Eggs have been acknowledged as a good source of high-quality proteins and contain bioactive components beneficial for health.
But they are also loaded with abundant cholesterol in the yolks, making the public hesitant about consuming whole eggs.
In a new study, researchers found that there were U-shaped relationships between egg consumption and the risks of heart disease and total death.
People who consumed 3-6 eggs/week were at the lowest risk.
More specifically, eating < 1 egg/week was linked to a 22% higher risk for heart disease and a 29% higher risk for total death.
On the other hand, eating >=10 eggs/week was linked to 39% and 13% higher risk for heart disease and total death
The research was conducted by a team at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
The team also found that the influence of egg consumption seemed to be different across heart disease subtypes.
People who had higher consumption of eggs were more likely to have increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and ischemic stroke, while the elevated risk of hemorrhagic stroke was only found among those with lower consumption.
The current study examined a total of 102,136 participants from 15 provinces across China, who were all free of heart disease, cancer or end-stage renal disease.
During up to 17 years of follow-up, 4848 cases of heart disease and stroke, and 5511 total death were identified.
The team says the removal of limits on dietary cholesterol in the most recent US and Chinese dietary guidelines have provoked considerable reaction.
Both the American Heart Association and the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association subsequently released scientific reports and emphasized that “dietary cholesterol should not be given a free pass to be consumed in unlimited quantities.”
Considering the rapid increase of both cholesterol intake and hypercholesteremia prevalence in China, measures should be taken to encourage the public to limit dietary cholesterol intake.
Meanwhile, those with rare egg consumption could be recommended to eat a bit more in the future.
The study is published in Science China Life Sciences.
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