"The takeaway message really refers to cholesterol that happens to be found in eggs and especially in egg yolk," said Norrina Allen, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "As part of a healthy diet, people need to consume less cholesterol. People who consume less cholesterol have a lower risk of heart disease. "
Other animal products, such as red meats, processed meats and high-fat dairy products (butter or whipped cream) also have high cholesterol, said lead author Wenze Zhong, a postdoctoral fellow in preventive medicine at Northwestern.
Whether the consumption of cholesterol or eggs in the diet is related to cardiovascular disease and death has been debated for decades. Prior to 2015, the recommendation of the US directive was a diet with less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol in the diet. In the latest dietary guidelines, the 2015-2020 Dietetics Guidelines for Americans, a daily limit on dietary cholesterol has been omitted. The guidelines, which may need revision based on the results of the study, also include weekly egg consumption as part of a healthy diet.
The evidence for eggs was mixed. Previous studies have found that eating eggs does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, these studies generally have a less diverse sample, shorter follow-up time, and limited adaptability to other parts of the diet, Allen said.
"Our study showed that if two people had exactly the same diet and the only difference in diet was the eggs, then one could directly measure the effect of the egg on heart disease," Allen said. "We found that cholesterol, regardless of the source, was associated with an increased risk of heart disease."
Through the exercise, the quality of the overall diet and the amount and type of fats in the diet became the link between cholesterol and cholesterol does not alter cardiovascular disease and death risk.
The new study examined pooled data from 29,615 adults from racially and ethnically diverse adults from six prospective cohort studies for a follow-up period of up to 31 years.
It was found:
- 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day was associated with a 17% increased risk of cardiovascular disease and an 18% increased cause of death. Cholesterol was the driving factor independent of saturated fat intake and other dietary fats.
- Eating three to four eggs a week has been associated with a 6% higher risk of cardiovascular disease and an 8% increased risk of any cause of death.
Should I stop eating eggs?
Based on the study, people should reduce dietary cholesterol intake by reducing high-cholesterol foods such as eggs and red meat in their diet.
But eggs and other high-cholesterol foods do not completely banish meals, Zhong said, because eggs and red meat are good sources of essential nutrients like essential amino acids, iron and choline. Instead choose egg whites instead of whole eggs or eat whole eggs in moderation.
"We want to remind people that there's cholesterol in the eggs, especially egg yolk, and this is detrimental," said Allen, who has been cooking scrambled eggs for their children this morning. "Eat her in moderation."
Food intake estimate
Diet data was collected by questionnaires on the frequency of food or by taking a dietary history. Each participant was asked for a long list of what he had eaten in the last year or month. The data was collected during a single visit. The study had a follow-up period of up to 31 years (median: 17.5 years), in which 5400 cardiovascular events and 6132 deaths with all causes were diagnosed.
A major limitation of the trial are the long-term eating habits of participants not rated
"We took a snapshot of what their eating behaviors looked like," Allen said. "But we believe that they represent an estimate of a person's food intake. Even so, people have changed their diet and we can not explain that. "