Thursday, May 16, 2013

High Egg Consumption Linked To Heart Disease And Diabetes

I was just speaking about eggs too. (Men who consumed 2.5 or more eggs per week had an 81% increased risk of lethal prostate cancer compared with men who consumed less than 0.5 eggs per week.)

Here's a new study, a meta-analysis or study of 14 previously conducted studies which results have been pooled. Out online ahead of print:

Egg Consumption And Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases And Diabetes: A Meta-analysis, Atherosclerosis, May 2013

Those who consumed the most eggs (relative to those who consumed the least) had a:
  • 19% increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • 68% increased risk for developing diabetes
  • 83% increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease if they already had diabetes

And there was a dose-response relationship, meaning the more eggs they ate, the greater their risk for both CVD and diabetes. When a dose-response relationship is apparent, it lends more credence to the findings.


Bix said...

It's just not looking good for eggs.

RB said...

I see many diet specialists and health professionals tout the health benefits of eggs. Just on Monday Dr. Oz tweeted "I met a new friend this weekend. We had a great discussion about the health benefits of eggs. Protein/vitamin rich!" A picture was attached with Dr. Oz holding a chicken.

I avoid eggs. They may have some good nutrients but the down side, too much fat and cholesterol, just isn't worth it. Why do so many people who should know better ignore this? I suppose it is because it is a good source of protein, the perfect food. ;-)

Unknown said...

Y'know Bix, I still follow your blog---I feel it's good to see what "the other side" is posting.
That said, for the past 5 years or so, I've continued to eat 4+ eggs a day. My wife, 2. My 18 month old, 1, since she started solids.

I've posted about my labs before---high HDL, high LDL, low trigs, low CRP, low IDL, low VLDL. BP 110/50, resting HR 56 bpm. Body fat 7% at 170lbs and 6'0", and at 40, much leaner and fitter than I was at 20. 5km run under 20 minutes, deadlift 450lbs. Neither slow, nor weak. Honestly, it's just n=1, but I can't see eggs killing me anytime soon.

As a guy who runs an international nutritional consulting company, I recommend eggs based on the high nutrient density, cholesterol (essential for hormone creation), protein, and fat content . Seriously, is there a more nutrient dense food? Organ meat, maybe.

We all have our nutritional biases, these won't change. We will continue to find nutritional science on both sides, because it'll continue to be biased and clouded

I guess we will all find out how our choices panned out in the end. ;)

Bix said...

That's a lot of eggs. You lead a privileged life.

Unknown said...

"That's a lot of eggs. You lead a privileged life."

Didn't quite expect that as a response...if you mean I'm privileged, because I live in North America vs a 3rd world country, I do agree. But then every reader of this blog would be in that category, eggs and internet aside. :)

5 dozen eggs a week, at $4.00/doz from a local farmer, is 20 bucks a week. That seems neither expensive nor unreasonable to me.

bijin said...

Here's another blog I read. This person eats only the yolks.
I have Kwasniewski's book but I read too many health blogs that I'm in a state of confusion. People on Kwasneiwski's diet do well as also those on Esselstyn's so I guess in the "moderation" diet.

Angela and Melinda said...

Hopefully the chickens who provide your eggs haven't been fed with Roundup Ready corn, Mike. Do you buy organic eggs? I eat eggs too, but only a few times a month.

Unknown said...

Organic free range from a local farm. Shells are amazingly hard compared to grocery store, and yolks are a deep dark yellow.

Btw, Peter from Hyperlipid = nutrition Jedi master. That guy knows his stuff.

Unknown said...

My "girls" roam around all day pecking in the grass and weeds and we all have the most healthy things we can eat...for free. Surprised the old wive's tales about eggs are still floating around.

RB said...

Perhaps Mike is genetically priviledged. My wife's grandmother is now 101 and ate a lot of fried food during her life time. There is more going on then just food.

The May issue of National Geographic had an article on living beyond 100. It looked at the genetics of centenarians. They found centearians had protective genes. One gene, a variant of CETP (cholesteryl ester transfer protein) protects against cardiovascular disease. A particular version, or allele, "of a gene important to taste and digestion gave people a taste for bitter foods like broccoli and field greens, which are typically rich in compounds known as polyphenols that promote cellular health, but also allows cells in the intestine to extract nutrients more efficiently from food as it’s being digested."

Genes aren't the whole story either. But it can be one reason some people do OK on high fat diets and other have bypass surgery by age 50. I don't know if grandmother has any special protective genes.

Bix said...

Interesting point about genetic privilege.

That bit about an allele for bitter taste is fascinating. I'm on National Geographic's site right now looking for it.

I think I found it:

Bix said...

If these organic, free-range eggs are so healthful and so accessible and so inexpensive, why aren't they used in hospitals? Care homes? Schools? Why are they banned from purchase with food stamps?

Sometimes we who have so much, who are so privileged, can't see it. Or just don't care. We become self-centered, indignant even, dismissive of that which goes on to support our lifestyle.

Angela and Melinda said...

As someone who works at a nursing home for nuns who have access to organic veggies and other goodies from the organic farm they own, I have to agree with Bix that there's a financial chasm b/tw those who can afford organic and those who can't. And, distressingly, the nuns in the motherhouse get some of the organic farm produce, but those in the nursing home do not. I write a newsletter/blog for the farm, and hence get my veggies in exchange for my work, but I wouldn't be able to afford all that fresh, local, organic stuff if I didn't work for it.

Bix said...

While money is a barrier, it is not the only barrier. It is often not the primary barrier. Access and privilege are greater determinates to eating organically grown, local, fresh, humanely raised food than hard work.

If there is 1 apple and 10 people, how do all 10 people get to eat an apple?

Angela and Melinda said...

I agree with you Bix, but at least there are increasing attempts to start community gardens in abandoned lots in areas that are "food deserts." But we're hardly home free yet.

Bix said...

I don't think community gardens are the answer to having everyone enjoy the organic, fresh, local, humanely raised (is there such a thing?) diet that privileged people enjoy today. They are a wonderful thing ... for healthy people who have the time and energy and land and resources to manage them, or who have the money to pay someone to do it for them. (I like Michelle Obama's garden, but I don't believe it exists solely by the sweat of her brow.)

I know I am in a minority but I believe a more effective path to better-food-for-everyone is education. Lets make it easier for people to graduate high school with the raw materials for a productive college education. Let's make college affordable. It will raise awareness of food production and nutrition, strengthen the middle class, influence political decisions. It's a very powerful thing - education.

Actually, I'm wrong. I can think of something even more effective. If all of us who have organic, fresh, local, humanely raised food today donated it all to people who need it ... those in hospitals and nursing homes and schools and meals-on-wheels ... until those people can get their community gardens up and running, there would be a food revolution overnight.

Unknown said...


Your comments on access are noted; I see where the term "privileged" was meant, regarding said access. I definitely do not have the answers to better access...I think better education and understanding of nutrition in regards to health on a global scale is the key, but it's an almost insurmountable task. And, I think the trend of money = access will always continue. But there's also onus on the individual to seek out better nutrition.

Also, flip side to eggs and health, although I'd hardly call 30%kcal from carb "low carb":

Bix said...

What I take away from this study is that eating 3 whole eggs a day while keeping carbohydrate intake to 25-30% raises HDL-cholesteryl ester/triacylglycerol ratios, relative to eating yolk-free egg substitute.

That would be a secondary endpoint. How does that translate into a lower risk for heart attack? When...

"Some genetic mechanisms that raise plasma HDL cholesterol do not seem to lower risk of myocardial infarction. These data challenge the concept that raising of plasma HDL cholesterol will uniformly translate into reductions in risk of myocardial infarction."

- Plasma HDL cholesterol and risk of myocardial infarction: a mendelian randomisation study, May 2012

Study's lead author:
"It's been assumed that if a patient, or group of patients, did something to cause their HDL levels to go up, then you can safely assume that their risk of heart attack will go down. ... This work fundamentally questions that."
- Not All 'Good Cholesterol' Is 'Good': Raising HDL Not A Sure Route To Countering Heart Disease, ScienceDaily, May 2012


Peter said...

HealthyLongevity has a very informative 2-serie blog post on eggs.

Cracking Down on Eggs and Cholesterol

Peter said...

HealthyLongevity has an excellent 2-piece review on eggs.

Cracking Down on Eggs and Cholesterol

Leo said...

I'd say I eat about 6 a week. If I boil them I don't eat the yolks tho. :) peace