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Eggs now good for heart health?

4 min read

First, eggs were vilified as bad for heart health because of their cholesterol content.

Then, they were deemed to be not as bad as originally thought.

Now, eggs are now being touted as preventing cardiovascular disease - at least according to one new study.

Published today in the BMJ journal Heart, the research concludes that eating an egg a day could reduce cardiovascular risk compared with eating no eggs at all.

In fact, the authors say, it could reduce the risk of stroke by 26 percent.

The researchers looked at the egg consumption habits of more than 410,000 Chinese adults to find how many had cardiovascular events. They concluded that those who ate some egg every day had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease overall.

“The present study finds that there is an association between a moderate level of egg consumption - up to one egg a day - and a lower cardiac event rate,” they wrote. “Our findings contribute scientific evidence to the dietary guidelines with regard to egg consumption for the healthy Chinese adult.”

But Alice H. Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University and volunteer spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, said the conclusions are not as clear as they might appear.

First of all, she said, the largest amount of eggs consumed daily by the study participants - three quarters of an egg - is much smaller than what Americans typically eat.

“This really doesn’t jive with what we’re consuming in the U.S.,” she told The Greenville News. “So in terms of the U.S., you can’t learn all that much from it.”

Lichtenstein also said the study shows a possible association between eating eggs and heart disease, not causation.

In addition, there could be other variables that affected the results, such as genetics, income and education.

“It turns out those individuals who are consuming the highest amount of eggs in that population also happen to be the most highly educated and highest income, which means they could also be eating a healthier diet in general and getting better medical care,” she said. “Superimposing (the results) on the U.S. population is misguided.”

To read the full study, go to http://heart.bmj.com/lookup/doi/10.1136/heartjnl-2017-312651.

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