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Are eggs good or bad for you? New research resumes debate

The latest US survey on eggs will not go over easily for those who cannot eat breakfast without them.

Adults who ate about 1 ½ eggs daily had a slightly higher risk of heart disease than those who did not eat eggs. The study showed the more eggs the greater the risk. The chances of dying early were also elevated.

The researchers say the culprit is cholesterol, which is found in egg yolks and other foods, including shellfish, dairy products and red meat. The study focused on eggs as they are among the most common edible cholesterol-rich foods. They may still be part of a healthy diet, but in smaller quantities than many Americans have become accustomed to, researchers say.

U.S. Dietary guidelines that eased cholesterol limits have helped eggs make a recurrence.

The study has limitations and opposes new research, but is likely to resume the prolonged debate on eggs.

The New Results ] Published on Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


Researchers at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and elsewhere gathered results from six previous studies, analyzed data on nearly 30,000 US adults who reported daily food intake. Participants were followed on average for about 17 years.

The researchers estimated that those who ate 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily – about 1 ½ eggs – were 17 percent more likely to develop heart disease than who did not eat eggs.

The researchers based their conclusions on what the participants said they ate at the beginning of each study. They took into account high blood pressure, smoking, obesity and other properties that could contribute to heart problems. Risks were found with eggs and cholesterol in general; A separate analysis was not made for each cholesterol-rich food.

Dr. Bruce Lee from Johns Hopkins University, nutrition studies often said weak because they trust people to remember what they are eating.

"We know that dietary recall can be awful," says Lee. The new study only offers observation data but does not show that eggs and cholesterol caused heart disease and death, says Lee, who was not involved in the research.

Senior author Norrina Allen, a preventative medicine specialist, noted that the study lacks information on whether the participants at the egg cooked, poached, fried or encrypted in butter, which she said may affect the health risks.

Some believe I can eat as many eggs as I want The result suggests that moderation is a better approach, she said.


Eggs are a leading source of dietary cholesterol, which was once thought to be highly related to blood cholesterol levels and heart disease. Older studies suggesting that the link led to nutritional guidelines almost a decade ago that recommended not consuming more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily. An egg contains about 186 milligrams.

Recent research questioned that the relationship to finding that saturated fats contributes more to unhealthy levels of blood cholesterol that can lead to heart problems.

The latest US Government Nutrition Guidelines, from 2015, removed strict daily cholesterol limits. Although eating as little cholesterol as possible is still recommended, the recommendations say that eggs can still be included in a healthy diet, as a good source of protein, along with lean meat, poultry, beans and nuts. Nutrition experts say the new study is unlikely to change this council.


Dr. Frank Hu of Harvard University noted that most previous studies have shown that eating some eggs weekly is not linked to the risk of heart disease in commonly healthy people.

"I don't think this study would change general healthy eating guidelines" that emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans, and limiting processed meats and sugars, Hu said. Eggs, a breakfast bar for many, may be included but other options should also be considered, "like whole grain toast with butter nuts, fresh fruit and yogurt," Hu said.

Dr. Rosalind Coleman, a professor of nutrition and pediatrician at the University of North Carolina, offered broader advice.

"The main message for the public is not to choose a single type of food as" bad "or" good "but to evaluate your total diet in terms of diversity and quantity.

" I'm sorry if it seems like a dull Recommendation ", she said, but for most people, the main dietary advice" should be to maintain a healthy weight for exercise and to get a sufficient amount of sleep. "


Follow AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner at @LindseyTanner.


The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Institute of Science Education. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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