein source. It will be published on March 15 in JAMA and the following days to different global research centers. WW (formerly Weight Watchers) tells its members to eat eggs with abandon, counting them as a free food in its diet plan.

When the researchers looked at what foods contained a lot of dietary cholesterol, eggs, red meat and processed meats stood out.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans said that cholesterol is no longer a "nutrient of concern", but that individuals should "also eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible".


Other experts weren't entirely convinced that the study shows that eggs were causing heart disease.

"Our study showed if two people had exact same diet and the only difference in diet was eggs, then you could directly measure the effect of the egg consumption on heart disease".

"Eggs in moderation - around 3 to 4 per week - is fine, and that is what current United Kingdom dietary guidelines say", Sanders said.

The guidelines also include weekly egg consumption as part of a healthy diet. "There is no safe or unsafe amount [to eat] but I do like the saying an egg a day is OK".

The data was conducted using a food frequency questionnaire or by taking a diet history. The study had up to 31 years of follow up (median: 17.5 years), during which 5,400 cardiovascular events and 6,132 all-cause deaths were diagnosed. This is because eggs are good sources of vital nutrients such as essential amino acids, iron, and choline.

"We have one snapshot of what their eating pattern looked like", Allen said.

"I'm sorry if it seems like a boring recommendation", she added, but for most people, the most important diet advice "should be to maintain a healthy weight, to exercise, and to get an adequate amount of sleep".

Researchers instead advised people to choose egg whites instead of whole eggs.

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