Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Study Links Eggs to Premature Death

Study Links Eggs to Premature Death

She advises "egg maniacs" to go easy on the excessive egg consumption and exercise moderation. Research from Northwestern Medicine finds that adults who ate several eggs per week and high amounts of dietary cholesterol had a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death from any cause.

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.

"So much data have already been published on this topic, which generally show that low-to-moderate egg consumption (no more than one egg per day) is not associated with increased risk of heart attack or stroke", Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in an email.

However, the study contradicts other research. Indeed, at 186 milligrams of cholesterol per egg yolk, eggs are one of the highest cholesterol foods typically consumed by Americans.

The study can not prove cause and effect and is unlikely to be the last word on the matter, but experts said moderation was probably the safest course, advising no more than three or four eggs a week.

Whether eating eggs or cholesterol, which is also found in products such as red meat, processed meat and high-fat dairy products, is linked to cardiovascular disease and death has always been a subject of debate, the researchers said.

That said, the relationship between eggs and the risks of heart disease and early death is only "modest", he said. 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. Additional results showed that eating three to four eggs a week was associated with a 6 percent higher risk of heart disease and an 8 percent higher risk of all-cause death.

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Zhong also warned that avoiding eggs and cholesterol-rich foods could lead to an "imbalanced and unhealthy diet" as eggs and red meat "can be good sources of many important nutrients such as essential amino acids, iron, and choline".

Allen and her team pooled data on almost 30,000 racially and ethnically diverse adults between 1985 and 2016. 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.

The authors even suggest that the most recent version of the federal dietary guidelines, in which eating eggs is still recommended, may need to be re-evaluated in light of their study's findings.

The new results were published online Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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

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

"We have one snapshot of what their eating pattern looked like", Allen said. "We've always said you can have egg whites but you should probably limit your amount of egg yolk consumption". However, that study was done on people who weren't eating a typical Western diet.

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