Two large, recent observational studies add to the evidence that most people can safely enjoy eating eggs without fear of endangering their heart health.
In an analysis of data from about 177,000 people in 50 countries, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, moderate consumption of eggs (up to an egg a day) was not associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), early death, or elevated blood cholesterol levels, even in people with a history of CVD or diabetes. Nor was moderate egg intake linked with cardiovascular disease—including coronary heart disease and stroke—in a study published shortly after in BMJ, which looked at data from more than 215,000 health professionals, after adjusting for age, lifestyle, and dietary factors.
Eggs were once seen as coronary landmines because of their high content of dietary cholesterol, but research in recent years has largely exonerated them since it turns out that saturated fat in food, rather than dietary cholesterol, has by far the greater effect on blood cholesterol and the related risk of heart attacks and strokes.
An earlier clinical trial in theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2018, funded by the egg industry, found that a higher intake of eggs—two a day, in the context of a healthy diet—had no negative effect on blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar control, or markers of inflammation over a year in people with type 2 diabetes, compared to low egg intake (two a week). The new studies were not industry-funded.
A version of this article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
Also see A New Spin on Eggs.