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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Study Spotlight: No Need to Fear Eggs if Worried about High Cholesterol Levels...

By: Andrew Jagim

For a long time eggs were the subject of blame for high levels of cholesterol in the blood and the subsequent risk of developing cardiovascular disease which can lead to heart attacks, stroke etc.  But have we been blaming the wrong food this whole time? It makes sense, eggs are a moderate source of cholesterol within the diet and we do know that high levels of certain cholesterol within the blood, particularly low-density lipoproteins (LDL) aka "bad" cholesterol do increase our risk of cardiovascular disease but when we consume cholesterol does it result in a direct increase in our risk of cardiovascular disease or is it just another example of correlation and not causation that gets blown out of proportion in the media?  Well, researchers designed an experiment to dive into this question...

What did they do?
The researchers investigated the associations of cholesterol intake from eggs and the risk of coronary artery disease in 1,032 middle-aged men over the course of a 5 year period.  They monitored their dietary intake over a period of 4-days and reported the incidence of coronary artery disease via assessment of their carotid artery.

What did they find?
The researchers found that egg or cholesterol intake was not associated with the risk of coronary artery disease.  As a sub-focus of the article, the authors also found no risk in those who were more genetically susceptible to cardiovascular disease.

Take Home Message?
Good news! You can go back to eating your eggs and omelets for breakfast and not have to worry about the risk of increasing cholesterol levels or developing coronary artery disease. Granted, it's probably not wise to go full-blown Rocky Balboa and chug your 6 raw eggs in the morning (for a variety of reasons) but this at least allows you to eat eggs for breakfast if you've been avoiding them because you've heard they're bad for you and may increase your risk of having a heart attack. This is just one of many studies showing that cholesterol and fat intake for that matter, (topic for another day) aren't the sole culprits in factors increasing one's risk of cardiovascular disease.

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