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British Egg Information Service Responds to Canadian Research

17 August 2012, at 8:42am

UK - The British Egg Information Service has raised doubts over a recent article claiming that the increase of egg consumption can damage arteries as severely as smoking does.

A news report by the Los Angeles Times focuses on research provided by an article published in Atherosclerosis – Egg yolk consumption and carotid plaque.

The British Egg Information Service questions the conclusion of this research as it is not clear if the alleged link is causal or an unrelated association.

  • The researchers behind the Canadian study did not take into account other lifestyle factors that will impact on cholesterol such as; saturated fat intake, alcohol intake, exercise etc, therefore it would be an over-simplification of the data to suggest a clear correlation between the number of egg yolks eaten and cardiovascular disease risk.
  • High egg consumption is often associated with consumption of foods high in saturated fat e.g. processed meat and full fat dairy products. Those that ate at least two egg yolks a week may have generally had a poor diet that was high in saturated fat, drank heavily and done little exercise but as full dietary data have not been not presented by the authors it is not possible to be certain about this and not valid to make sweeping suggestions concerning cardiovascular risk and an association with one dietary component.
  • Those in the highest egg consumption group actually had the lowest blood cholesterol levels.
  • The research relied on self-reported consumption data to quantify intake which is often unreliable.
  • The average age of those taking part in the study was 61.5 years and carotid plaque rises anyway after the age of 40.
  • The Canadian research goes against current scientific thinking. A study carried out by the University of Surrey which analysed 30 studies conducted over 30 years concluded that eggs have no clinically significant impact on cholesterol levels. The Department of Health and the British Heart Foundation both advise that for most people there is no limit to the amount of eggs they can eat in a week.

You can view the full Los Angeles Times article by clicking here.

Further Reading

You can view the full report 'Egg yolk consumption and carotid plaque' by clicking here.