New study finds association between high egg consumption and mortality

Are Eggs Actually Healthy? Dietitians recently weighed in on what you need to know about nutrition in eggs. One large egg has about 6 grams of protein and only 72 calories. Eggs are also rich in nutrients The yolk contains many of the egg's nutrients, which includes high amounts of iron. The egg white only contains protein and some B vitamins, so experts recommend eating the whole egg. Eggs contain high levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, and people who ate about one egg a day had lower rates of heart dis

Despite the study, experts remain skeptical

Information on whether or not eggs are healthy for you changes often and a recently published study has offered more insight into whether or not eating lots of them is good or bad for you.

Research published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine shows that eating just a portion of an egg, which includes the cholesterol-containing yolk with half the food’s protein and the majority of the nutrients, can increase the risk of dying from a variety of causes. According to CNN, those causes of death include cancer and cardiovascular disease.

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“Whether consumption of egg and cholesterol is detrimental to cardiovascular health and longevity is highly debated. Data from large-scale cohort studies are scarce. This study aimed to examine the associations of egg and cholesterol intakes with mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and other causes in a US population,” researchers wrote in the abstract.

For the study, researchers analyzed more than 500,000 participants with an average age of 62.2. They were gathered from six U.S. states and two cities between 1995 and 1996 and the majority of participants — 91.8% — were non-Hispanic and white. The study was long-term and participants were followed up until the close of 2011.

Findings showed that the overall mortality risk increased by 7% for every half an egg additionally consumed each day, according to CNN.

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.

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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.

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