More evidence to overturn eggs’ ‘bad’ reputation

Good news for breakfast lovers – another study has exonerated eggs, finding that eating one egg a day did not increase the risk of heart disease. Old-time myths that eggs were just “cholesterol bombs” aimed squarely at our arteries aren’t borne out by facts.

Egg yolks are high in cholesterol, but this new analysis by Harvard researchers adds to the evidence that they are not the dietary sin we once thought they were. The review suggests that for most people, eating one egg a day is not bad for the heart.

Researchers reviewed eight prospective studies including 263,938 subjects and pooled the data for analysis. They found no evidence that eating up to an egg a day increased the risk of heart disease or stroke. The results were the same for men and women and in all age ranges.

Diabetic patients were the only exception. For them, high egg consumption was associated with an increased risk of heart disease and a reduced risk for haemorrhagic stroke. But there were too few diabetics in the studies to draw reliable conclusions.

The authors, writing online this month in the journal BMJ, acknowledge that self-reports regarding food consumption are not always reliable and that most of the studies had no information about the cooking methods, which could have affected the results.

A co-author of the study, Dr Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard, said that eating two or three or more eggs a day might be harmful, in theory, although there is no data on that.

“But within the modest range of one a day, which applies to most people, there is no dose-response relationship with higher consumption,” Hu said.

Journal Reference:

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 7 January 2013)

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