The moderate consumption of egg is not linked with the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Eggs are a great source of iron, high quality-proteins, and unsaturated fatty acids and are affordable too. But in the past, it has been a topic of debate that egg intake is linked with cardiovascular disease risk due to the cholesterol content of eggs. Several studies have reported their findings with conflicting results which have caused more confusion.
Frequent measures of lifestyle and diet factors are needed to determine the link between egg intake and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, a research team from the US analyzed the link between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease cases containing stroke, non-fatal coronary disease, and fatal heart attack.
The complete study findings are published in the “British Medical Journal” and it is open for public viewing.
To know the association between egg consumption and CVD researchers used frequent dietary measures for thirty-two years. Information from three US group studies; The Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study (HPFS), The Nurses Health Study (NHS) and the NHSII are the basis of research findings.
Eighty-three thousand, three hundred and forty-nine female nurses aged 35-55; forty-two thousand, fifty-five male health professionals aged 40-75 and ninety thousand, two hundred fourteen female nurses aged 25-44 were included and at the start of study they were free of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Fourteen thousand, eight hundred and six cases of cardiovascular disease, including five thousand, nine hundred and three-stroke cases and nine thousand, ten coronary heart disease cases were observed. Most individuals ate 1-5 eggs per week and those who ate more eggs had a higher Body Mass Index.
No relationship was found between egg consumption and CVD risk after observing lifestyle, age, and dietary factors.
After adjusting for age, lifestyle, and dietary factors, no association was found between egg intake and risk of CVD. A high risk of CVD was estimated when researchers replaced one egg per day with meat (unprocessed or processed) while no association with CVD risk was observed when an egg was replaced with cheese, fish, legumes, nuts, and poultry.
About 28 observational studies also support the lack of a link between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease risk but the results of the studies performed in the Asia, US and Europe varied.
It was found that in Asian individuals moderate egg intake was linked with lower risks of CVD but no such link was found in the European and US population.
There was no overall association between egg intake and CVD risk among US and European studies, but moderate egg consumption was associated with a slightly lower CVD risk in Asian populations. Later it was investigated that in Asian populations eggs are used in different recipes, while eggs are eaten with grains and processed meats.
Adding to these findings researchers pointed some limitations of the study that it includes three groups of health professionals, hence findings of this study may not be thoughtful for the general public as well as it was revealed that citizens with higher egg consumption were comparatively less healthy. Researchers further added that there is a great need to explain these findings in the context that the average intake of eggs was comparatively low.
Professor Andrew Odegaard at the University of California, Irvine highlight that the finding of the study are strong but for formal counseling about egg intake all the eggs should not be placed under this observation. However, if egg intake is for nutritional needs then it is cardio-protective.