Are Eggs Bad for You?

Benefits of Good Health
December 22, 2012
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April 22, 2013

There has been a new study out on the effectiveness and danger of eggs for people over forty. What it showed was that the number of eggs eaten per week is directly proportional to the thickening of the arteries and that eggs are almost as bad for you as is cigarette smoking.

This is because egg yolks (the yolk only) contain a great deal of cholesterol that eventually clogs the arteries and leads to heart disease and stroke. The egg white of the egg isn’t at all dangerous, containing mostly albumin, a protein.

The study was published in the journal Atherosclerosis. The thickness of the carotid artery in 1231 patients were measured and they were asked each a great deal about their health history, including smoking history, exercise history and the number of egg yolks they ate per week. They created a number called “egg yolk years” which is the number of egg yolks eaten per week times the number of years this amount was eaten. This is similar to the number called “pack years” in smokers.

The patients in the study had all had a transient ischemic attack or “mini stroke” in which stroke symptoms developed but which disappear after a short period of time. Transient ischemic attacks are a sign of a possible impending stroke.

In the study, it turned out that tobacco smoking and eating egg yolks increased the thickness of the carotid artery similarly, with both tobacco smoke and egg yolks being equally bad for you. Those who rarely ate egg yolks still had an increase in their carotid artery wall after 40 but it grew more slowly than in those who ate egg yolks. Those with the 20 percent highest egg yolk intake had narrowing that was about two thirds that of those who were the heaviest tobacco users.

The researchers believe that we should look more carefully at the intake of dietary cholesterol as a risk factor for stroke and other heat diseases. Nutritionists have recently felt that egg yolks aren’t as dangerous as once thought but with this new study, perhaps a second and third look at the food group should be undertaken.

It is recommended that people limit eating cholesterol to no more than 300 mg per day. Just one egg yolk already has 200 mg per day. People should eat no more than 4 eggs per week including those hidden in baked goods and other processed food. Those with heart diseases should reduce their cholesterol intake to less than 200 mg per day.