Wednesday, April 16, 2008
THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that consuming more than six eggs a week seems to raise the risk of dying from all causes.
And diabetics seem to face an even higher mortality risk, according to the study that was limited to men.
Djousse and his team analyzed egg consumption and mortality data among more than 21,000 men who had participated in a Physician's Health Study that explored heart disease and cancer prevention among American male doctors.
Participants ranged in age from 40 to 86. Over an average of 20 years, all the doctors completed annual written questionnaires on daily egg consumption, stroke and heart attack incidence, diabetes status, cholesterol levels, alcohol and smoking habits, and general dietary information.
Overall, egg consumption wasn't found to be associated with heart attack or stroke risk. And consumption of up to six eggs a week also wasn't found to be associated with a higher risk of death from all causes.
Even more striking was the finding that mortality risk was much higher among those doctors with diabetes. Consuming seven or more eggs a week doubled their risk of death from all causes, compared with diabetic doctors who ate just one egg each week.
The findings were published in the April issue of
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and elevated LDL ("bad") cholesterol is a prime risk factor for cardiovascular trouble. And while eggs are rich in cholesterol -- and circulating cholesterol is related to the risk of cardiovascular disease -- the relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol is complex.
On the other hand, eggs are a source of minerals, folate, B vitamins, protein and monounsaturated fats -- all of which have the potential to lower overall risk. And it's one of the cheapest sources of protein as well. There are some good things in the yolk as well.
To explain the finding on diabetic men, the researchers theorized that diabetics might somehow convert dietary cholesterol more readily into blood cholesterol than people without diabetes.
In an accompanying editorial published in the journal, Dr Robert H. Eckel, a professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of Colorado and co-chair of both the Cardiometabolic Health Congress and the Committee on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, echoed some of McNamara's comments and called for more research to validate the study findings.
For additional information on nutrition and diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association.
My note: The article mentions that egg whites are one of the best sources of protein. Personally, I eat egg whites with just a bit of yolk for coloring. Or you can just scramble egg whites and spinach in olive oil or one of the new omega-3 margarines.
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