How Eating Eggs Can Prevent Heart Disease And Improve Heart Health

People who eat a moderate amount of eggs have larger HDL molecules in their blood, which help remove cholesterol from blood vessels and thus prevent blockages that can cause heart attacks and strokes.

According to a new study, eating eggs may increase the amount of heart-healthy metabolites in the blood, which may help explain why moderate egg consumption protects against cardiovascular disease.

Researchers recently published findings in the journal eLife which demonstrate how eating eggs can increase the number of heart-healthy metabolites in the blood.

According to the study, eating up to one egg a day can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Despite the fact that eggs are a rich source of dietary cholesterol, they also provide a variety of important nutrients. There is conflicting evidence as to whether eating eggs is good or bad for your heart. According to a study in the magazine from 2018 The heart, those who ate eggs regularly (about one egg a day) had a much reduced risk of heart disease and stroke than people who ate eggs less frequently. This study includes about 500,000 people in China. The authors of this study have now conducted a population-based study to further understand this relationship by looking at how egg intake affects cardiovascular health indicators.

“Several studies have looked at the role of this[{” attribute=””>plasma cholesterol metabolism plays in the association between egg consumption and the risk of cardiovascular diseases, so we wanted to help address this gap,” explains first author Lang Pan, MSc at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Peking University, Beijing, China.

Pan and the team selected 4,778 participants from the China Kadoorie Biobank, of whom 3,401 had a cardiovascular disease and 1,377 did not. They used a technique called targeted nuclear magnetic resonance to measure 225 metabolites in plasma samples taken from the participants’ blood. Of these metabolites, they identified 24 that were associated with self-reported levels of egg consumption.

Their analyses showed that individuals who ate a moderate amount of eggs had higher levels of a protein in their blood called apolipoprotein A1– a building-block of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as ‘good lipoprotein’. These individuals especially had more large HDL molecules in their blood, which help clear cholesterol from the blood vessels and thereby protect against blockages that can lead to heart attacks and stroke.

The researchers further identified 14 metabolites that are linked to heart disease. They found that participants who ate fewer eggs had lower levels of beneficial metabolites and higher levels of harmful ones in their blood, compared to those who ate eggs more regularly.

“Together, our results provide a potential explanation for how eating a moderate amount of eggs can help protect against heart disease,” says author Canqing Yu, Associate Professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Peking University. “More studies are needed to verify the causal roles that lipid metabolites play in the association between egg consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

“This study may also have implications for Chinese national dietary guidelines,” adds senior author Liming Li, Boya Distinguished Professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Peking University. “Current health guidelines in China suggest eating one egg a day, but data indicate that the average consumption is lower than this. Our work highlights the need for more strategies to encourage moderate egg consumption among the population, to help lower the overall risk of cardiovascular disease.”

The study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, The Kadoorie Charitable Foundation in Hong Kong, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Key Research and Development Program of China.

Reference: “Association of egg consumption, metabolic markers, and risk of cardiovascular diseases: A nested case-control study” by Lang Pan, Lu Chen, Jun Lv, Yuanjie Pang, Yu Guo, Pei Pei, Huaidong Du, Ling Yang, Iona Y Millwood, Robin G Walters, Yiping Chen, Weiwei Gong, Junshi Chen, Canqing Yu Is a corresponding author, Zhengming Chen and Liming Li, on behalf of China Kadoorie Biobank Collaborative Group, 24 May 2022, eLife.
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.72909

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