Too Much Egg And Cholesterol Consumption Increases Risk Of Heart Diseases, Study Shows

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Eggs are mostly part of our daily breakfast meal. Mornings would not be as joyful and energetic without these dairy products. Aside from choosing omelet, others found joy in having scrambled eggs or a sunny-side-up served on their plates. However, one bothering question continues to hunt us, and it is not which comes first ‘the egg or the chicken’ but the disconcerting thought whether eggs are healthy for you. The answer may upset egg lovers out there who are fond of eating the said product.

A new study revealed that people with higher eggs or cholesterol consumption may be at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, and might lower down mortality. The research was made by new Northwestern medicine which stated that cholesterol happens to be reasonably high in eggs and specifically yolks.

Egg yolks as defined by Science Daily, are one of the most abundant sources of dietary cholesterol among all commonly consumed food. One large egg contains 186 milligrams of dietary cholesterol in the yolk. On their analysis, they found a 17 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease and 18 percent of premature death each associated with an additional 300 milligrams of cholesterol intake per day.

Moreover, people who eat three to four eggs per week will be more likely to face a six percent higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, and an almost eight percent increased the risk of early death.

Other animal products which give out high cholesterol content are red meat, processed meat and high-fat dairy products such as butter or whipped cream, according to the lead author of the study, Wenze Zhong, a postdoctoral coed in preventive medicine at Northwestern.

This new study awakened the decade-old debate over guidelines for Americans’ cholesterol consumption.

Americans, the primary target of the study, are believed to get an average of 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day and an average of about half an egg daily, the study authors say. According to Norrina Allen, a Northwestern University medicine professor explained that the critical point of the study focuses on cholesterol, which happens to be high in eggs, adding that a healthy diet will require people to consume lower amounts of cholesterol to reduce the risk of heart diseases.

The research was published Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association which used pooled data on 29,615 US racially and ethnically diverse adults from six related and older studies which are being followed up for 31 years already.

The case of eating eggs has been widely debated over the years even today. Previous studies found that eating eggs did not raise the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, those researches generally had less diverse demographics with shorter follow up time and limited ability to adjust for other parts of the diet.

The data was conducted using a food frequency questionnaire or by taking a diet history. Each participant took the time to list down the food they’ve eaten for the previous year or month. The said data were all collected from a single visit. The study’s duration took almost 31 years, during which 5,400 cardiovascular activities and 6,132 cause-related deaths were diagnosed.

This data sparked questions from people whether they should stop eating eggs or not. Based on the study, people should keep dietary cholesterol intake low by eating less cholesterol-rich food such as eggs and red meat. The good news is, although the risk will be too much to handle, researchers indicated that people should not need to banish eggs and other food rich with cholesterol completely. This is because eggs are good sources of vital nutrients such as essential amino acids, iron, and choline.

Researchers instead advised people to choose egg whites instead of whole eggs. They cannot deny the fact that eggs are part of people’s daily breakfast and become a source of energy for some. Part of the researchers’ goal is to remind people that eating large amount of egg has a harmful effect. The best way to minimize the risk is to eat in moderation or with limitation.

The study is now supported by the American Heart Association and also by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute grants. It will be published on March 15 in JAMA and the following days to different international research centers.

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