Published: Tue, March 19, 2019
Medical | By Mark Scott

Three or more eggs a day increase heart disease risk, study says

Three or more eggs a day increase heart disease risk, study says

When they analyzed the data, the researchers found an association between egg consumption as reported at the start of the study and participants' risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Eating 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day - the average intake of adults in the U.S. - 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.

Egg yolks are the richest source of dietary cholesterol among all commonly consumed food - with one large egg providing 186 milligrams of cholesterol in its yolk, according to the study.

The study found daily consumption appeared to lower the risk of CVD.

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.

Two eggs contain more than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol.

But more recent dietary guidelines have loosened the reins on dietary cholesterol.

What are your thoughts on the research? There is sobering news for egg lovers who have been happily gobbling up their favorite breakfast since the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer limited how much dietary cholesterol or how many eggs they could eat.

But as Tom Sanders, a professor of dietetics at King's College London, points out, these results differ from a large U.S. study published in 1999 that found no effect - like a 2013 analysis of 3 million adults published in the British medical journal BMJ. She advises "egg maniacs" to go easy on the excessive egg consumption and exercise moderation.

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. "These new findings present one piece of proof", Allen says.

However, the study contradicts other research.

Sherman says if you're in the habit of eating a healthy diet, full of lots of plant-based, fiber-rich foods, then "eggs are a welcome part of the diet".

Exercise, overall diet quality and the amount and type of fat in the diet didn't change the association between the dietary cholesterol and cardiovascular disease and death risk.

The data was conducted using a food frequency questionnaire or by taking a diet history.

Should I stop eating eggs? The data used in the research was collected between March 25, 1985, and August 31, 2016. The study's duration took nearly 31 years, during which 5,400 cardiovascular activities and 6,132 cause-related deaths were diagnosed.

His bottom line is the same as Allen's: "Eat eggs in moderation". "We hope that in future research we are able to have a look at how adjustments in eating regimen over the long-term could also be impacting this threat for coronary heart illness", Allen says. "But we think they represent an estimate of a person's dietary intake".

"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".

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