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Diet Cardio-Vascular Cholesterol Genetic Research

Eggs May Not Be As Bad For Your Heart As Believed

2 months, 2 weeks ago

4369  0
Posted on Apr 05, 2024, 3 p.m.

According to the American College of Cardiology (ACC), results from a prospective, controlled trial showed that over a four-month period cholesterol levels were similar among those who consumed fortified eggs most days of the week when compared to those who didn’t eat eggs.

Many people hesitate to eat eggs over concerts that eating them may raise their cholesterol levels and be bad for their heart health. This study indicates that whether you like them boiled, scrambled, sunny side up, or poached, eating eggs may not be bad for your heart after all. 

"We know that cardiovascular disease is, to some extent, mediated through risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and increased BMI and diabetes. Dietary patterns and habits can have a notable influence on these and there's been a lot of conflicting information about whether or not eggs are safe to eat, especially for people who have or are at risk for heart disease," said Nina Nouhravesh, MD, a research fellow at the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, North Carolina, and the study's lead author. "This is a small study, but it gives us reassurance that eating fortified eggs is OK with regard to lipid effects over four months, even among a more high-risk population."

For this small study, 140 participants with an average age of 66 years old with or at a high risk for cardiovascular disease who were enrolled in the PROSPERITY Trial which was designed to assess the effects of eating 12 or more fortified eggs a week compared to a non-egg diet on both HDL and LDL cholesterol as well as other key markers of cardiovascular health over a four-month study period. 

All participants experienced one prior cardiovascular event or had two risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or an increased BMI. In-person clinic visits were conducted at enrollment, at one month, and at four months to take vital signs and have blood work done to test for cholesterol levels, lipids, cardiometabolic and inflammatory biomarkers as well as vitamin and mineral levels. 

According to the researchers, results showed a -0.64 mg/dL and a -3.14 mg/dL reduction in HDL-cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) and LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol), respectively, in the fortified egg group, suggesting that eating 12 fortified eggs/week had no adverse effect on blood cholesterol. Additionally, a numerical reduction in total cholesterol, LDL particle number, another lipid biomarker called apoB, high-sensitivity troponin (a marker of heart damage), and insulin resistance scores were observed in the fortified egg group, while vitamin B increased.

Further analyses of a subgroup revealed numerical increases in HDL cholesterol and reductions in LDL cholesterol in participants over the age of 65 and those with diabetes in the fortified egg group compared with those eating fewer than two eggs.

"While this is a neutral study, we did not observe adverse effects on biomarkers of cardiovascular health and there were signals of potential benefits of eating fortified eggs that warrant further investigation in larger studies as they are more hypothesis-generating here," Nouhravesh said.

Eggs get a bad rap because of confusion due to egg yolks containing cholesterol. These findings suggest that the things we eat along with eggs such as bacon, ham, jam, extra salt, buttered toast, and other not-very heart-friendly choices might be worse for your heart than the eggs. In moderation, eggs can be part of a healthy diet for most people, those with heart disease should consult with their physician before making any changes to their diet to ask about a heart-healthy diet. 

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

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