A recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JACN) suggests that daily egg intake does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, and may actually contribute to a decreased stroke risk. A comprehensive literature search of papers published through August 2015 was conducted to select the studies that fit the criteria for the meta- analysis. While meta analyses on the relationship between cholesterol intake and heart disease risk have been published previously, the authors indicated that they conducted this study to include newer cohort trials that had not been included in prior analyses and were specific to egg intake.
The relationship between dietary cholesterol intake and heart disease risk has been hotly debated for over half a century, though a number of recent studies, as well as recommendations put forth by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force, the European Guidelines on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice, and the recent 2015 US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee have all indicated that evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol and that cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption. The JACN study seems to corroborate these recommendations, and actually goes a step further in suggesting a potential beneficial relationship between egg intake and stroke risk.
To be sure, more studies of this nature are ongoing and will be published in the coming years. The diet/disease relationship remains a topic of great interest and great debate. But newer analyses do cast doubt on many long-held assumptions by the medical community and others, and merit our attention. This recent meta-analysis is the latest in a recent string of longitudinal and randomized clinical trials to suggest little if any negative impact of dietary cholesterol intake on heart disease risk.
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Reference: Alexander DD, Miller PE, Vargas AJ, Weed DL, Cohen SS. Meta-analysis of Egg Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Oct 6:1-13.