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Consuming an Egg Each Day Has No Influence on Cardiovascular Health

05/28/2018

A recent article posted on Reuters by Lisa Rapaport provided details of a retrospective longitudinal study on the effect of egg consumption in consumers in China.*  A cohort of 461,000 adults over 51 years of age was followed for nine years.  The subjects were divided into three categories – those avoiding eggs; consuming an egg every other day or one egg per day.  At the beginning of the study period, none of the subjects suffered from a cardiovascular condition.

 

Over the nine year period, 18 percent either suffered a heart attack or a stroke and 2.2 percent died as a result of cardiovascular disease.   Individuals consuming 0.8 eggs per day were 11 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease and 18 percent less likely to die from these conditions.

 

Limitations of this study relate to the specific diets and environmental factors in China which may not correspond with populations in North America.

 

A discordant note was sounded by Dr. J. David Spence of the Western University Stroke Prevention and Atherosclerosis Research Center in Canada who stated, “Eggs are not safe for anyone at risk for heart attacks or strokes but particularly not for diabetics.”  Eggs increase the risk of vascular disease in these population groups, according to Spence.

 

In contrast Dr. Luc Djousse of the Harvard Medical School stated, “This is an important conclusion especially in the part of the world where eggs are a major source of high quality protein and other important nutrients.”

 

The take home message from this study is that when consumed in moderation by essentially healthy consumers, there does not appear to be an elevated risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

 

*Qin C, Lv J, Guo Y, et al Associations of egg consumption with cardiovascular disease in a cohort study of 0.5 million Chinese adults. Heart Published Online: 21 May 2018.  doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2017-312651