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Eggs: Three or more a day increase your risk of heart disease and early death, study says



"Eggs, especially yolk, are an important source of cholesterol in the diet," wrote Victor Zhong, lead author and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. In a study published on Friday in the medical journal JAMA, he and his colleagues noticed that a single large egg contains about 186 mg of cholesterol.

The researchers examined data from six US study groups including over 29,000 people followed for an average of 17 and a half years. During the follow-up period, a total of 5,400 cardiovascular events occurred, including 1,302 fatal and non-fatal strokes, 1,897 episodes of fatal and non-fatal heart failure and 1

13 other deaths from heart disease. Another 6,132 participants died of other causes.

Consuming 300 mg of cholesterol in the diet per day was associated with a 3.2% higher risk of heart disease and 4.4% more risk of early death, Zhong's analysis of the data shown . And every additional half of a egg consumed per day was associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than 1.1% and at 1.9% risk of early death due to any cause, they found.

A potential reason for inconsistent results in the past was the In fact, other studies did not take into account the fact that egg consumption could be related to other unhealthy behaviors, such as low physical activity, smoking and a diet not healthy. Furthermore, foods containing cholesterol are usually rich in saturated fats and animal proteins.

"In contrast, the current study included a full evaluation of these factors," wrote Zhong and his co-authors.

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In an editorial published alongside the study, dr. Robert H. Eckel of the School of Medicine of the University of Colorado wrote that this topic is "important" for doctors, patients and the general public.

Why? "The association between egg consumption and dietary cholesterol with [cardiovascular disease] although debated for decades, has been deemed less important recently," wrote Eckel, who was not involved in the research. However, compared to the previously published analyzes, the new report "is much more complete, with enough data to strongly state that eggs and overall cholesterol intake in the diet remain important to influence the risk of [cardiovascular disease] and more still the risk of all – causes mortality ", he wrote.

That said, the relationship between eggs and heart disease risks and premature death is only "modest", he said. However, since a higher than average consumption of cholesterol or eggs is related to an increase in cardiovascular accidents such as stroke and premature death, the new result is significant when considering the general population,

" Considering the negative consequences of eating eggs and cholesterol in the diet of healthy dietary patterns, the importance of limiting the intake of cholesterol-rich foods should not be ignored, "he concluded.

Zhong and coauthors concluded in the same way: "These results should be considered in the development of dietary guidelines and updates."

Victoria Taylor, a senior dietitian with the British Heart Foundation, told the Science Media Center that "this type of study can only show an association, rather than cause and effect, and more research is needed to understand the reasons behind this link.

" Eggs are a nutritious food and, while this study focuses on the amount that eating, it is equally important to pay attention to how the eggs are cooked and the garnishes that come with them, "said Taylor, who was not involved in the research." Eating healthily is everything on the balance. "


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