Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
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Researchers issue new warning about eggs

Researchers issue new warning about eggs

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.

Although some previous studies have failed to find a link between eggs, along with other forms of cholesterol consumption, and heart disease risk, the new study was able to thoroughly adjust for other foods in a person's diet in order to focus on the effect of eggs and cholesterol. The sunny-side down news comes from Northwestern University researchers, who analyzed 30,000 USA adults over three decades.

They also found that eating three or four eggs a week was associated with a 6 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease incidents and 8 percent higher risk of death generally. In 2015, the experts who compile the U.S. Dietary Guidelines largely gave cholesterol a pass, saying there wasn't enough evidence to support telling Americans to stick to a certain daily limit.

Egg yolks are one of the richest sources of cholesterol with one large. "As part of a healthy diet, people need to consume lower amounts of cholesterol".

The study has limitations and contradicts recent research, but is likely to rekindle the long-standing debate about eggs.

After analyzing 30,000 Americans from six separate studies, researchers concluded that eating an extra half-egg a day increased the risk of cardiovascular disease (six per cent) and premature death (eight per cent) over the study period.

For years eggs were shunned because of concerns that their high cholesterol content was bad for the heart. On average, the study participants consumed 241 milligrams of cholesterol per day. Participants were asked about their dietary habits over the last month or year in an extensive questionnaire. Over the follow-up period, a total of 5,400 cardiovascular events occurred, including 1,302 fatal and nonfatal strokes, 1,897 incidents of fatal and nonfatal heart failure and 113 other heart disease deaths.


However, though flawed, Cho says these studies are important for a better understanding of nutrition research.

"No one food is just cholesterol".

"A more appropriate recommendation would be eating egg whites instead of whole eggs or eating whole eggs in moderation, for the objective of reducing risk of cardiovascular disease and death", he said.

"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.

Dr. Terrence Sacchi, chief of cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in New York City and was not involved in the research, said this study is a "wake-up call not to overdo high-cholesterol foods". As Americans have embraced low-carb diets, many have turned to eggs as a reliable protein source.

Newer research questioned that relationship, finding that saturated fats contribute more to unhealthy levels of blood cholesterol that can lead to heart problems. Eggs, a breakfast staple for many, can be included but other options should also be considered, "like whole grain toast with nut butter, fresh fruits, and yogurt", Hu said.

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