New Delhi: Higher consumption of dietary cholesterol or eggs may be related to higher risk of cardiovascular disease, a latest research has revealed. Researchers from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in association with Duke University, University of Massachusetts and University and Mississippi Medical Center studied the associations of dietary cholesterol or egg consumption with incident cardiovascular disease and mortality.

The findings of the study are published in the latest issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). This analysis included about 29 615 participants. During a follow-up of 17.5 years, there were 5400 incident CVD events and 6132 all-cause deaths. The study found each additional 300 mg of dietary cholesterol consumed per day was significantly associated with higher risk of incident CVD. Also, each additional half an egg consumed per day was significantly associated with higher risk of incident CVD.

"Eggs are wholesome food, and provide good protein among other nutrients. Many studies show that one egg per day will do no harm and in fact be good for Indians who take less than required protein. However, this intake or anything more also depends upon rest of diets, physical activity and genetic nature of the individual," said Anoop Misra, Chairman, Fortis-C-DOC Centre for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology and National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation.

Medical practitioners suggest that there are ways with which we can reduce this risk while consuming eggs. “For preventing cardiovascular disease, reduction of dietary cholesterol is widely recommended. Eggs do carry a lot of it but we should not forget that it is also a rich source of protein, vitamins (Vitamin A, B, B5, B12 and D) and minerals (calcium, selenium, potassium and zinc) which are needed for body’s metabolism," said Rishi Gupta, Chairman, Cardiology, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Faridabad.

“What matters is actually the use of trans fat that we use while making egg. High use of saturated fats in butter or cheese raises the blood cholesterol much more than the cholesterol in egg," he said. As cholesterol is a common nutrient in the human diet and eggs are a major source of dietary cholesterol, whether dietary cholesterol or egg consumption is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality remains controversial.

“These findings should be interpreted with caution in India, where the population is much younger and protein-energy malnutrition is rampant. Eggs are one of the best sources of protein, and it is important that access to this important food item is not restricted to the Indian population. At the same time, it is prudent to moderate intake of eggs in those at high risk of cardiovascular disease," said Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director, the George Institute for Global Health said.

Close