Medicine

Study Links Eggs to Premature Death

Study Links Eggs to Premature Death

"A more appropriate recommendation would be eating egg whites instead of whole eggs or eating whole eggs in moderation, for the goal of reducing risk of cardiovascular disease and death", he said.

The new study looked at pooled data on 29,615 USA racially and ethnically diverse adults from six prospective cohort studies for up to 31 years of follow up. "Whether dietary cholesterol or egg consumption is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality remains controversial". The study focused on eggs because they're among the most commonly eaten cholesterol-rich foods.

A new, large study may serve up some confusing advice for egg lovers. Indeed, at 186 milligrams of cholesterol per egg yolk, eggs are one of the highest cholesterol foods typically consumed by Americans.

Based on the study, people should keep dietary cholesterol intake low by reducing cholesterol-rich foods such as eggs and red meat in their diet.

Although previous studies on egg consumption found that eggs did not increase the risk of heart disease, the studies did not have a diverse sample and were short-term studies that did not adjust for other parts of the diet, Norrina Allen, co-author and associate professor of preventive medicine, said in a press release.

But a new study published in the medical journal JAMA re-opens a longstanding debate about the risks tied to consuming too much dietary cholesterol.

After analyzing 30,000 Americans from six separate studies, researchers concluded that eating an extra half-egg a day increased the risk of cardiovascular disease (six per cent) and premature death (eight per cent) over the study period.

Whether or not dietary cholesterol is a major contributor to heart disease and stroke has been debated for decades. That instruction was not included in the latest version of the guidelines, which did note that "this change does not suggest that dietary cholesterol is no longer important to consider".

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The researchers calculated that those who ate 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily - about 1 ½ eggs - were 17 percent more likely to develop heart disease than whose who didn't eat eggs.

Government dietary guidelines for decades said people should eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day.

Basically, it all boils down to this: Eggs - in moderation - can be part of a healthy diet. The data used in the research was collected between March 25, 1985, and August 31, 2016. "There is no safe or unsafe amount [to eat] but I do like the saying an egg a day is OK".

"We want to remind people there is cholesterol in eggs, specifically yolks, and this has a harmful effect", said Allen, who mentioned that she still cooks scrambled eggs for her children.

Dr. Terrence Sacchi, chief of cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in New York City and was not involved in the research, said this study is a "wake-up call not to overdo high-cholesterol foods". The findings were published Friday in JAMA.

But the Northwestern researchers said their study suggests those guidelines may have to be looked at yet again.

"In science, the way it works is we don't think of it as one study having the final word", she said. "We've always said you can have egg whites but you should probably limit your amount of egg yolk consumption". "This is the diet we should be adopting".

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