Monday, 22 April, 2019

Are eggs good or bad? New study links eggs to heart disease

Are eggs good or bad for you Eating as few as three eggs a week raises risk of heart disease, study suggests
Francis Osborne | 19 March, 2019, 05:56

Researchers who conducted the study explained that when it comes to a normal human diet, cholesterol is quite common, with eggs being a major source of dietary cholesterol. "If you're consuming a huge amount of processed meats, it doesn't matter how many eggs you're eating".

Even an egg every other day significantly raises the chances of heart attacks and early death, according to the latest instalment in the ever-more complex debate on the role of cholesterol in ill health.

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.

"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.

Sanders thinks the new results are only relevant for the United States, where the average person eats more eggs and meat than in Europe. Eggs contain other nutrients important to a healthy diet, such as iron and amino acids.

"Eggs, especially the yolk, is the main source of dietary cholesterol", wrote Victor Jung, lead author of the study and a PhD candidate in the Department of preventive medicine School of medicine at northwestern University Feinberg in Chicago.

Over time, there were 5,400 cardiovascular-related adverse outcomes, including 2,088 fatal and non-fatal heart disease events, 1,302 fatal and non-fatal stroke events, 1,897 fatal and non-fatal heart failure events and 113 other cardiovascular disease deaths. For example, a chopped-up hard-boiled egg in your salad is probably fine, because the rest of the food is low in cholesterol. Participants were followed for an average of 17.5 years.

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But as Tom Sanders, a professor of dietetics at King's College London, points out, these results differ from a large United States study published in 1999 that found no effect - like a 2013 analysis of 3 million adults published in the British medical journal BMJ. 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. "These new findings present one piece of proof", Allen says. Of course, cheeseburgers have many other dietary problems, including saturated fat and sodium.

The study results were drawn after looking at data from 29,615 adults pooled from 6 prospective cohort studies in the United States, over a time period of 17.5 years.

Dr. Frank Hu of Harvard University noted that most previous studies have shown that eating a few eggs weekly is not linked with risks for heart disease in generally healthy people. Self reported data was analyzed using a standardized protocol in this study.

His bottom line is the same as Allen's: "Eat eggs in moderation". WW (formerly Weight Watchers) tells its members to eat eggs with abandon, counting them as a free food in its diet plan.

"We want to remind people there is cholesterol in eggs, specifically yolks, and this has a harmful effect", said Allen, who cooked scrambled eggs for her children that morning.

The study is now supported by the American Heart Association and also by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute grants.

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