According to the study, participants who ate egg whites or egg substitutes had a lower “all-cause mortality and mortality” from cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and respiratory disease than people who did not consume those foods.
“There were 129,328 deaths including 38,747 deaths from CVD during a median follow-up of 16 years. Whole egg and cholesterol intakes were both positively associated with all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality. In multivariable-adjusted models, the hazard ratios,” researchers stated in the article.
While scientists acknowledged the limitations of the study, including that it was observational and relied on self-reporting from participants even though there were adjustments for admitted dietary and lifestyle risk factors, researchers concluded consuming eggs and cholesterol were linked — albeit indirectly — to greater overall causes of death including along with cardiovascular disease and cancer.
“The increased mortality associated with egg consumption was largely influenced by cholesterol intake,” they wrote. “Our findings suggest limiting cholesterol intake and replacing whole eggs with egg whites/substitutes or other alternative protein sources for facilitating cardiovascular health and long-term survival.”
Still, experts are skeptical.
“Despite many years of research this question about eggs and health has not been answered, with multiple observational studies over the last few decades showing conflicting results — some suggesting moderate egg intake is good, while others suggesting it may be bad,” Riyaz Patel, a consultant cardiologist at University College London, told CNN in a statement. “This study, although well-conducted, unfortunately only adds more noise to the discussion.”
The American Heart Association suggests consuming one egg or two egg whites per day as part of a healthy diet. The nonprofit’s journal released a study in May 2020 that found there was no significant link between consuming an additional half an egg each day and overall death.