Eggs are bad again? New study raises cholesterol questions
16 March, 2019, 15:42
Eggs may not be all they've been cracked up to be. Still, since higher consumption than average of either cholesterol or eggs is related to an increase in cardiovascular disease incidents like stroke and early death, the new finding is significant when considering the population at large, he said.
In a large trial published Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it appears that too much cholesterol in our diets, especially from egg yolks, can lead to both an increased risk of coronary artery disease and dying, with the degree of the risk correlated with how much cholesterol we eat.
Eggs were then looked at specifically because they are one of the richest sources of dietary cholesterol.
"We want to remind people there is cholesterol in eggs, specifically yolks, and this has a harmful effect", added Allen.
The researchers controlled the data to account for other foods in the diet, so while that pile of bacon on your breakfast plate may be a problem, it doesn't exonerate the eggs. And other factors may affect that association.
A recent Chinese study even concluded cholesterol decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease. That's because unlike a randomized controlled trial that tests the safety and efficacy of a drug, it's hard to randomly control what people eat over a long period of time, especially with a large sample size.
Most dietary studies are also observational, making their findings less reliable.
Compared with previous studies, "this report is far more comprehensive, with enough data to make a strong statement that eggs and overall dietary cholesterol intake remain important in affecting the risk" of heart disease and death, Dr. Robert H. Eckel writes in an editorial published along with the study.
"I don't think that this study would change general healthy eating guidelines" that emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans and limiting processed meats and sugar, Hu said.
Mickey Rubin is executive director of the American Egg Board's Egg Nutrition Center. While eating as little cholesterol as possible is still advised, the recommendations say eggs can still be part of a healthy diet, as a good source of protein, along with lean meat, poultry, beans and nuts. During that period, there were 1,302 deaths from heart attacks and 6,132 total deaths.
An analysis found that consuming 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day was associated with 17 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease and 18 percent higher risk of death.
You might be forgiven for thinking of eggs as beyond reproach. An expert panel said cholesterol was no longer "a nutrient of concern". On the flip side, this breakfast staple also delivers a significant dose of dietary cholesterol. They can still be part of a healthy diet, but in smaller quantities than many Americans have gotten used to, the researchers say. For example, a chopped-up hard-boiled egg in your salad is probably fine, because the rest of the food is low in cholesterol.
But 300 mg is twice the average daily amount eaten by Americans.
"No one food is just cholesterol". As with any food, "everything in moderation" remains good advice, said Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "Moderation is the key", Allen said. The study showed the more eggs, the greater the risk.
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