“Eggs” by John Morgan is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Replacing Whole Eggs With Eggs Whites Facilitates Cardiovascular Health and Survival

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yu Zhang, PhD, Professor

Department of Food Science and Nutrition
College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science
Zhejiang University
Hangzhou 310058, Zhejiang, China

“Eggs” by John Morgan is licensed under CC BY 2.0
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Whether egg/cholesterol consumption is harmful to cardiovascular health and longevity has been highly debated. Before this study started, there was inconsistent and limited evidence on the association between egg/cholesterol intake and mortality. Current study (n=521,120) was the largest among all studies on this topic and reported under the background of 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which do not carry forward the upper limit intake for cholesterol.


MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: In this large US cohort study, whole egg and cholesterol intakes were positively associated with risk of all-cause and major cause-specific mortality whereas egg whites/substitutes consumption is inversely associated with mortality. Mediation models estimated that the increased mortality associated with whole egg intake was largely influenced by cholesterol intake. Replacing half a whole egg with egg whites/substitutes or other less cholesterol-containing protein sources is associated with lower overall mortality and mortality from major causes, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and respiratory disease.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our findings suggest limiting cholesterol intake and replacing whole eggs with egg whites/substitutes or other alternative protein sources for facilitating cardiovascular health and long-term survival. Clinicians and policy makers should continue to highlight limiting cholesterol intake in the US dietary recommendations considering our results. The US dietary guidelines may recommend replacing whole eggs with egg whites/substitutes or alternative protein sources for facilitating cardiovascular health and long-term survival.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: More large and long-term randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm the harmful effect of egg/cholesterol consumption on cardiovascular health. 

No disclosures


Egg and cholesterol consumption and mortality from cardiovascular and different causes in the United States: A population based cohort study

PLOS Medicine Published: February 9, 2021



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Last Updated on February 9, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD