Home Health & Wellness Scientists Have Egg on Their Faces as New Research Proves Eggs Are Good for You – in Time for Easter

Scientists Have Egg on Their Faces as New Research Proves Eggs Are Good for You – in Time for Easter

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Until the 1960s, many people in the UK, Europe, and the USA would “go to work on an egg” every day, to quote a popular 1950s British advertisement.

However, in 1968, the American Heart Association announced a dietary recommendation that people should consume less than 300mg of dietary cholesterol per day and no more than three whole eggs per week. It was an egg-shattering announcement.

According to recent studies, however, misunderstood data formed the basis of the research on which the AHA’s recommendation was built.

Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), clinical lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: “Back in 1945, the yearly US per capita egg consumption was 403 eggs. In other words, people ate over one egg a day. However, egg consumption in the US and the UK slumped after scientists in the 1960s began to warn that eggs were high in cholesterol and, therefore, bad for your heart.

“They came to this conclusion following tests on animals that proved misleading. A paper in the journal Nutrients reveals a number of the 1960s tests used herbivores that are hypersensitive to dietary cholesterol as compared to omnivores that can eat both plants and meat. The studies also used pharmacological levels of cholesterol in the diet, amounting to far more eggs than people would normally eat. In fact, clinical feeding studies had people eating six eggs per day for six weeks.

“The key error in these early studies was the reliance on the measurement of total plasma cholesterol as a marker of risk. In other words, the studies focused on total blood cholesterol levels. We now know that what really matters is not total amounts but the levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol as opposed to ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and the ratio between them.

“An analysis of recent research published in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes reveals the majority of modern studies have found that egg consumption does not affect major cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. In fact, consumption of six to 12 eggs per week has no impact on plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (that is, LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol), fasting glucose, or insulin levels.

“In fact, the latest research shows that eating up to 12 eggs a week has no impact on LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and, moreover, four out of the six recent studies analysed found that egg consumption was linked to an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (that’s HDL ‘good’ cholesterol).

“The analysis also found results from randomised controlled trials suggesting that consumption of six to 12 eggs per week, as part of an overall healthy diet, has no adverse effect on major cardiovascular disease risk factors in individuals at risk of developing diabetes or with type 2 diabetes.

“Aside from increasing our levels of HDL ‘good’ cholesterol, eating eggs brings other health benefits. Boiled eggs are small but nutritious packets of food. One large egg provides your body with many nutrients, such as protein, calcium, vitamins, iron, and potassium. So, as we dip toast into our eggs this Easter Sunday, we’ll be consuming antioxidants, potassium, and good cholesterol that can help manage our blood pressure and cholesterol levels and help keep our hearts healthy.

“For anyone worried about their heart health and their cholesterol levels, a finger-prick general health blood test can monitor our cholesterol (including total, LDL, and HDL), liver and kidney function, bone health, iron levels, and diabetes (HbA1c).

“By taking a general health test, perhaps every few months, we can see exactly how much of an impact our diet and lifestyle are having. These tests can also identify or monitor many underlying or pre-existing conditions.”

London Medical Laboratory’s general health profile blood test can be taken at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores.

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