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Egg per day reduces risk of fatal cardiovascular disease

An egg every day? Bad for heart and blood vessels, some nutritional scientists keep telling us. However, recent studies suggest that the health risks of eggs may have been exaggerated. Epidemiologists from Beijing University will soon publish another of these studies in Heart. According to that study, which involved half a million Chinese aged 30-79 years, the risk of cardiovascular disease actually decreases a little when you consume an egg almost every day.

The researchers used data from the China Kadoorie Biobank Study, which were collected in 8 different regions between 2004 and 2015.

With every egg the study participants consumed weekly, their risk of a fatal cardiovascular disease decreased by 6 percent.

In this population, the group with the highest intake consumed an egg per day. This means that based on this study, you can say little about the health effects of taking multiple eggs a day.

Egg per day reduces risk of fatal cardiovascular disease

Egg per day reduces risk of fatal cardiovascular disease

But eggs contain cholesterol, don't they?
"Indeed, eggs are a major source of dietary cholesterol", the researchers write. "However, a recent systemic review [Am J Clin Nutr 2015;102:276-94.] demonstrated that though dietary cholesterol increased the level of serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), it also elevated high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and the LDL to HDL ratio, and it had no established causal effect on cardiovascular disease risk."

Egg per day reduces risk of fatal cardiovascular disease
Egg per day reduces risk of fatal cardiovascular disease
"Our findings of the inverse associations implicated that other components from eggs could have a favourable effect on cardiovascular health. Egg-derived phospholipid can raise HDL levels and enhance HDL function via preferentially incorporating into HDL cholesterol particles, further slowing down the progress of atherosclerosis."

"Likewise, high-quality egg protein resulted in greater satiety, lower postprandial glycaemia and insulinaemia, and reduced subsequent food intake in healthy and overweight individuals."

"Intake of eggs also increased plasma lutein and zeaxanthin, which play an important role in protecting against oxidation, inflammation and atherosclerosis."

"Among Chinese adults, a moderate level of egg consumption (up to almost one egg daily) was significantly associated with lower risk of CVD, largely independent of other risk factors", the researchers conclude.

Heart. 2018 May 21. pii: heartjnl-2017-312651.

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