The common controversy over whether eating eggs is bad for heart health may finally have been dissolved thanks to new findings by scientists at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada and Hamilton Health Sciences.
Although eggs are known as a rich source of essential nutrients, they are also known as a source of dietary cholesterol- something that, in excessive quantities can negatively impact heart health. Thus, guidelines until now have usually assigned limits to the number of eggs to be consumed per week to prevent negative effects on cholesterol.
New research however contradicts these guidelines. For their study, researchers analyzed three international studies previously conducted by the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI). While one study examined the egg consumption of 146,011 people from 21 countries, the other two examined 31,544 individuals with vascular disease.
In the end, the researchers found that there is no association between egg consumption and cardiovascular health indicators. In particular, they reported that moderate egg intake, or roughly one egg per day or most people, neither increases one’s risk of cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality or blood lipid levels. This finding remained even when patients had a history of cardiovascular disease of diabetes. Adding to this, the researchers also found no link between egg consumption and cholesterol levels in blood, its components and other risk factors.
The researchers highlight that their findings contradict findings from earlier studies, which generally recommend limiting egg consumption to fewer than three per week due to concerns that they may increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. The reason behind this contradictory finding however, according to the study’s principal investigator, Salim Yusuf, is due to their insufficient sample sizes alongside a limited demographic samples, usually only considering people from high-income countries.
Due to the large sample size in this study, alongside its wide population coverage- spanning 50 countries over six continents, and analysis of individuals from varying socioeconomic statuses, the researchers say that their results are more reliable than those from previous studies. They now hope that their findings can go on to better inform nutrition practices by dispelling the commonly-held egg-cholesterol myth.