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Optimal Egg Consumption to Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

New study by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences suggests a U-shaped relationship between egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, with moderate consumption recommended.

Carried out by researchers from Fuwai Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, the study looked at 102,136 participants from 15 provinces across China, who were all free of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer at the start of the study. The participants completed food-frequency questionnaires to assess their egg consumption and were then followed for 17 years.

The findings, published in Science China Life Sciences, showed that participants who ate three to six eggs per week had the lowest risk of CVD and death among the group. Eating less than an egg a week was linked with a 22 percent higher risk of CVD and a 29 percent higher risk of death, while eating 10 or more eggs per week corresponded to a 30 percent higher risk of CVD and a 13 percent higher risk of death.

The researchers also found that egg consumption appeared to have a different effect on different types of CVD. While those who ate more eggs had a higher risk of coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke, those who ate fewer eggs had a higher risk of haemorrhagic stroke.

The removal of limits on dietary cholesterol in the most recent US and Chinese dietary guidelines have provoked a considerable reaction, and this study appears to be a perfect riposte. Both the American Heart Association and the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association have subsequently released scientific reports and emphasized that “dietary cholesterol should not be given a free pass to be consumed in unlimited quantities”.  [APBN]

Source: Xia, X. et al. (2020). Associations of egg consumption with incident cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. Science China Life Sciences63(9), 1317-1327.