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Eating Three Eggs A Week Increases Risk Of Dying Young -Study

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It’s a health topic that has long been debated – is it bad to eat too many eggs?

According to a US-based study published on February 9, if you’re eating just three eggs a week it can increase your chances of dying young.

Experts warned that the yolks in eggs are high in cholesterol and fat which can fuel cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

However, the Australian Heart Foundation says there are other factors to consider which haven’t been addressed in the study.

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Published in PLOS Medicine, the findings suggest that those who consumed an additional 300mg of cholesterol a day – about three eggs a week – were 19 per cent more likely to die over the next 16 years.

Cancer and cardiovascular disease mortality rose by 24 and 16 per cent, respectively.

It was based on data from 521,120 Americans aged 50 to 71 who were recruited between 1995 and 1996. They were followed until the end of 2011.

Of those participants, there were 129,328 deaths.

“Whole egg and cholesterol intakes were positively associated with risk of all-cause and major cause-specific mortality, whereas egg white/substitute consumption was inversely associated with mortality,” the study states.

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Co-author of the paper, professor Yu Zhang, of Zhejiang University, China, said: “In this study, intakes of eggs and cholesterol were associated with higher all cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality.

“The increased mortality associated with egg consumption was largely influenced by cholesterol intake.”

As a result, she recommends Americans limiting cholesterol intake and replacing whole eggs with whites/substitutes or other alternative protein sources, “for facilitating cardiovascular health and long-term survival”.

The study, based on participants in the US, suggested too many eggs can raise your risk of an early death.
The study, based on participants in the US, suggested too many eggs can raise your risk of an early death.Source:Supplied

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However, experts in both Australia and the UK have said more research is needed as it did not look at how the eggs were eaten.

“This is a large observational study which provides a bit more information in the diet puzzle; namely that people who report eating eggs in this study were more likely to be generally less healthy at the start of the study,” the Australian Heart Foundation nutritional manager and dietitian Beth Meertens told news.com.au.

“For example lower levels of physical activity, less variety and healthy foods in their eating pattern.

“Lived-in circumstances that we know impact on health (i.e. less income, less education and more likely to smoke) and that over the duration of the study were more likely to die from any cause … all while eating eggs.”

However, Aussie and UK experts have cautioned the research, saying it didn’t detail how the eggs were consumed, which plays a role.

The Australian Heart Foundation suggests aiming for around two to three egg-based meals a week to encourage a variety of other foods in your eating pattern.

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Dr Duane Mellor, senior teaching fellow at Birmingham’s Aston Medical School, said the study did not consider other foods eaten with the eggs.

“The effect of the foods eaten with the eggs was not fully considered, and it is clear that eggs can be eaten both as part of a high fat, high sugar diet as they can be eaten as part of a vegetable-rich, Mediterranean-type diet,” Dr Mellor told The Sun.

“The authors tried to hypothesise the effect of swapping whole eggs for egg whites, egg substitutes, poultry, fish, dairy, nuts or legume; however the idea of replacing eggs in the diet this way was not tested in the study, and instead they compared people who reported eating eggs with those who did not.”

But it suggested a limit of no more than seven for people who suffer from high cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes or heart disease with evidence suggesting it may increase heart disease.

Ms Meertens said for healthy Australians, the Heart Foundation recommends no limit to the amount of eggs that you can eat per week.

“Although we suggest aiming for around two to three egg-based meals a week to encourage a variety of other foods in your eating pattern,” she told news.com.au.

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“For people who suffer from high cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes or heart disease, we recommend fewer than seven eggs per week as evidence suggests that eating more eggs may increase your risks for heart disease and stroke.”

The study suggested to swap eggs to legumes – but other experts said eggs are a good choice as part of a healthy diet.

In the same vein, the Australian Government’s Australian Dietary Guidelines recognise eggs as a valuable source of low-cost, easy-to-prepare protein and describe a standard serve as two eggs (120g).

Ms Meertens said eggs are not uniquely harmful, with the variety of foods being more important.

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“The best available evidence demonstrates the overall eating pattern is important. Choosing healthful foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, fish, yoghurt and oils like olive oil is important for heart health.

“We recommend variety is important, and this message extends to foods like eggs, poultry, and meat.”

BlazeNewz Disclaimer

The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. Opinion articles, comments are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of BlazeNewz while we endeavour to keep the information accurate with objectivity as we adhere to global practice of journalism. Read our full Disclaimer.

Hammed Tajudeen is the editor in-chief of Blaze News, holds Higher National Diploma(HND) in Mass Communication, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.

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