Do not stir the diet over eggs and heart study

May 22, 2018: Could an egg a day keep heart disease at bay, despite warnings in the past that cholesterol was bad for the heart? Chinese researchers suggest that it could, after its study that followed more than 400,000 adults for about 9 years, discover that an egg a day reduced the possibility of heart disease and strokes.

"Among Chinese adults, a moderate level of egg consumption, even less than one egg a day was significantly badociated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease," the researchers reported in the journal Heart.

In the study, eating an egg a day reduced the chance of dying from heart disease by 18% and reduced the risk of hemorrhagic stroke by 28%, compared to those who never, or rarely, ate eggs . This was true even after the researchers took into account other things that could affect risk, such as diet and exercise. Haemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.

But US consumers UU They should take the news about eggs with a grain of salt, says Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, Gershoff professor of nutrition science and policy at the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University in Medford, MA. She did not participate in the study.

"It's an interesting study, but we can not draw conclusions [for the U.S.] because they consumed so little cholesterol," says Lichtenstein, who is also a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. She says that most of the Chinese participants really ate few eggs.

What the study found

From 2004 to 2008, researchers from the Center for Health Sciences at Peking University in Beijing and other institutions recruited more than half a million Chinese adults. ages 30 to 79, from 10 sites in China. They disqualified those who had a history of cancer, heart disease, stroke or diabetes, ending up with more than 400,000 people. They asked all the participants how many eggs they ate and how often.

At the beginning of the study, approximately 13% of the participants reported eating eggs every day: three-quarters of an egg, on average. And 9% said they never or rarely ate eggs, eating on average a quarter of an egg a day. In general, the average diet among all participants was approximately half an egg a day.

Researchers tracked which of the participants had heart disease or strokes during the 9-year follow-up period. They found almost 84,000 cases of heart disease or stroke. Nearly 10,000 died from heart disease or stroke.

Why the link?

The study found an badociation, or a link, but can not prove cause and effect. The researchers cite other research that found that egg cholesterol had no net effect on the likelihood of heart disease. They say that other things that are in the eggs could help explain the link they found with heart health.

But scientists also point out the limitations of the study, such as trusting people to remember and record what they ate, which is always subject to error.

Over the years, the issue of eggs and heart health has been controversial.

Tips for lovers of eggs from the USA UU

"I do not think we can use this data to say what the consequences might be for the US Population," says Lichtenstein. His highest group was eating less than one egg a day, he says.

And what to do? "The current data suggest if you want to have an egg every day or a couple of eggs every two days, that's fine for most people," he says.

Use that information and your doctor's guidance to decide how many eggs to eat, he says.

"There is no convincing research data to indicate that an egg a day is problematic," says Teresa Fung, ScD, RD, badistant professor of nutrition at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health: "What would be problematic is how prepare the egg and what else is consumed daily.One egg a day in the form of a bacon and egg sandwich would be problematic. "

One egg has 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of saturated fat and 185 milligrams of cholesterol, says the American Egg Board.

According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, dietary cholesterol is not considered a "nutrient of concern for overconsumption." The previous guidelines recommended not having more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day. The new guidelines say the evidence shows "no appreciable relationship" between cholesterol in your diet and your blood cholesterol levels.


BMJ Heart : "Associations of egg consumption with cardiovascular disease in a cohort study of 0.5 million Chinese adults."

Alice Lichtenstein, DSc., Professor of science and policy Gershoff nutrition, and director and principal scientist, Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, Tufts University JM USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Boston.

American Egg Board: "Egg Nutrition."

2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Teresa Fung, ScD, RD, badistant professor of nutrition at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

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