Last month, JAMA released a study which indicated that people who consume an additional three to four eggs a week (or more than 300 mg per day in dietary cholesterol) are at a higher risk for death and cardiovascular disease (CVD). While we discussed the particulars of the results in this study in Not My Father’s Food Pyramid , Mubashar A. Choudry M.D., F.A.C.C., Chief Medical Officer, Washington Cardiovascular Institute ruminated that even given its definitive results, the history of speculation in regards to cholesterol may cause people to continue to doubt whether or not this much additional consumption of eggs really is bad for you.
To give a frame of reference for the history of speculation on the risks or benefits associated with egg consumption, Dr. Choudry cites the long history of “dietary tug-of-war” in the United States. In 1968, the American Heart Association made its first egg-related recommendation: Americans shouldn’t consume more than 3 eggs a week. In 1995, a unified goal was set by a collaboration of associations (AHA, FDA etc.): Americans should consume less than 300mg of dietary cholesterol per day. In 2013, a large meta-analysis concluded that there was no significant association between egg consumption and heart disease (although the analysis based this on subjects who consumed one egg or less daily). In 2018, a study of 400,000 Chinese adults found that daily egg consumption was linked to an 18% decrease in CVD-related death risk (although the study did not factor in external dietary or lifestyle factors).
Dr. Choudry cited this litany of debate over egg consumption in order to clarify one thing: pay attention to the facts and the science. The study released in March of this year is a thorough scientific assessment of egg consumption and cholesterol intake. It takes into account mitigating external factors (lifestyle and dietary influences), and does not base analysis on a specific subset of consumers who consume within the reasonable limit set by health authorities. Dr. Choudry is clear: listen to the facts. Consuming an extra three to four eggs a week puts you at risk for death and CVD.