05 Mar Study Finds No Link Between Moderate Egg Consumption and Overall CVD Risk
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jean-Philippe Drouin-Chartier, RD PhD
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, Université Laval
Researcher, NUTRISS Center of INAF, Université Laval
Visiting Scientist, Department of Nutrition
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death worldwide. Eggs are a major source of dietary cholesterol, but they are also an affordable source of high-quality protein, iron, unsaturated fatty acids, phospholipids, and carotenoids. However, because of the cholesterol content in eggs, the association between egg intake and CVD risk has been a topic of intense debate in the past decades. Many prospective studies on the association between egg intake and cardiovascular disease risk have provided conflicting findings.
The aim of our study was to prospectively examine the association between egg consumption and risk of CVD in three cohorts of US men and women, and to conduct a systematic review and a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies on eggs and CVD.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: The results from our cohort study and updated meta-analysis show that moderate egg consumption, i.e. up to one egg per day, is not associated with CVD risk overall. Findings were consistent across multiple participant and study characteristics except for geographical regions. We found that egg consumption was associated with a slightly lower cardiovascular disease risk among Asian cohorts.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Moderate egg consumption, i.e. up to one egg per day, is not associated with CVD risk overall. While moderate egg consumption can be part of a healthy eating pattern, they are not essential. There is a range of other foods that can be included in a healthy breakfast, such as whole grain toasts, plain yogurt, and fruits.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: To evaluate the association between egg intake and cardiovascular disease risk, it is desirable to have repeated measures of diet and lifestyle. Such measures account for random variation in intake, provide a measure of the long-term or usual diet, and sufficiently account for confounding owing to lifestyle factors because atherosclerosis develops over many decades.
In our study, we examined the association between egg intake and incident CVD in 3 large US cohorts by using repeated measures of diet over up to 32 years of follow-up with detailed control of dietary and other potential confounders. There are only a few cohort studies worldwide with such detailed and repeated information on diet and lifestyle. This is likely to be one of the reasons explaining conflicting data on the topic. Still, it is a major element to take into consideration.
It is very likely that individual cohort studies will be published in the future. Some may obtain similar conclusion, some not – this is what science is. However, these studies will have to be interpreted in the context that our study, which encompasses all studies published so far, found no association between egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Full disclosures are available at the end of the article: “Competing interests: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf and declare: support from the National Institutes of Health and Canadian Institutes of Health Research for the submitted work; JPDC received speaker and consulting honorariums from the Dairy Farmers of Canada, outside the submitted work; YL received grants from California Walnut Commission, outside the submitted work; FBH received research support from the California Walnut Commission and honorariums for lectures from Metagenics and Standard Process and honorariums from Diet Quality Photo Navigation, outside the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.”
Thank you very much for your interest in our study.
Eggs consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: findings from three large prospective US cohort studies and a systematic review and updated meta-analysis
Jean-Philippe Drouin-Chartier, Siyu Chen, Yanping Li, Amanda L Schwab, Meir J Stampfer, Frank M Sacks, Bernard Rosner, Walter C Willett, Frank B Hu, Shilpa N Bhupathiraju
BMJ 2020;368:m513 http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m513
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