Eggs and Death
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Eggs and Death
by Michael Greger, MD
Women who eat an egg a day seem significantly more likely to die prematurely than women who only eat an egg or two a week says a new study published last month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which followed over 5000 women for 14 years. Given the cholesterol load in eggs this is perhaps not surprising, but even when researchers controlled for cholesterol levels they still found a significantly increased total mortality in daily (compared to weekly) egg eaters. The increased mortality seemed to be coming from a tendency towards more strokes, heart disease and cancer in the egg eaters.
Men in the study did not seem to be at higher risk, however. The researchers attribute this to men's higher cholesterol (meat) consumption in general, which would tend to dilute out the effect of the "eggstra" cholesterol. Indeed the American Egg Board is quick to point out studies showing that Americans seem to eat so much meat that adding an egg on top of the mix might not bump mortality higher than it already is.
What this new research suggests, however, is that those who tend to have low cholesterol intake (like vegetarians) would benefit most from eliminating eggs from their diet.
1 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 80(2004):58.
2 American Egg Board news release 28 July 2004.
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